How Long Do You Have to Stay Out of Your House After Pest Control?

Pest control is something a lot of households need, but there can be a lot of grey area regarding safety around the process. How long do you have to stay out of your house after pest control?


Most pest control companies advise you to stay out of your house for 2-4 hours after the treatment is done, but it will depend on the service you get that will determine the time. Some may be up to 24 hours, and for others, you will be able to stay in your house during the treatment process.


Pest control chemicals can be dangerous to breathe in, which is why it is essential to know the proper safety precautions you should be taking. This article will describe in detail how long you have to stay out of your house after pest control and what other precautions you can take when entering your house again. It will also cover some things you can do to prevent further infestation. 

It Depends on the Service

There are a few different services that pest control companies can do in your house. This will change the length of time you should stay out of the house for. The most common recommendation is to stay out of your house for 2-4 hours, but some services recommend staying out of the house for up to 24 hours.  

Some Services Don’t Require You to Leave Your House

Each company has its own way of performing pest extermination and uses different chemicals. Some services allow you to remain in the house, but just ask you to let the chemicals dry before coming into contact with any surfaces the chemicals have touched. In these cases, the chemicals will usually take 15-30 minutes to dry. Although for tick control specifically, the drying process can take up to 3 hours. 

Ask the Company How Long You Should Stay Out of Your House

The best and safest way to find your answer is to simply ask the pest exterminator. Call or email the company before you hire the service to ask how long you will need to clear the house. This way, you can adequately prepare for the service if you are required to leave for a number of hours.


It is impossible to give a one size fits all answer since many pest control companies use different chemicals. Some may be organic, some will be more toxic than others, and some may be harmless. Some will require you to leave for 2 hours, while others will need 24 hours to air out. 

Why Is It Important to Leave the House for Pest Control Services?

The way pest chemicals work is by shutting down the insects’ nervous system, which causes their body to lose function. They will eventually die of organ failure. While the chemicals are only designed to be harmful to insects, the chemicals can still be dangerous to humans, especially those with pre-existing health conditions. 


If you do have any pre-existing health concerns, you should consult with a doctor before hiring a pest exterminator. Furthermore, if you have asthma, make sure to monitor your condition before and after the pest control. Lastly, pregnant women should take extreme care when getting pest control services in their homes. Contact your doctor before getting the service to ensure safety.

Things to Do When Getting Pest Control Service

Other than waiting outside of the house for most services, there are some other precautions you can take to make sure the household stays safe, and some things you can do to prevent further pest infestation. 

Make Sure to Put All Food Away Before Pest Control

Before the exterminators spray, make sure to put any food on the counters or on the table behind a closed door or cabinet. If you happened to leave some food out by accident, throw it away after. Even if the company uses organic chemicals, you still should never risk it. 

Don’t Leave Loose Paper Out

Many kinds of insects love to feed on paper. If you want to make sure your pest control service lasts, avoid leaving any kind of loose paper around the house. This could mean open books, newspapers, letters, or a number of other things. 

Keep Animals Away From Treatment

If you have indoor pets, you will have to keep them away from the areas that the exterminator will be treating. There could be serious health issues if your dog ends up inhaling or ingesting the pest spray, so make sure to keep them out of the house as well for the treatment. 

Make Sure There Are No Leaks in Your Pipes or Taps

A very easy way for pests to get inside your home is through leaky pipes or taps. So before or after you hire a pest exterminator, make sure there are no leaks anywhere. If you do find leaks, get them fixed right away to prevent more insects from entering your house. 

Purchase a Pest Repeller Wall Plug-In

Prevention is key when you are dealing with pests. The TBI Pro Ultrasonic Pest Repeller Wall Plug-in is a great way to supplement your pest control treatment. These electromagnetic plug-ins repel mosquitos, rats, mice, ants, and cockroaches. If you live in a climate with high insect activity, investing in one of these will be worth your money. 

Wear Gloves the First Time You Touch Surfaces That Have Been Sprayed

If you are worried about the toxicity of pest control chemicals, remember to wear gloves when coming into contact with treated surfaces. This is especially important to do when you first enter your house after the pest control treatment. 

Wait the Proper Amount of Time Before You Clean Your House

Another thing to remember is to ask the exterminator how long you should wait to clean your house. Cleaning treated areas can actually make the treatment less effective. If you want to make the most of your service, try to wait at least a week before deep-cleaning your house. This will make the treatment most effective. 


Furthermore, know where the specific areas are that they sprayed. There will be places in your home that will have had a more concentrated treatment. Avoid cleaning those areas for as long as you can. 

Protect Your Own Health

As mentioned earlier, pest control chemicals can be dangerous for your health. This is why it is crucial to research different companies and hire a reliable exterminator who will follow all of the proper safety precautions. 


Furthermore, make sure to be diligent in following all of their rules before and after they leave. Make sure to stay out of the house for the proper time, open the windows after they leave, and don’t directly touch any surfaces that have been treated. If you experience any symptoms such as itchiness and burning eyes, contact your doctor immediately. 


Most pest control services recommend you stay out of the house for 2-4 hours. Although, depending on the particular service you get, the recommended time can be up to 24 hours. There are also services that allow you to stay in the house as they are spraying. In these instances, they will typically ask you not to touch anything for 15-20 minutes to let the treatment dry.


There are a few things you should do when hiring an exterminator. All food should be put away prior to the spraying, and any food left out should be thrown away after. Don’t leave any sort of paper around the house, and make sure there are no leaks in your pipes or faucets. To ensure you and the safety of your household, follow all of the safety precautions advised by the exterminator.