Do you still have bed bugs after 3 treatments? Or is yours after 2 treatments? An exterminator is usually the end of a bedbug infestation. You may not know if the treatment is not done properly till it is too late and your warranty expires.
A clean-up after a bedbug treatment is necessary but not absolutely necessary. You don’t need to start doing stuff differently after heat treatment. If you clean up after heat treatment, it gives you peace of mind as well as helps reduce the chances of them coming back. You do not have to start cleaning every room in the house. But focus on the ones where the bugs were discovered. These rooms are known as “hot zone” areas. After that, it’s recommended to clean the home regularly. If you can do one thing only, it will be great to wash your bedsheets and also buy a bed bug-proof mattress cover.
But you’ve probably done the right thing and still have to wonder, “Why am I still finding bed bugs after treatment?” This article covers the information you need to know if you still find bed bugs after 2 or 3 treatments.
Still have bed bugs after 3 treatments (or after 2)
You’re not alone in this—it happens. Fortunately, it’s always solvable once you determine the cause, which this article will help you to figure out.
So, if you still have bed bugs after 3 treatments, below are the possible reasons:
1. Your treatment method
Do you still have bed bugs after three treatments? Perhaps, after two in just 3 months span. Well, the big possibility here for still having bed bugs in your home despite multiple treatments is the inappropriate treatment method used.
You are not an entomologist or a professional exterminator and when you have bed bugs in your home, you will try every means to get rid of them. But you don’t know what kind of treatment is to be given to your home.
There are three types of bed bug treatments, including:
- Insecticide or chemical treatment
- Heat treatment
- IBBT or integrated bed bug treatment (makes use of both heat and insecticide)
The kind of treatment to give to bed bugs is determined by an exterminator depending on how severe the bed bug infestation is. Also, when an exterminator recommends a treatment method, let’s say chemical treatment, you want to know their bed bug chemical treatment success rate to weigh your chances.
There are different stages of bed bug infestation which begin from the early stage to the severe stage.
Heat treatment or IBBT (which is known as IPM or integrated pest management) is given to high and severe bed bug infestation. But there are very expensive bed bug treatments.
To reduce cost, tenants or landlords prefer the cheapest treatment which is the insecticide treatment even if the bed bug infestation is severe.
There are many reasons why unscrupulous bed bug exterminators make use of insecticide treatment:
First: they do not have the equipment for heat treatment and IBBT.
Secondly: insecticide treatment finishes quickly and also shows the results like a few dead bugs, which will make you think it’s working.
Also, insecticide treatment is not expensive and has high-volume work which keeps the exterminator busy and brings in profit. But it fails miserably when the infestation is severe.
Bed bugs usually hide in places in your home you won’t be able to have access to, including gaps in the wall, furniture, floor, ceiling, and other hard-to-reach spots where insecticides cannot penetrate.
Insecticide treatment can paralyze the bugs for a few days, so they could always come back. That means you could be seeing zombie bed bugs after heat treatment. You also want to find out from the exterminator how long do bed bugs live after spraying.
Therefore, it is important to choose the right exterminator for the needed extermination method to ensure the complete elimination of bed bugs after 2, 3, or more treatments.
2. Your bed bug exterminator has no experience
Pest control professionals propping up every day like mom-and-pop shops. And this has increased the number of unreliable professionals walking from door to door to sell cheap bed bug treatments.
Many people have fallen into the trap of buying one because they think it is cheap. Yet, it is a wrong stop-gap arrangement which doesn’t help at all. You can eliminate bed bugs on your own under a tight budget if you cannot afford a bed bug treatment.
Just do not hire unreliable pest professionals as they can make matters worse. It is good to steam clean your bed, couches, and rugs daily, where you got bitten by bed bugs, using a steam cleaner instead of hiring them.
Getting a steam cleaner is cheaper than hiring inexperienced pest controllers. And a steam cleaner will be cheaper than hiring inexperienced pest controllers who are making a quick buck out of your bed bug misery. The process of removing bed bugs is usually highly technical and expensive. You must know that your money is not a waste as you will sleep comfortably at night and not wake up with bed bug bites while your husband doesn’t, or while your wife or children report no bites.
Be diligent and ensure to ask the right questions before hiring an exterminator. Reliable exterminators will do follow-up visits to check the results of the bed bug treatment. Further treatment can be administered at no cost depending on the results of the follow-up visits.
Follow-up visits are critical after the bed bug treatment, no matter what type of treatment was used. But the cheap pest control agencies don’t do that.
3. You didn’t clean your home after the bed bug treatment
If you still have bed bugs after 3 treatments, it could be because you did not clean your home, and wash your clothes and bedding after each treatment.
Some landlords or tenants do not clean their homes after bed bug treatment, which could somehow bring back bed bugs. You could even start seeing bed bugs in bathroom after treatment, as they’ve managed to spread after the treatment.
Cleaning your home and household items in it is very important, no matter the type of treatment you choose—heat treatment, pesticide spray treatment, or both.
Most bed bugs escape the treatment by hiding in the clutter of your home, thus, the reason professional exterminators must pay follow-up visits to your home after the primary treatment.
Follow-up visits include setting up bed bug traps and even carrying out repeat treatments to eliminate bed bug infestation. But if a bit is not done, then the bed bugs will hide deeper into your home. The exterminators should come back in weeks or months after treatment because you could still have bed bugs return after 18 months or fewer months.
Make use of a vacuum cleaner to clean your home thoroughly including your bed mattress, dresser drawers, carpet, box springs, couches, rugs, and wooden furniture. Some of the standard hiding places for bed bugs that you shouldn’t forget to vacuum also include mattress seams, bed frames, baseboards, and headboards.
Making use of a steam cleaner to steam clean the rugs, carpets, and blankets is the best option. Although if they are made of wool or silk materials, you can also give them out for dry cleaning.
Bed bugs can hide in places you do not expect such as cracks in the walls and furniture narrow openings. You want to seal every crevice you find on your walls, furniture, and floors.
Bed bugs can also hold onto or stick to fabrics sucks as clothing, bed linens, pillow covers, and even curtains. Therefore wash all the fabrics with hot water, especially those that were in your bedroom, and put them inside the dryer for a minimum of 20 minutes. This action will kill any bed bug nymphs and eggs stuck with the fabrics. Extreme cold kills bed bugs too. According to a study on the University of Minnesota website titled Using Freezing Conditions to Kill Bed Bugs, setting freezers to 0°F are effective in killing bed bugs, but the things you are freezing must be left in the freezer for at least 4 days.
If you are worried about ensuring that temperatures are low enough, use a remote thermometer and monitor the temperature inside the items you are freezing. So you can put the small fabrics such as face towels, hankies, and socks in a plastic bag and put them inside the freezer for 24 hours.
4. Your apartment has a severe bed bug infestation
If you live in an apartment, understand that some apartment blocks and neighborhoods have a longtime bed bug problem. Some have ignored the infestation or do not even know about the bed bug in their homes.
It’s not surprising that most people do not react to bed bug bites. Therefore you can have bed bug bites, but your spouse doesn’t despite sleeping on the same bed. Besides, a lot of people do not care about bed bugs in their homes as far as they are sleeping well and the bed bugs are not biting them.
There are a lot of skin-safe things to put on your body to prevent bed bug bites. Moreover, a mattress cover can also be used to cover your mattress. And that will block the bed bugs hiding in your mattress from coming in contact with your skin. Hence, it prevents them from biting but didn’t solve your bed bug problem.
Bed bugs can move into your apartment from the infested apartments and wreak havoc. And it continues despite the number of treatments for bed bugs you carry out and the number of times you clean your home. Besides, a bed bug in one room possibly means there are others in the nearby rooms.
So, what do you do if your apartment block has a bed bug problem? Try discussing with your apartment managers and ask them to convince the other tenants to do a bed bug inspection.
It doesn’t work most of the time, specifically when your neighbors do not react to bed bug bites. The best thing to do is to move out from a bed bug-infested apartment complex or neighborhood.
5. Bed bugs resurfaced after 2-3 treatments but you ignored the signs
If you found a bed bug months after treatment, a follow-up should help fix that. This is the reason why exterminators perform follow-up visits to exterminate bed bugs.
And they also set bed bug traps that will eliminate bed bugs that escaped the heat or chemical treatment. Then over time, seeing bed bugs after treatment will reduce. And few days after the treatment, no bed bugs would be found again as they’d be dead and you regain your life after bed bugs treatment.
Nevertheless, bed bugs can still return. And that can be after months, a year, a couple of years, or even a decade.
Ignoring the early signs of bed bug infestation is one of the reasons for bed bug infestation in your home. Bed bugs do not infest overnight—and it takes time before the infestation becomes severe. A female bug can lay more than 350 eggs in her life span.
The infestation can start with a single female bed bug with eggs that made its way into your home. And the infestation can start from one room to the other because of the movement of goods. The infestation increases rapidly when it’s at the medium stage to high and severe levels.
Even a single bed bug in your home can cause a severe bed bug infestation. 9 out of 10 times, people won’t notice early signs of bed bug infestation. But that is not to say that bed bug infestation can’t be identified even when low.
Bed bugs hide in the thin gaps and cracks during the day, which makes it difficult to know that there’s a nasty bed bug infestation propping up in your home. Anyway, one of the most common bed bug infestation signs that shouldn’t be overlooked is the bite.
To know if it is really a bed bug, you have to know what the bites look like. Bed bugs bite if they come back after three treatments. The reason is that they can’t survive without human blood.
No matter the number of treatments given to your home, if you ignore that sign, the infestation will resurface. Tenants should deal with this problem by performing quarterly pest controls in their apartments.
You can call it a type of home health check-up. Here, your home is visited, inspected, and treated by pest controllers. And it is usually done for all other pests that invade your home such as cockroaches, termites, flies, and ants.
Quarterly pest control is cheaper compared to a full-fledged pest treatment. And it is worth it. You can also do your part by eliminating the bed bug at its infancy either by cleaning the bed using a steam cleaner or using a bed bug insecticide spray following the product manufacturer’s instructions on the label.
Note that bed bug bombs or foggers shouldn’t be used to eliminate bed bugs in your home. Research shows that they are not effective and are hazardous.
6. You or a visitor brought the bed bugs into your home
Bed bugs can travel by sticking onto clothing, furniture, or luggage. They can travel by latching onto clothing, luggage, and furniture. Biting fleas can also spread in the same manner. And that’s one of the most common ways an infestation begins. In this case, usually, you may find one bed bug but no others – this is just a case because there may be more lurking around.
Bed bugs from bug-infested homes or hotels you visit stick onto your luggage and clothing. Bed bugs can even be brought home if you sit in a car seat with bed bugs on it or you visited a hotel room or friend’s home infested with bed bugs.
Bed bugs can even be transported into your baby’s seat from your car seat. They can also be brought to your home by your friends and relatives whose homes have bed bugs.
Dresser drawers in a bed bug-infested home also spread bed bugs. Therefore, if you’ve gone to a bed bug-infested place, it is best to vacuum your luggage outside before taking them in. Your clothes and fabrics should be washed in warm water without placing them in a dresser drawer, wardrobe, or closet.
Do well to ask your friends and relatives if they’ve got bed bugs infesting their homes. If yes, it’s best to meet them up outside your home politely.
7. You’ve mistaken other bugs for bed bugs
Other bugs feed on human blood and they are capable of infesting your homes. Some of these bugs are nearly invisible so you might not be able to see what’s biting you.
Unfortunately, the bites from these biting bugs are similar to that of bed bugs. And most of these biting bugs can infest your bed.
Fleas are a typical example of such bugs. Fleas in bed are rampant if your pet has fleas.
Another bug that has the characteristics of the bed bug is the swallow bug. Swallow bugs share similarities with bed bugs. And they have their dwelling in the nests of barn swallow birds. When the birds stop staying in their nests, they usually look for alternative blood sources to feed and survive on, which is when humans become their next target.
Human-biting mites like rat mites and bird mites can also bite you and conceal themselves in your bed when you destroy their primary hosts.
That said, the chances are that bed bugs did not appear again after two or three treatments or after just a few months of treatments. You may have a different set of bloodsucking and biting critters in your home.
Picking a bed bug treatment for your home
You must clarify your expectations for the solution you choose. Let’s say you picked a chemical treatment, it may get rid of bugs, often only for a limited time until they return.
The problem this creates is that adult female bed bugs can lay up to 6 eggs in a single day. This is because sprays are usually effective on contact. Bed bug eggs or bed bugs concealed in crevices, or that only walk over the treatment may not be destroyed.
Chemical treatments can be highly active, but you are likely going to be at the mercy of the quality of both the product that is used, the thoroughness of the company, the professional servicing your home, and how severe your bed bug infestation is.
Another problem with chemical treatments from professionals is that if you have been trying to self-treat and kill bed bugs in one day, you may have already been spreading them all around your house by making use of inappropriate products and pushing them into areas that bed bugs wouldn’t normally infest. Thus, making the job of the service professional more hectic.
Bedbugs can resist the pesticides that pest control providers use. Paying a pest control company that only does chemical treatments may not be enough to get rid of all the bed bugs. If you have already done a chemical treatment, it is ideal to look at using a bed bug monitoring system for the next few months and call the exterminator back if you see live bed bugs after second treatment or after third treatment.
Also, you should be fully aware of bed bugs and the means through which they enter your home to ensure that they do not come back. The number one cause of reinfestation of your home is not inefficient treatment, it is the root cause of the original infestation finding its way back into the home to reinfest.
Even if it is a visitor who comes regularly or a family member or friend in the neighboring environment. Knowing the source of the original infestation is paramount to giving yourself peace of mind.
What happens after you treat bed bugs?
People get to live with bed bugs for some time before getting a solution. They might develop a feeling of embarrassment or denial that might prevent them from attempting to solve the problem. When they start confronting this bed bug challenge, they will want it to go away instantly. However, this is usually the case with heat treatment, there are still some vital things to do after the treatment. If only a chemical method was used, your peace of mind of being free of bed bugs in your home will be prolonged.
How long does it take to get rid of bed bugs after extermination?
If heat treatment is done, it will get rid of bed bugs within that first treatment. Nonetheless, it is advisable to look out for any bed bug activity for 2-3 weeks to see if bed bugs are hiding in untreated rooms. A bed bug monitoring system is not necessary after heat treatment but consider placing bed bug traps so that if bed bugs return, you will easily spot them in the traps before they bite you or your family members.
However, if only a chemical treatment has been done because of egg cycles rather than being pest-free at 2 to 3 weeks, expect to see unhatched bedbugs roaming around. Most chemical treatments try and get rid of the eggs but you still need bed bug traps to look out for bed bugs. If there are no bed bug activities in 6 weeks, there are probably no more bed bugs.
Can I sleep in my bed after bed bug treatment?
Yes, you can sleep in your bed after bed bug treatment. Treating bed bugs is a step towards getting your normal life back, so you can sleep on your bed after the treatment. Make sure to wash your sheets to get rid of any live or dead bed bugs and shed skins or droppings. You can buy a bed bug-proof mattress cover but it’s not necessary after beg bug treatment.
Can bedbugs survive after heat treatment?
Beg bugs will ordinarily not survive heat treatment. An effective heat treatment will destroy the bed bug life cycle stages and their eggs after reaching the 120 minimum heat temperature, which is also maintained for about 4 hours to kill the bugs. Some pest exterminators maintain the temperature between 120-135 degrees for about 4 hours.
During the 4 hours, exterminators will turn beds, and furniture, and direct the fans to ensure that the thermal remediation electric heat enters into every crack and crevice of your home to kill bed bug and their eggs.
How long may I return home after the bed bug treatment?
The heat treatment takes about 6-9 hours depending on the size of your home. Thus, you can return home after 6-9 hours from the time of the bed bug treatment. It’s safe to enter your home immediately after the heat treatment. However, make sure you change your clothes and bedding and wash them to remove any bed bugs.
Is cleaning after treating bed bugs necessary?
It is not absolutely necessary to clean your home after treating bed bugs. But it is helpful to remove dead bed bugs and shed skins so you feel more comfortable. Start by cleaning your clothes and bedsheets and remove and wash the bedding from your wardrobe. Dry the beddings at high temperatures as well to eliminate any residual eggs or bed bugs missed if chemical treatment was used.
You probably won’t find any bed bugs but your efforts can make all the difference. Female bed bugs lay 3-5 eggs daily, and another bed bug infestation can occur quickly, so it’s better to do the right thing than “sorry”.