What To Do If You Still Have Bed Bugs After 3 Treatments

If you still have bed bugs after 3 treatments, you may wonder if the treatment works. If you’ve completed three treatments and still have a bed bug problem, it’s time to reevaluate your approach and finally discover what you can do to eradicate these pests for good.

First, take a deep breath and remember you’re not alone in this battle. In some cases, bed bugs can be notoriously tough to eliminate, but generally, people do not usually need more than a few treatments.

Additionally, it’s essential to understand that your situation is not hopeless, and with a well thought out strategy, you can conquer bed bugs.

Let’s dive in and tackle this issue head-on! The following article will discuss why you might still have bed bugs after 3 treatments and what to do. By understanding these factors and implementing the right treatment, you’ll be well on your way to a bed-bug-free environment.

Top Reasons for Persistent Bed Bugs (Still Have Bed Bugs After 3 Treatments)

If you still have bed bugs after 3 treatments

Neighboring Infestation

Sometimes, bed bugs can persist after treatment due to a neighboring infestation. If your neighbors have a bed bug problem, the insects can easily travel from their apartment to yours through shared walls, floors, or ventilation systems.

To minimize the risk of re-infestation, communicate with your neighbors and property management about the issue.

It is best practice for an apartment building to inspect all surrounding units as soon as one apartment is positive for bed bugs.


Another reason for persistent bed bugs could be re-infestation. You may accidentally bring bed bugs back into your home after treatments, unknowingly giving these pests another opportunity to multiply.

Be cautious when staying in hotels, sitting in public places, bringing in used furniture, or visiting other homes. Learn more about how to clean used furniture to prevent bed bugs.

Always inspect your luggage and belongings for any early signs of bed bug infestation before bringing them inside. 

If you want to be proactive, place your clothing into a portable bed bug heater like the Thermal Strike as soon as you get home. We use it weekly for clothing and other objects, and this small machine is a lifesaver.

Laundromat Has Them

If you frequent a laundromat, it could be the source of your persistent bed bug problem. Bed bugs can hitch rides on clothing, bedding, and other laundry items, spreading from one customer to another.

How it happens: If one person with bed bugs drops their laundry off, a bed bug can escape and wander around the laundry mat until it hitchhikes its way to a new home. Learn more about how you can get bed bugs from a laundromat + how to avoid them.

To avoid this issue, always:

  • Inspect your laundry before and after using public facilities
  • Use hot water and high heat drying settings to kill any potential bed bugs
  • Don’t use laundry drop-off services

Visiting Friend Drops Them Off

Unbeknownst to you, you may have a friend with bed bugs who come over. Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers; if your friend has them, they may end up in your home. Learn more about the topic: “If someone has bed bugs and comes to your house.”

Resistance to Pesticides

Over time, bed bugs have developed resistance to certain pesticides commonly used for their eradication. This resistance can make treatment less effective, leading to persistent infestations.

Using combinations of mechanical removal, insect growth regulators, nervous system toxins, fungus, and desiccants can help limit the resistance. Please consult a pest management professional to determine the most effective strategy for your situation.

Inadequate Treatment Application

The effectiveness of bed bug treatments largely depends on their proper application. If you’re still dealing with bed bugs after multiple treatments, it’s possible the treatments were not applied correctly.

People often ask “realistically how long does it take to get rid of bed bugs“, which is why we created a guide on what to expect.

Inadequate treatment can include:

  • Incomplete coverage of target areas
  • Inadequate heat treatment drove the bugs into more challenging-to-reach areas
  • Incorrect dosage or concentration of pesticides used
  • Not following the instructions or recommendations outlined by the treatment manufacturer

Always consult the pest management professional who did the treatment, so they can explain exactly what kinds of treatment were used.

Incorrect Identification

Finally, persistent “bed bug infestations” can occur if you get an incorrect identification. When dealing with a suspicious bite or spotting, always contact an expert to confirm that bed bugs are the issue before attempting treatment. We find this especially true if you’re someonw who has no signs of bed bugs but have bites.

Many different types of crawling/flying/jumping insects can bite us. So if your PMP is treating for bed bugs, when it’s fleas, then your bites will continue. Additionally, you’ll think that the treatment isn’t working. While we’re at it: flea vs bed bug, learn more about the differences.

You Bagged a Bug Then Let it Loose

Lastly, if you’ve bagged up your belongings in an attempt to contain and kill the bed bugs, you could inadvertently release them back into your home when unpacking. To avoid this, only open and empty the sealed bags after you put them through a high-heat dryer or portable bed bug heater.

Understanding Bed Bug Treatments

Understanding the different treatment options is crucial in eliminating these pests from your home. This section will discuss chemical, heat, and cold treatments and their applications.

Chemical Treatments

Chemical treatments are a standard method for dealing with bed bugs. Chemical treatment often gives you the advantage of having a residual effect.

Many over-the-counter insecticides are available, and your pest control professional will likely use a combination of products specifically designed for bed bugs.

When using chemical treatments, remember:

  • Follow the label instructions carefully
  • Apply treatments in targeted areas where bed bugs are likely to hide
  • Allow time for the chemicals to work; results may not be immediate
  • Residual sprays for bed bugs are effective when combined with other methods.

Remember that some bed bugs have developed resistance to certain chemicals, which could be a reason for their persistence after treatment.

Heat Treatments

Heat treatments have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their effectiveness in killing all bed bug life stages, including eggs. Here’s what to expect in a heat treatment process:

  • Temperatures are raised to 118°F (48°C) or higher
  • The process takes several hours, during which time heat is maintained and monitored
  • All items in the room must be able to withstand high temperatures

Ensure you hire a professional pest control company experienced in heat treatments to avoid potential issues such as fire hazards, bed bug scattering, or ineffective treatments.

Cold Treatments

Like heat treatments, cold treatments can address all bed bug life stages. This method involves using a specialized (cryonite) freezing unit to rapidly reduce temperatures in the infested area.

Some benefits of cold treatments include:

  • Non-chemical approach suitable for sensitive environments
  • No need to worry about repeated exposure to chemicals

However, the effectiveness of cold treatments can be variable, as bed bugs may hide in insulated areas. Hiring a professional who understands the proper techniques for this treatment method is crucial.

Fungal Treatment

Aprehend is a type of fungal treatment designed to control bed bug infestations. This product combines a naturally occurring fungus with a slow-release delivery system that can effectively target bed bugs for up to 90 days after application.

Fungal treatments do not replace other treatment methods, but licensed applicators may use them in combination with other strategies for better results.

Some benefits of fungal treatments include:

  • Little to no prep involved
  • Bed bugs are not resistant to the Aprehend
  • High success rate

Consult your pest management professional for advice on the best approach for your situation.

Taking Additional Measures If You Still Have Bed Bugs After Treatment

Inspecting Your Home

Start by thoroughly inspecting your home, especially the areas where you sleep. Pay close attention to your mattress, bed frame, and surrounding furniture. Study the tips and tricks for how to find bed bugs during the day.

Bed bugs commonly hide in:

  • Box springs
  • Headboards
  • Baseboards
  • Dressers

Use a flashlight and magnifying glass to aid in your inspection. If you find any concerning evidence of bed bugs, take photos for documentation, and create a list of infested locations. This information will help guide your next steps.

Decluttering and Cleaning

Decluttering and cleaning your space can help minimize hiding spots. This process includes:

  • Washing and drying all linens, bedding, and clothing in high heat
  • Vacuuming your entire home, including furniture, bed frames, carpets, flooring, and picture frames
  • Getting rid of things you no longer need; reducing clutter will minimize the available hiding spots

Remember, consistency is vital. Repeat these steps to keep your space clean and make it more challenging for bed bugs to reproduce and survive.

Using Mattress and Pillow Encasements

Invest in high-quality mattress and box spring encasements to create a barrier between you and potential bed bugs. These products must be designed to protect against bed bugs, tightly enveloping your mattress and pillows to prevent bugs from entering or escaping.

Additionally, these encasements can make it easier to spot any future infestations by minimizing seams and crevices on your mattress. To ensure effectiveness, be sure to:

  • Purchase the proper size for your mattress and pillows
  • Inspect the encasements for any rips or tears regularly

By following these additional measures, you can help reduce the risk of bed bug infestations and gain better control over the situation in your home.

Seeking Professional Help

Hiring a Pest Control Expert

If you still have bed bugs after three treatments, inform your extermination company. In addition, you can also contact a reputable pest control expert specializing in bed bug removal.

These bed bug specialists will assess your situation, identify the areas of infestation, and develop a tailored treatment plan for your home.

When choosing a pest control expert, be sure to:

  • Check their credentials, license, and certifications
  • Ask for recommendations from friends and family
  • Read reviews from previous customers
  • Compare prices, guarantees, and services offered by different companies

Final Thoughts for What To Do If You Still Have Bed Bugs After 3 Treatments

As we all know, dealing with bed bugs can be a frustrating and exhausting experience, especially if you’ve undergone multiple treatments with no success. In such cases, it’s essential to evaluate the situation and determine the root cause of the problem.

Are the bed bugs coming from a neighboring unit or a shared laundry facility? Are they hitchhiking in from a recent trip? Remember that bed bug infestations can happen to anyone. Taking extreme preventative measures may be necessary.

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