Still Have Bed Bugs After 3 Treatments? What’s Happening? Kill Bedbugs Forever

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Pest Control | January 3, 2024

Frustrated woman wonders about still have bed bugs after 3 treatments, and what is the best bed bug treatment, what causes bed bugs, and realistically how long does it take to get rid of bed bugs?

Does your house still have bed bugs after 3 treatments? Have you asked yourself what might be the reason?

Well, sometimes treating bed bugs is not a one-time activity. Bedbugs can be quite resilient, recurring every time you try to eliminate them.

If you just cannot seem to get rid of these nuisance bugs. What should you do then?

If you still have bed bugs after 3 treatments, there are a few things to understand about their life cycle.1

Because with some determined steps, you can eliminate these bed bugs once and for all.6

Still Have Bed Bugs After 3 Treatments? What’s Happening? Discover How To Kill Bedbugs Forever

Sometimes, your bed bug problem refuses to go away even after treatment. In some cases, it might recur even after 3 or more treatment attempts.

What should you do when this happens?

Here are some tips to help you solve the bed bug infestation forever:

Why Do Bed Bugs Keep Coming Back? Dealing With Bed Bugs After Treatment

Why am I still seeing bed bugs after treatment? Many homeowners grapple with this question after a bed bug extermination process.

Well, if you found a bed bug months after treatment, here are the main reasons why. First, the bed bug might have survived the extermination.2

If the bed bugs were not adequately exposed to the treatment, whether heat, cold, or pesticides, they undoubtedly reappear after the treatment. Bed bugs could also be hiding in areas where the treatment cannot penetrate.

For instance, if there is so much clutter in the house and deep cracks in the walls or furniture, they might survive. You may, therefore, find bed bugs on walls after treatment if your treatment did not penetrate through the cracks.

Subsequently, you should try first to understand the treatment you are using.3 This helps you to evaluate what treatment may work and which one might not.

Graphic with texts and images showing the reasons why do bed bugs keep coming back.

You may also be seeing bed bugs after treatment due to re-introduction. If you have traveled lately, this could be one way to re-introduce the bugs to your house.

Also, they might be coming from a neighboring house or apartment. If you do not adequately prepare for the treatment or do not give the treatment enough time to take effect, the bedbugs might return.6

Lastly, the bedbugs may have become resistant to the pesticides or your treatment methods.

Still Have Bed Bugs After 3 Treatments? How To Deal With Bed Bugs After Treatment

Why do I still have bed bugs after treatment? Instead of asking yourself this question over and over, here is what to do if bed bugs return after treatment.

First, understand why the bedbugs are coming back. Is it because of a recent travel or visiting someone with bed bugs?

If so, ensure that you take precautionary measures after each travel to kill any bed bug that may have gotten into your luggage.4 On the other hand, if they are coming from your neighbor, talk to them and find a lasting solution for both houses.

This might involve calling an exterminator. When the bed bugs become pesticide-resistant, look for alternatives.

Ensure you buy more potent pesticides that are EPA-certified and that contain bed bugs on their list.

How To Know if Bed Bugs Are Gone After Treatment

Is it normal to see bed bugs after treatment? Yes!

In some cases, you might find that your bed bug extermination process was not fully successful. This way, you still see some bugs even after you are done with the treatment.

Now, how do you tell if all the bed bugs are gone? Regularly monitoring the bed bug infestation for a few weeks after treatment does it.

You should check all possible hideouts, including carpet, baseboards, and the couch. How to check for bed bugs can be a strenuous process as they can hide even in the smallest of places.

If this seems hectic, you can hire a professional for follow-up inspections.5 The professional can assess if there are any bed bugs left and recommend further action to eradicate them.

How Long After Bed Bug Treatment Can I Put My Stuff Back?

When doing a DIY treatment, you can put your belongings back after one or two days. This ensures that the bed bugs do not have new hiding places, leading to re-infestation.

If an expert is doing the job, they usually advise you on the appropriate time to put the staff back. You should then follow that advice and ignore the one to two-day estimate.

Sometimes, you might need to wait for two to three weeks before putting your stuff back.

What Causes Bed Bugs?

First, if you still have bed bugs after 3 treatments, try to understand the root cause of a bed bug infestation. This can help you solve the problem.

So, what causes bedbugs? Bed Bugs love people.

They live on sucking human blood and, thus, look for habitats in areas with many people. They also like warmth.

That is why you find them in furniture like seats, beds, and closets. The worst thing is that they can infest any place, whether clean or not.

These bugs are common in hotels, hostels, campsites, dorms, shelters, cruise ships, and apartments. In other words, any place with many people can become their home.

Also, they can easily hop onto your luggage at any time and travel with you back to your home. This makes them creepy and dangerous.

Still Have Bed Bugs After 3 Treatments? How Long Do Bed Bugs Live?

The average lifespan of a bed bug is 10 months. However, most bed bugs live for 6 to 12 months.

This depends on the environment and whether or not they have food. Their lifecycle is divided into six stages, and every stage requires a meal.

This means that they must suck some blood before transitioning to the next stage.

How Long Can Bed Bugs Live Without a Host?

Humans offer the best source of food for bed bugs. The blood gives them every nutrient they require for healthy living.

This leads to the next question – for how long can bed bugs live without food or a host? Bed bugs can go without food for up to 5 months under normal temperature and humidity.

However, this also depends on their life cycle stage. Young bed bugs can only last for a few weeks without feeding, while mature ones can last between 3 and 5 months.

Realistically, How Long Does It Take To Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

Once you suspect there are bed bugs in your house, all you want is to get rid of them. No one wants to have sleepless and itchy nights due to these small bugs.

Realistically, it can take a few weeks to months to eliminate bed bugs from your home. The duration mainly depends on the size of the infestation and the type of treatment you choose.

For this reason, calling a professional exterminator can help to get rid of the bugs faster.

What Causes Bed Bugs To Die? Best Bed Bug Treatment Options

Are you wondering how to get rid of bed bugs?

Graphic with images and texts that shows the best bed bug treatment options such as heat, cold, steam, pesticides, exterminator, bleach, diatomaceous earth, and bed bug repellent.

You must first find the best bed bug treatment to use.

If you are trying to kill the bed bugs yourself, you can use the following methods:7

1. Heat Treatment for Bed Bugs

If your clothes are infested with these bugs, you can use a dryer. Heat the clothes with your clothes dryer, set at high heat.

Alternatively, you can get the clothes in plastic bags and place them in your closed car, on very hot days. Professionals, however, have more sophisticated heating options to exterminate large bedbug infestations – even an entire house.

Choose the right method depending on the size of the infestation. Professional heat treatment for bed bugs cost range between $1 and $3 per square foot.

After a heat treatment, you may encounter zombie bed bugs. These are bed bugs that survive a heat treatment.

However, zombie bed bugs, after heat treatment eventually die as they cannot feed.

2. Cold Treatment

Cold treatment could also work if your freezer can go up to 0°F. All you need to do is put the infested items in a plastic bag and place them in a freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

Let them lie there for at least three days for the bed bugs to die.

3. Wet or Dry Steam Cleaners

When trying to kill bed bugs in carpets, bed frames, baseboards, or any furniture, steam cleaners can work. The steam can penetrate the fabrics or cracks to get rid of these bugs.

4. Pesticides Chemical Treatment for Bedbugs

Pesticides are also effective in killing bed bugs. However, only use EPA-registered pesticides with bed bugs listed on them.

If you prefer foggers or bug bombs, take extreme measures to guarantee your safety. Also, ensure that the bombers have bed bugs listed.

5. How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs Permanently: Hire an Exterminator

If you still have bed bugs after 3 treatments, your methods do not work, and you should contact a professional immediately. The exterminator assesses the situation and offers the best solution to get rid of the bed bugs.

Usually, exterminator prices vary from one company to the other. For example, Terminix pricing for bedbug removal is different from that of Orkin.

It can cost between $500 and $2,000 if you choose Terminix or $400 to $3,000 if you go with Orkin.

6. Bleach: Does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs?

Yes, bleach can help you with your bedbug menace. How?

Hands wearing blue rubber gloves cleaning a surface with a paper towel and spraying a clear liquid, likely bleach, from a bottle with a blue nozzle.

(Image: Anton10)

It contains hypochlorite, an element that easily kills bedbugs. With a pH of 11, it breaks down protein in bedbugs and kills them.

Additionally, the strong bleach smell suffocates the bed bugs. This makes it a potent solution when dealing with bed bugs.

7. Diatomaceous Earth for Bed Bugs

If you are looking for a natural, non-harmful way to kill bed bugs, diatomaceous earth can be your solution. This naturally forming substance helps to eradicate bed bugs and other types of pests, keeping your home safe.

Even better, it is safe for humans and pets.

8. Use a Bed Bug Repellent

While bed bug repellent is not usually meant to kill, it can help in keeping the bed bugs away. Luckily, you can buy bed bug sprays from online stores and solve your bed bug problem.

Bed Bug Extermination Process

Before you can successfully get rid of bed bugs, there are some crucial steps you should take. These steps ensure that you do not miss anything that can make the pests return to your home.

The extermination process includes identifying the infested areas in the house, preparing for extermination, and then killing the bedbugs. The process is crucial whether you are doing the extermination yourself or hiring an exterminator.

How To Prepare for Bed Bug Treatment

Preparing for bedbug treatment is paramount.8

Graphic with images and texts that shows how to prepare for bed bug treatment.

It helps monitor the process and even identify the bed bugs that remain.

Some of the main tips here include:

  • Decluttering your house: this reduces the hiding places for these bugs.
  • Making your bed an island: You should detach it from the walls and ensure that even the bedding does not touch the ground.
  • Make the place clean: ensure that all bedding and everything else that might act as a habitat is clean.

These simple steps can help you eliminate and prevent the bed bugs from returning.

What To Do if You Slept in a Bed With Bed Bugs?

If you slept in a bed infested with bed bugs, there are things you should do to prevent the infestation from spreading. For instance, take a shower, spray your bed with alcohol, and steam or vacuum the bed.

That is if it is your home bed. Also, avoid sleeping in another bed without taking a shower or cleaning up the bedding from that bed.

You can also use a mattress encasement to prevent the bugs from reaching your body. Ultimately, you should call a bed bug exterminator if the problem persists.

When Do Bed Bugs Come Out? Best Time To Spot Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are nocturnal. They come out at night to feed on human or animal blood.9

That is why you only feel itchy in the morning after they have feasted on your blood all night. If you want to spot bed bugs in your house, you can try checking their movements during the night.

Also, if you want to learn how to find bed bugs during the day, checking hidden places like cracked walls, furniture, beds, and clothes is the way to go.

Still Have Bed Bugs After 3 Treatments? How Do You Deal With Dead Bed Bugs After Treatment?

Bed bugs shed their exoskeleton as they transit from one stage of life to another. As such, seeing some shells of these bugs might not mean they are dead.

It might signify an infestation in that place. You can call an exterminator to assess the situation and advise accordingly.

For the dead bed bugs after treatment, you can vacuum to get rid of the mess. You can also employ steam cleaning to kill any remaining bugs or their eggs.

How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs in a Mattress

The best way to get rid of bed bugs in a mattress is by first washing the bedding including the mattress, sheets, pillows, and pillowcases. From here, vacuum the entire bedroom more than once.

Dismantle your bed and spray it with pesticides to ensure the bugs are all dead.

What Kills Bed Bugs Instantly?

Try diluted rubbing alcohol. While it might not be a foolproof method, alcohol kills bed bugs as soon as it comes into contact with their skin.

The main challenge here is to spot the bed bugs, additionally, alcohol does not affect bed bug eggs. This means that despite killing the adult ones, you may encounter a re-infestation later.

If you still have bed bugs after 3 treatments, understanding the underlying factors is crucial for devising a targeted and effective strategy to eradicate them and achieve lasting relief.

Frequently Asked Questions About Still Have Bed Bugs After 3 Treatments

Do Bed Bugs Come Back After Extermination?

Yes, it is possible to still have bed bugs after 2 treatments or more. If this happens, assess your treatment methods or contact a professional for a more potent solution.

How Much Does a Bed Bug Exterminator Cost?

The cost of bed bug extermination depends on several factors, including the treatment used, the company, and the size of the infestation. While the national average for extermination is $1,750, it can, however, range between $3,000 and $5,000 depending on the said factors.

Will Bleach Kill Bed Bugs?

Yes. Bleach is made of hypochlorite, which is poisonous to bed bugs as it breaks down the protein in their bodies, ultimately killing them and the pungent smell of bleach can also suffocate bed bugs.

If One Room Has Bed Bugs, Do They All?

If one room has bed bugs do they all, it is almost certain that the other rooms have bugs, too. Bed bugs infestation starts in one place, but as they reproduce, which they do quite fast, they start moving into the other rooms, therefore, you should check every room for bugs during the extermination process.

Why Do I See Bed Bugs in the Bathroom After Treatment?

You might tell yourself that you have exterminated them, but they keep on recurring. It is, therefore, common to see bed bugs in bathroom after treatment, especially if you did not declutter the place or it has some cracks and crevices, so if you still have bed bugs after 3 treatments calling an exterminator is the best solution.

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