Still have bed bugs after 3 treatments

Why Bedbugs Survive Post-Treatment & How to Finally Get Rid of Them

Avatar of author Ismael Girard
Ismael Girard
min read

Ever felt like you're losing the battle against bed bugs, even after the 3 initial treatments? We know how frustrating it can be.

Bedbugs often survive extermination for several reasons. Over time, they developed a certain resistance to chemicals, making most sprays useless today. Also, inadequate extermination and external sources play a role in their comeback. Fortunately for you, we're here to guide you through the solutions.

In this article, we'll dive into why the following questions:

✔️ Why Bed Bugs Come Back Post Pest Control?

✔️ How Effective Are Bedbug Control Treatments?

✔️ What to Do If Bed Bugs Comeback after Extermination?

Let's do it!

Why Bed Bugs Come Back Post Pest Control?

person finding a bedbug

Dive into the relentless world of bedbugs. These insects are renowned for their survival skills, making them a formidable pest to eliminate. Wondering why they haunt your mattress, even after numerous treatments? Here's the inside scoop.

Why Bed Bugs May Persist After Extermination

Resistance to Pesticides

It's a war out there in the underbelly of your mattress and bedbugs are often the winners (unfortunately). Why? These Irish-coffee colored pests develop resistance to the chemical warfare often deployed against them.

Over time, they evolve to shake off the effects of pesticides, much like a heavy drinker shrugs off the punch of a tequila shot. This makes typical bed bug sprays often useless.

Inadequate Treatment Coverage

Inadequate extermination too plays a role in the persistence of these pests. Bedbugs are champions at hide-and-seek; they can nestle inside of anything — tucked away in furniture, linens, and luggage — where DIY might not reach.

Reintroduction from External Sources

Travel and mobility also contribute to the return of bedbugs. Unwittingly, we could bring them back into our homes from infested areas. Visiting infested apartments, carrying used appliances, or staying in infested hotel rooms can reintroduce these pests into our environment.

The Bed Bug Life Cycle Explained

Development Stages

Bed bugs have a life cycle that involves several stages: eggs, nymphs, and adults. Understanding this cycle can help us effectively target our strategies at every stage, from the tiny, unsealed eggs to the adult bugs that emerge from them.

Reproduction and Survival Tactics

These pests also breed rapidly, multiplying their numbers and outpacing our elimination efforts. Female bedbugs lay hundreds of eggs in their lifetime—where they find food, they find a home.

These tactics can make it feel like we're fighting a relentless tide, but knowledge is power. With this in-depth understanding of bed bug biology, we're well-equipped to deal with these persistent pests.

How Effective Are Bedbug Control Treatments?

Managing a bed bug infestation often requires a comprehensive strategy involving multiple treatment types. But how good are they? Let's get some answers.

Professional Extermination Services

Necessity of Multiple Treatments

In the world of pest management, exterminators serve as the first line of defense against bedbugs. Their expertise and access to industrial-grade pesticides ensure a higher chance of completely eliminating them.

⚠️ However, due to their high reproductive rate and the physical resilience of their egg stage, it's not uncommon for infestations to bounce back after the first application.

Despite initial extermination efforts, bedbugs can still develop resistance to common pesticides, necessitating 4 to 6 treatments for comprehensive eradication. Repeated professional treatments, usually over a span of weeks to months, may be the best way to ensure these insects are entirely wiped out.

Importance of Follow-up Inspections

Post-extermination inspections are essential to confirm the success of the extermination process. Exterminators should check their bed, furniture, and possible hiding spots - such as cracks in walls, behind picture frames, and within electrical outlets - for signs of activity. Bedbugs, if survived, can lay hundreds of eggs. Should they hatch and mature, the problem will quickly return.

DIY Pest Control Methods

Limitations of Common DIY Practices

There are countless DIY techniques available, with bedbug sprays and vacuuming considered common choices.

However, these options have their limitations. Sprays, for instance, may not reach deep inside beds or within hidden cracks, places where they often hide. Even if adult bed bugs die from the spray, eggs could survive.

On the other hand, vacuuming can help remove visible adults and eggs off the surface but unable to draw out bugs that are deeply embedded into a mattress or piece of furniture.

Risks of Improper Application

Improper application of bed bug sprays could result in ineffective eradication. It might even hasten the spread of bedbugs to new areas across a dwelling, aggravating the problem.

Without the right knowledge and experience, over-the-counter pesticides could potentially harm humans or pets. Therefore, while DIY methods offer a quick and cost-effective solution, they may lack in depth and breadth when handling severe bedbug invasions.

Combining Treatments for Comprehensive Eradication

When traditional pest control methods don't quite cut it, it may be time to explore other options. The best bed bug eradication schemes generally employ a mixture of chemical and physical treatments.

Heat Extermination

Thermal treatments involve heating a room or entire home to high temperatures, killing bedbugs in all life stages. Since heat permeates in-depth, it penetrates beds, furniture, and other hard-to-reach areas that bugs use as hiding spots.

Freezing Extermination

Another viable method to get rid of bedbug infestations is freezing. It involves the use of industrial-grade freezing equipment. Though it wipes out bedbugs in all stages of life, it may prove less effective when dealing with large infestations.

Steam Cleaning

Like thermal treatment, steam cleaning can kill off bugs hiding deep within furniture or bedding. However, it's crucial to execute this method properly, as too much moisture might lead to mold growth.

Chemical Extermination

Lastly, chemical treatments involve applying pesticides directly to infested sites. When performed by expert exterminators, they can really eliminate bedbugs. However, as previously discussed, resistance to these pesticides might require multiple treatments to be wholly successful.

So, in answer to our original question regarding treatment effectiveness, it might vary greatly based on the severity of the problem, the methods employed, and their application.

💡 But one thing is crucial, the comprehensive approach—combining multiple treatment types, both professional and DIY, for full eradication. It's quite evidently a game of inches where every step counts. Feel reassured, though. With persistence and the right knowledge, we're better equipped than ever to reclaim our homes from these pesky intruders.

What to Do If Bed Bugs Comeback after Extermination?

Seems like you're asking, "Still have bed bugs after extermination?" We've been there, done that, and we're here to give you an action plan.

Expectations after bedbug control often include immediate relief, but understanding the persistence and resilience of bed bugs is crucial for realistic outlooks on eradication.

Here's how to properly get rid of bed bugs, handle any survivors, and prevent the critters from returning.

Handling Surviving Bed Bugs

You can weather a nuclear fallout. You can fry 'em, freeze 'em, and poison 'em. But there's always a chance some of these pains-in-the-mattress will survive. It's important to act quickly when you still see bed bugs after extermination. Here's the game plan:

  • Call the exterminator back: They'll typically offer a follow-up inspection for a reason. Even professional services sometimes need several iterations.
  • Double down on personal efforts: Keep using bed bug sprays, keep vacuuming, and keep on keeping on with bed bugs.
  • Add a bit of heat: Hot-box strategies are pretty effective. Consider a professional heat service or be sure to wash and dry anything and everything on the highest heat setting.

Dealing with Dead Bed Bugs

Dealing with dead bugs can be just as gross and important as handling the live ones. Here's what we suggest:

  • Vacuum rigorously: A good vacuuming session can scoop up a lot of dead bugs. Make sure to vacuum the entire area - furniture, mattress, and any nooks and crannies.
  • Dispose carefully: Toss the vacuum bag right away in a sealed plastic bag and place it immediately in the outside trash.
  • Overall cleanup: Wash and dry all bedding and clothes in high heat. This'll put to sleep any remaining bedbug.

Remember, it's not just about getting rid of the bugs. It's about getting rid of everything they left behind.

Preventing Future Infestations

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We don't know who "they" are, but they couldn't be more right about bed bugs.

  • Invest in mattress encasements: These can help prevent bed bugs from setting up shop in your mattress or box springs.
  • Conduct regular inspections: Make this part of your seasonal deep-cleaning process. It's a bit of work but catching bedbugs early makes the world of difference.
  • Limit hiding places: These critters are night owls and hate the light. They'll find any dark, hidden spot in your room and make it their new home.


We've explored the resilience of bed bugs and how they can survive even after three visits. It's crucial to act quickly, calling in experts for further inspections and ramping up our own efforts with sprays and heat treatments.

Don't overlook the importance of thorough cleaning and proper disposal of dead bugs to stop future issues. Investing in preventative measures is key.

Mattress encasements, regular inspections, and minimizing hiding spots are all vital steps towards a bug-free home. Remember, persistence and vigilance are your best weapons against these persistent pests.

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Frequently asked questions

Why Do Bed Bugs Often Develop Resistance to Pesticides?

Bed bugs evolve by mutating their genetic makeup, which can make them immune to chemicals previously effective against them. This process is accelerated by the widespread use of insecticide, selecting for resistant individuals who survive and reproduce.

Are There Natural Remedies Effective Against Bed Bugs?

Natural remedies, such as diatomaceous earth, can dehydrate and kill bed bugs over time. Essential oils like lavender and tea tree oil are sometimes used as repellents, but their effectiveness is limited and not scientifically proven.

What Role Do Professional Heat Treatments Play in Eradicating Bed Bugs?

Professional heat extermination raise the temperature in your home to a level lethal to bed bugs at all life stages, offering a chemical-free and helpful method to eradicate infestations.