Article posted on May 10, 2018

What To Do After Pest Control Sprays

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Jindalee Resident, Katrina asks

“We’ve just had our annual pest control treatment done on our home. What can we expect over the next week or so? Is there anything we need to do, or be aware of now that our house has been sprayed?”


danny kelly pest imageThis is a great question and one that we get frequently here at Pest-Ex.

For most home owners, they’ll want to be sure they know exactly what to do once treatment has been completed. Infact, most home owners simply want to ensure that –

  • They don’t do anything that compromises the treatment
  • They want to ensure their family and pets are safe

Here’s a complete answer to Katrina’s question, which we’re sure will help those of you wondering the same thing.

Cleaning – before and after

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Before having the pest control done, it’s important that you mop the floors. This will ensure a nice clean surface which will helps bind the pesticide. Of course, improved adhesion increases the effectiveness of the treatment, ensuring long term pest prevention.

After treatment, it’s best not to mop as frequently if possible. The perimeter spray is designed to last approximately 30 to 90 days in terms of protection. You can still sweep or vacuum and keep the property clean, but preserving the perimeter-treated zone around the wall edges, skirting boards and kick boards for instance, is really important.

In other words, avoid mopping floors right up to the wall edge for the first 6-8 weeks, because you want that invisible pesticide barrier to stay there for as long as possible, because any pest inside the house will be exposed to it.


Avoid mopping up to your wall edges because that may affect the applied pesticide around the perimeter-treated zone. This includes the skirting boards in the kitchen, kick boards and so on if possible. You can still sweep or vacuum and keep the property clean, but just avoid mopping right up to the edge of the corners of the skirting.

Pest control treatment and an increase in activity

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When performing regular pest control treatments, for pests such as ants, cockroaches and spiders etc – we dust the weep-holes, the roof void, all cracks and crevices with a fine film or dust. Now, it’s common in the first week or two, to see a lot of activity (in terms of pests), coming out and dying. This is normal.

For example, it’s common when we do a cockroach treatment – we dust inside the wall cavity, so little do people know that cockroaches are living in their walls. So when we dust the wall cavities, we’re actually flushing the cockroaches out from the wall cavities, because the dust is affecting them. It’s very common for them to drop through down lights or can scatter in under a skirting boards or something like that and roll around until they die.

So it is common to see an influx of dying pests, especially if we treat areas like under fridges and behind dishwashers and under kitchen cupboards and cabinets. If there’s a nest of a 100 of them in there, the pesticides will flush them out and there’ll be a lot of activity. But over time this activity will die down and get better.

Typically homeowners will find over the first two weeks, the population of pests will decrease down to 20% of what it is, and then over the following weeks after that, the last of them will all be affected by the gel bait and also the dust of which we apply.


Things may seem worse at first, but they will improve as the pests are affected by the pesticides and die off. It is common to see an increase in activity around the home during this time, for the first few weeks.

What about pets and children?

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We always say, if you’ve got dogs or children in the house, it’s safer for them to be outside while we’re doing inside. It’s common for people to say, “Hey look, I’ll go for a walk with the dog” or go to the local park with their kids while we’re doing the treatment. It only usually takes 25 minutes for the product to dry. Once the product’s dry, it’s fine.

That’s another thing homeowners should be aware of is that unlike pesticides back in the day, new products are odour free, and are applied as a very fine mist to the targeted surface areas only. The applications is dry within a few minutes. There’s no airborne reside or smell. Once dry the product binds with the applied surface and takes affect. This is a great thing for residents as they don’t need to vacate the home or property.

Infact most homeowners will often say, “Hey look, you’ve done outside, that’s all finished. I’m gonna go out on the veranda and read a book for an hour while you do your internal treatment and wait ’til it all dries.”


Best to keep pets and children out of the way whilst the treatment is being performed. Once dry the treated area is then fine for animals and children. The drying process usually only takes approximately 25-30 minutes.

False positives

One of the biggest things we get are calls from people who move into a property and call us saying “Our place is infested with cockroaches! We need a treatment right away.” In many cases the property has just been sprayed a week or two beforehand as part of regular pest control. As mentioned above, increased activity within the property may be due to the property just being treated.

In some cases, pests (especially cockroaches) are introduced accidentally (brought in, in packaging boxes). However within seven days, everything’s dead – everything’s been eliminated from the treated zones. The customer just doesn’t realise that the property has been treated and it just takes a matter of time for the pests to come into contact with the product.


A lot of activity does not necessarily mean you have an active infestation, it may just be the period of time in which it takes for the pesticides to work.

How long does it take to kill everything off?

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Pesticides are not instant-kill products like they used to be, where you see everything dead within a matter of an hour. Some of the non-repellent pesticides that we use are slow-acting, because they’re designed for pests not to be able to detect the treated zones, so they don’t avoid it.

Here’s a brief overview of how long it might take for things to settle down, once you’ve had your property treated.

Large cockroaches, spiders, carpet beetles, silverfish, wasp nests etc

How long : 6 weeks

Notes :

  • Cockroaches should be completely eradicated within 6 weeks.
  • An increase in activity is common post treatment for the first couple of weeks
  • Be sure to keep an eye on active parts of the property and clean where necessary


How long : 6 weeks

Notes :

  • You should notice a significant decrease in spiders around windows within a short period of time by up to 80-90%.
  • Ongoing treatment for rural properties is encouraged due to the natural landscape/bushy surrounds
  • Be sure to keep an eye on activity post treatment to ensure the safety of your kids and pets


How long : 6 weeks

Notes :

  • It’s common to continue to see ants up to 3 weeks after treatment
  • Pesticides used for ants are designed to be returned to the nest, therefor removing the problem at its core
  • Be sure to follow the instructions as provided to you by our pest control technicians

Rodents (rats, mice etc)

How long : 4 weeks

Notes :

  • As with other types of pest, rats and mice behave in a similar way, in that there will likely be an increase in activity
  • It’s not uncommon to see, or even hear mice playing with live baits, however this should subside within 3-4 weeks
  • Be sure not to seal off any entrance/exit points until the infestation has been eliminated


How long : 3-4 weeks

Notes :

  • Remove pets from the affected areas if possible
  • Be sure to vacuum daily after the day of treatment as this will assist the eggs hatching and the pupae being released from their eggs
  • You may continue to see fleas and be bitten for up to 3 weeks
  • A secondary treatment may be required for more aggressive infestations

Bed bugs

How long : 6 weeks

Notes :

  • Bed bug removal can be difficult however you should see a 50% reduction in the 1st week following treatment.
  • Bites may continue but should subside within the 2nd or 3rd week
  • A follow up treatment may be required in some cases.

A final say

We always encourage our customers to avoid any disturbance of the treated areas. You can still clean, vacuum or even hose down certain areas of the outside of your property, but just avoid mopping right up to the edges of internal walls for the first couple of weeks. Of course, we’re always here to assist or any answer any questions customers may have if they have any concerns.

Most importantly its vital that you follow the instructions as provided to you by our pest control technicians. You may be provided with a safety sheet about the products we’ve used – be sure to familiarise yourself with this and abide by those instructions also.

Ready to work with Pest-Ex?

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Pest-Ex have been providing pest control services throughout Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Tweed Heads and Logan City since 2006. We have performed thousands of pest inspections and have more than 7,000 happy customers.

We’re also –

  • Fully insured and licensed
  • Our pest controllers are among the most experienced and qualified in the pest control industry
  • We only use environmentally friendly products, and are dedicated to providing pest control solutions that are safe for your family and pets
  • We are flexible, and can work in residential, commercial and industrial properties

Talk to Pest Ex today for all your pest management and protection services – we look forward to hearing from you!



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