Can Bed Bugs Come Back After Treatment?

Can Bed Bugs Come Back After Treatment?

Yes, bed bugs can come back after treatment. It may be because you were unable to kill all of the bed bugs in the house. Missing a few bed bugs during treatment is enough to restart an infestation.

Another reason is maybe there were bed bug eggs that were able to survive the extermination. These eggs will eventually hatch, and will start a new generation of bed bugs.

Another possible reason is that despite killing all the bed bugs and bed bug eggs during extermination, you may have unknowingly gone to a place with an ongoing infestation and brought back new bed bugs with you on your clothes or in your luggage.

The key to making sure bed bugs do not come back after treatment is to kill all the bugs and eggs and to always be careful to not bring in new bed bugs to your home.

Where do bed bugs come from?

Bed bugs have become a worldwide pest. They can be found wherever humans are aplenty. They thrive in places with heavy human traffic such as hotels, BnBs, and public transportation. They can be found in couches and chairs in cafes or libraries.

Most people bring home bed bugs with them from hotels, that is why it is very important to first check your hotel room for bed bugs before bringing in your luggage. Using a flashlight, check the bed sheets, pillowcases, other linen, mattress, and bed frame for blood stains, bed bug feces, shed exoskeletons, bed bug eggs, and actual bed bugs themselves. If you can pick a few bed bugs up with tweezers, place them in a baggie to show the front desk so you can ask for a room change or a refund.

Bed bugs find their way onto clothes and into luggage quite easily. If you have suspicions of a bed bug infestation in the hotel you just stayed at, make sure to seal your clothes in plastic bags and wash them in the washing machine upon arriving in your house. Vacuum your luggage in case some bed bugs hitched a ride.

Bed bugs can also come from secondhand clothes or furniture. If you are a big fan of thrifting, make sure you wash all of the clothes you thrifted. Inspect any piece of furniture you plan on buying in case it is infested by bed bugs. Check the bottom, check the gaps and joints in case bed bugs have squeezed in there and laid any eggs. Being reckless and not observant can be very detrimental because bed bugs can very easily start an infestation in your house without you knowing.

Can bed bugs come back after treatment?

Yes, bed bugs can definitely come back after treatment. One of the reasons as to why this can happen is you might have visited a place that has a bed bug infestation after you had a treatment done on your house. Just because your house has gone through a treatment, does not mean it can no longer get bed bugs. After a treatment, be careful about the places you visit and stay at because all of the money you just spent will have been for naught.

The most common reason bed bugs come back after treatment is probably because you did not get rid of all the bed bugs in the first place. You can spot bed bugs with your naked eye without really trying, but bed bug eggs are a different story. Their eggs are only around 1mm long and quite difficult to see without a magnifying glass. They also lay their eggs in the darkest corners of your room, such as the bottom of your mattress and bed frame or the bottom of your wooden furniture. If you only did chemical DIY treatment, it is easy to overlook the bed bug eggs that are wedged deep into the cracks and crevices of your room. This is also why it is important to think about what type of treatment method to use to kill the bed bugs. Bed bug eggs that your initial treatment method did not kill can hatch a few days later and restart the infestation.

How do I prevent bed bugs from coming back after treatment?

The best thing you can do to make sure bed bugs do not come back into your house after treatment, is to always be observant and watchful. Look out for signs that point to a bed bug infestation so you can catch it in its early stages, making it exponentially easier to deal with.

Routinely check the areas in your house that were previously infested.

Regularly vacuum your house, including all the corners, cracks, and crevices to pick up and bed bugs or eggs. If you have a hand steamer on hand, use it around your house to kill bugs and eggs on contact.

You can use plastic bed bug-proof mattress encasements. These are wrapped around your mattress to keep bed bugs from infesting your mattress. It will also keep the bed bugs already in your mattress from leaving, resulting in their starvation and death.

Wash all of your bed’s linens in the washing machine on a hot cycle, then place them in the dryer for at least 30 minutes on the highest temperature setting.

While traveling, place your luggage inside the bathroom first as you perform a thorough inspection on the hotel room. Upon returning home from your trip, be sure to wash all of the clothes you brought on the trip.

If you have the budget for it, invest in hiring a professional service to do a thorough heat treatment on your house. This is when industrial heaters are placed inside your house to increase the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature is kept stable for several hours to make sure all the bugs and eggs, even the well-hidden ones, are killed by the heat.


Yes, bed bugs can come back after treatment. This can be because there were bed bugs or bed  bugs eggs that were not killed during your last bed bug treatment. Even a few bed bugs can restart an infestation within a few weeks. Bed bug eggs that were not killed will hatch and introduce a new generation of bed bugs into your home. Another reason is maybe you visited a house that you did not know was infested then you brought home bed bugs on your  clothes or bag. The best way to prevent bed bugs from coming back is to have a professional heat treatment done to your house and to make sure you clean and inspect your house for bed bugs regularly.

Image: / Mihajlo Maricic