What to Expect After a Roach Exterminator Treatment

The worst has happened, and you’ve suddenly found your home infested with cockroaches. You’ve called the exterminator, and they’ve come in, sprayed and baited and done their thing. But what happens next? Here is what to expect after an exterminator sprays for roaches.

Important!

Do not clean! Cleaning treatment areas, especially deep cleaning, can interfere with the exterminator’s treatment. You can do some light cleaning in the case of spills or similar messes and you can wipe up any visible dust with a damp paper towel. However, if possible, you should wait 5-10 days after treatment to do any thorough cleaning.

This doesn’t mean you should not clean anywhere. You should thoroughly clean your eating surfaces and any dishes or silverware left out prior to the exterminator’s arrival. Just avoid cleaning the treated parts of your home (e.g., baseboards). You don’t want to undo all that hard work!

ou should also keep your eating areas clean so that the roaches are attracted to the baits, not your leftover dinner. Similarly, keep sinks and bathtubs as dry as possible. The cockroaches will die more quickly without access to water.

So, the exterminator came but there’re still roaches?

It’s common to see roaches after an extermination. Do not spray or use a bug bomb in the area! This can interfere with the exterminator’s treatment and cause any remaining roaches to scatter away from the bomb, possibly causing an infestation in areas of your home where roaches were not previously seen. You can vacuum up the ones you see if you just can’t stand them, but don’t use any chemical controls.

After an extermination you can expect to see roaches for a few weeks, even in the daytime, which you may not have seen before. This is because the treatment confuses the roaches, and their normal habits are disrupted.

They will usually be walking slowly, as they are dying. The number of dead roaches you see should eventually decrease as time goes on.

Be sure to clean up the carcasses as you see them and keep track of problem areas. You can vacuum up the carcasses or collect them individually with a tissue and flush them down the toilet.

Should I be seeing baby roaches after an extermination?

Yes, it is also perfectly normal to see baby roaches after an extermination. The life cycle of the German cockroach (the most common cockroach pest in homes and businesses) is about 100 days from egg to nymph to adult. The babies you are seeing are the nymphs.

At the time of treatment, the babies were likely still in their egg form. And since a normal cockroach egg sac can contain up to 40 eggs it’s common to see quite a few baby roaches after a cockroach treatment. But not to worry! The nymphs are hungry and will eat anything they can including the bait and dead adults, which are poisoned themselves. They won’t be exempt from the exterminator’s treatment!

What to do if you are still seeing roaches after an extermination?

First things first, don’t panic! It takes about two weeks for all the roaches to be flushed out. Severe infestations might even require a second treatment. But your exterminator should let you know if this is needed.

Continue to do light cleaning as mentioned above (keep eating areas clean, don’t leave out food or food waste and keep sinks and bathtubs dry). If they are finding food and water sources, it will take longer for them to die.

Also, keep paper and cardboard tucked away and away from the kitchen, especially if it’s wet. Wet paper products contain both food and water that cockroaches need to survive. So get rid of it ideally in sealed bags outside, away from the immediate vicinity of the home.

Do roaches come back after extermination?

Although it is unlikely that roaches will come back, it is possible. This is most common in living situations where people are housed close together, such as in apartments, garden-style houses, and neighborhoods where houses are not spaced very far apart. It’s a good idea to talk to your neighbors, and check to see if they are experiencing problems as well. Roaches can migrate in after your successful treatment.

And even if you do everything right, roaches can still find a way back into your life. There are many ways this can happen, after all, roaches survive best with people.

Roaches can be brought back into your home through a garage sale and flea market finds.

Careful inspection with a flashlight can often tell if your new-found treasure is contaminated, but if you are unsure, you can leave it outdoors in full sunlight for a full day. Or, if the item is small, it can be placed in the freezer in a plastic bag for a day — if any hitchhikers were present, they’ll be dead inside the bag.

Sometimes even cans and beverages from the store can carry an unwanted invader. The corrugated cardboard boxes that everything is shipped in are the perfect breeding ground for roaches. Most stores you are likely to shop at work hard to keep their stores roach-free, but many get shipments in from all over the world, so it does happen from time to time. As soon as you get home, clean your cans and bottles before putting them away in the pantry, just to be safe.

Moving from place to place can also bring along roaches. Wrapping clean clothing and belongings in plastic can help, but, as we mentioned before, cardboard boxes are a favorite habitat.

If you’ve seen one or two roaches but aren’t really sure if they are holdouts from the treatment or new cockroaches arriving, you can set simple sticky traps in cabinets under the sink, behind the refrigerator or wherever roaches are typically seen. It will be obvious if there is a continued problem, or if you simply caught a couple of strays. In any case, make note of the location, and keep an eye on it.

If you are still experiencing a roach problem after six months, it is a good idea to contact your exterminator and find out how can you schedule another inspection.

13 Comments

Lynn Stephens

I contacted someone to exterminate german cockroaches. I believe I got their name from you. They came the first time never saw dead bugs. He came back again 5 dead bugs. I called him to come back today and the warranty will be over. I do not feel he ever got rid of the bugs. What should I do? Thank You Lynn Stephens

    Karen

    You can try contacting the exterminator’s superiors if you have doubts about their work. Or, you can also ask for a second opinion from another pest control company. Some even do free pest inspections.

    Sarah

    Hi I wasn’t informed that I shouldn’t spray after treatment because it might confuse them. Should I ask him to come back? It just happened today. I was trying to kill the ones I saw but couldn’t reach

    InsectCop

    We suggest you contact the exterminator for the advice. Make sure you tell them what products you used, the areas you used them in, etc. The spray might have interfered with the treatment but it’s hard to say for sure without knowing what treatment was used by the professionals. Companies are usually educated and will know how their treatments interact with other products.

Kathryn

Keep your laundry delicates in ziplock bags. Keep an open box of baking soda in the fridge for easy access to “bomb” them so they take it back home when eaten. It’s fatal. The ascorbic acid works well between the sink and stove and behind the fridge. Use products to get rid of the humidity. Watch for fragrances of home aroma products! The scent is what they are attracted to.

Kevin

I am a landlord and have a three unit house. 1 bedroom and efficiency both downstairs, 2 bedroom upstairs. upstairs apartment was infested with roaches, exterminator sprayed about a week ago and killed a lot of roaches. I am evicting the tenant at the end of the month, (august). I plan on having the exterminator come back after the apartment is empty, at the end of the month. My question is how soon do you think I would be able to rent the apartment again after spraying the second time, without anyone else having to deal with the roaches?

    InsectCop

    This is a question that should be asked the exterminator, who knows the methods and products that will be used, as well as their efficiency and possible hazards.

Josie

Hi. I searched this topic and found your article. 🙂 We were having a fluctuating issue with the smoky brown cockroach (I am in Texas), and finally decided enough was enough and had an exterminator treat the house, inside and out, about two months ago. After a month we were continuing to see a few adults, but mostly nymphs; about one or two a day. We called and had them come out again. They treated additional areas around the house, again inside and out. I have read that the egg sac can take up to 45 days to hatch so I was hoping that these were just the last remaining since the treatment. But here we are, now 60 days and I feel like I am seeing more nymphs than ever. No adults, just nymphs. Daily, and sometimes several at once. And now they are in all parts of the house, where as the adults had been pretty limited to just a few areas. Do you think there is a reason why we would suddenly be seeing them in such numbers? Is it likely there is an area of the house that got missed? Thanks. J

    InsectCop

    The fact that you’re seeing no adults is a good thing. Normally, the nymphs should die sometime rather soon after the hatching due to coming in contact with the poison left behind by the exterminators. Is there a chance you did a deep cleaning too soon afterward? Also, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to contact the exterminator once more. Perhaps they should do another treatment. However, there is also a possibility that the nymphs are still about to die.

Sharon

We just had an exterminator come to the house last week to spray for roaches and set mosquito traps in our yard ($400 it cost us!!!). We moved into our rental house a few months ago and I had seen a few baby roaches in our shower and one huge American roach on our kitchen floor. I have a phobia of roaches so even seeing one roach is one roach too many. Anyway, now I am scarred for life because today I went to open the toothbrush drawer in the bathroom to brush my teeth and there was a huge roach ON MY TOOTHBRUSH!! Also, I saw another baby roach in the shower. I want to move out at this point or burn this place down because I just CANNOT with these roaches. I am terrified to go into the bathroom! I went to Lowes tonight and bought roach baits, roach motels and boric acid and I’m going to call the exterminator again tomorrow. I don’t feel like anything was done to help the problem. Help!!!!

    InsectCop

    As the article explains, it’s normal to see roaches and baby cockroaches even weeks after the treatment. However, contacting your exterminator again as well as using baits to catch the stray roaches is a really good idea. We also have an article on getting rid of cockroaches that might be of interest to you and provide you with some additional ideas on how to manage the infestation.

Kathy

A house across the street was sprayed for roaches a few weeks ago. Shortly after that we began to see some show up here in our house. We’ve never had roaches. How long can they travel?

    InsectCop

    Generally speaking, there are two possible causes for your problem. There’s a possibility you’re also having an infestation which has likely been going on for a while but simply gotten larger therefore causing the roaches to show up in visible areas (since the roaches are more likely to stay hidden in areas where they won’t be disturbed, they might crawl out of their hiding places once it gets too crowded). On this occasion, it might just be a matter of hiding. The second possibility might be that your neighbors spraying their property might have caused the roaches to seek another refuge. Either way, we suggest dealing with the problem. If you want to try doing it on your own, read our article on dealing with the problem. You can also hire professional exterminators.

Submit a comment

Your email address will not be published*