Do You Have to Leave the House for Pest Control? Here’s Why

Pests can be a real nuisance, invading your home and making life difficult. Sometimes, we’re forced to take more drastic measures to get rid of them. But what does that mean for you and your home?

Unfortunately, yes, most of the time. Some pest control treatments, such as using baits and traps, don’t require you to leave, but for the most part, exterminators would resort to spraying pesticides in and around your home.

This can be harmful to you, your family, and your pets, especially when inhaled.

pest control spraying pesticide inside the house

Exterminators may use a mix of different pesticides to target different pests. For example, they might use an insecticide to kill ants and cockroaches while using a rodenticide to get rid of rats and mice.

The type of pesticide used will also vary depending on the severity of the infestation.

If you have a mild case of pests, your exterminator might just use a surface spray that’s not as harmful. But if the infestation is bad, they might have to use a more potent spray that’s more toxic, and in this case, evacuating your home during the treatment is essential.

How Long Does Pest Control Odor Last?

When dealing with pests, it’s inevitable that you’ll also be dealing with the accompanying odor.

Whether it’s an infestation of mice or rats, a colony of ants, a swarm of mosquitoes, or stinky bugs, the smell can be overpowering and often lasts long after the pests have been eliminated.

So how long does pest control odor last?

The smell of pest control can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on the product used.

Some people are more sensitive to the smell than others, so it may linger for a longer period of time in their vicinity. Generally speaking, though, the odor should dissipate within a day or two.

This is completely normal and nothing to be concerned about.

If you’re experiencing an unusually strong or persistent odor after the pest control has been carried out in your home, it’s possible that the product used was not properly diluted or that it was applied in too high of a concentration.

In these cases, you can try airing out the area with fans or opening windows to help dissipate the smell more quickly. You may also want to contact the pest control company to ask about alternative products that may be less pungent.

Some companies may use pest control treatments that don’t produce any odor at all, but this doesn’t mean you can stay at home during the treatment.

On the other hand, some pest control treatment also calls for the use of bombs or foggers. These are devices that release a pesticide into the air and kill pests on contact.

They’re usually used for more serious infestations and can be irritating to our respiratory system. Leaving your home during the treatment and returning after the allotted time is the best way to avoid any adverse effects.

Different Kinds of Pest Control and How Long the Odor Lasts

The odor may linger strictly depending on what kind of pest control was used. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Mosquito Fogging

One way to keep mosquitoes at bay is to have your property fogged. During this process, a fine mist of insecticide is sprayed into the air, killing mosquitoes on contact.

The fogging process only takes a few minutes, but the insecticide can remain active for several hours, providing long-lasting protection against these pesky critters.

A mosquito fogging procedure is usually done in the early morning or evening when mosquitoes are most active.

It’s important to note that you’ll need to vacate the premises during the treatment and for at least 30 minutes afterward to avoid inhaling the insecticide.

Typically, the fog produced during the treatment doesn’t have a strong smell, but some people may be more sensitive to it than others. It’s safe to say that the odor won’t last more than a few hours.

Summary: Odorless. Can return 30 minutes after the treatment.

Pest Control Bombs

Bombs and foggers are devices that release a pesticide into the air to kill pests on contact. They’re usually used for more serious infestations and can be irritating to our respiratory system, so it’s important to vacate the premises during the treatment.

The bombs are usually set off in the middle of the night so that you can sleep through the noise and return to your home in the morning when it’s safe to do so.

The smell of a pest control bomb can last for several hours, depending on the product’s main ingredient. If the bomb contains pyrethrin, for example, the smell will only last for about an hour.

But if it contains dichlorvos, the odor can linger for up to three hours. In any case, it’s best to ventilate the area by opening windows and doors after the treatment to help dissipate the smell more quickly.

Summary: If the bomb contains pyrethrin, the odor may last 1 hour. If it contains dichlorvos, the odor may stay up to 3 hours.

Pest Control Sprays

Sprays are one of the most common and popular methods of pest control. They’re usually applied around the perimeter of a home to prevent pests from entering, but they can also be used inside the home to kill pests on contact.

Pest control sprays usually contain pyrethrin or permethrin, which are both synthetic insecticides that are derived from chrysanthemums.

Pest control sprays usually have a very strong and pungent odor that can linger for at least an hour or two, and may sometimes last for 1-2 days in some cases.

This is because synthetic insecticides are designed to be more potent and long-lasting. If you’re sensitive to strong smells, it’s best to vacate the premises during the treatment and return after the odor has dissipated.

Summary: Has a strong pungent odor that can last anywhere between 1 hour to 2 days.

Rat Poison

Rat poison is one of the most effective ways to get rid of rats, but it’s also one of the most dangerous. Rat poison usually contains warfarin, which is a blood-thinning agent that can be lethal to humans if ingested.

For this reason, it’s very important to keep rat poison out of reach of children and pets.

The smell of rat poison can vary, depending on the type of poison used. If the poison contains warfarin, it will have a very strong and pungent odor that can linger for an hour or two.

If the poison contains bromadiolone, on the other hand, it will have a more subtle smell that might not be noticeable until the rats have been killed.

In any case, it’s best to ventilate the area after using rat poison to get rid of the smell.

Summary: Odor lasts up to 2 hours max after laying out the poison.

What Are the Risks of Staying in Your Home During Pest Control?

Pesticides are designed to kill pests, and they can be just as harmful to humans if we’re exposed to them for too long.

Pesticides can cause a number of health problems such as skin irritation, eye irritation, and respiratory problems. In extreme cases, they can even be fatal.

This is why it’s important that you leave your home during pest control and only come back when the treatment is done.

If you have pets, it’s also important to note that they can be affected by pesticides as well.

Dogs and cats are particularly vulnerable because they spend a lot of time on the ground where pesticides are often sprayed.

If you have pets, ensure that you evacuate the premises with them and only bring them back once the treatment is done.

Leaving your home during pest control might be inconvenient, but it’s necessary to ensure your safety and the safety of your family.

Remember, think of the long-term benefits of having this procedure done in your home, in exchange for the short-term inconvenience. Your family will thank you for it in the long run!

Things To Do Before The Pest Treatment

Pest treatments are a necessary evil. No one likes dealing with them, but sometimes they are unavoidable.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to have a pest treatment done, there are some things you can do to prepare.

Make Sure all Food is Properly Stored Away

person storing food in the fridge

First and foremost, make sure all food is properly stored away. All food should be sealed in containers or put in the fridge.

This will ensure that the chemicals, pesticides, or other treatments used will not contaminate your food.

Cover all Surfaces with Plastic

person covering surfaces with plastic

Before the pest control company arrives, cover all surfaces with plastic. This includes countertops, floors, furniture, and anything else that might be exposed to the treatment.

This will protect your belongings from any damage that might be caused by the chemicals found in the pest control treatment.

Take Your Pets Out

If you have pets, it’s important that you take them out of the house before the treatment begins. This is to ensure their safety as well as yours.

Some pest control treatments can be harmful to animals, so it’s best to err on the side of caution and remove them from the premises.

Ensure Your Home is Accessible to the Pest Control Company

Make sure your home is accessible to the pest control company. This means clearing any obstacles that might be in their way, such as cluttered rooms or blocked pathways.

The last thing you want is for the treatment to be delayed because the company can’t get to where they need to go. Get rid of the unnecessary clutter and make sure they have a clear path to do their job.

Things You Must Do After A Pest Control Treatment

Once the pest control treatment is complete, preparations don’t stop there – just yet! There are still a few things you need to do to ensure your safety.

Don’t Immediately Enter Your Home

Even though the pest treatment might be done, that doesn’t mean it’s safe to go back inside just yet. Chemicals and other treatments can take some time to dissipate, so it’s best to wait a few hours before re-entering your home.

Once you’ve entered, don’t forget to let fresh air circulate by opening windows and doors so that the fumes can escape.

Wait for 1 Week Before Cleaning

While you may be tempted to clean up right away, it’s important to wait at least a week before doing so. This will give the chemicals and treatments time to work and do their job.

After a week has passed, you can then start the process of cleaning your home from top to bottom.

Be Careful When Disposing of Trash

Trash that has been treated with chemicals should be handled with care. Be sure to double-bag all trash and dispose of it safely, away from children and pets. It’s also important to wash your hands thoroughly after handling any treated materials.

Be on the Lookout for Pests

Even though you’ve had a pest treatment, that doesn’t mean the pests are gone for good. Be sure to keep an eye out for any signs of them, such as droppings or nests.

If you see anything suspicious, contact your pest control company right away.

Final Thoughts

Leaving your home for a pest control treatment is a must – it is inconvenient, but it’s a necessary thing to do to protect your home and your family.

You can make the process go as smoothly as possible by following the tips above. And, once it’s all said and done, be sure to take the proper precautions to keep your home pest-free for good!