Jun 01, 2022

As a professional provider of bed bug treatment in Knoxville, the most common question we are asked when someone calls about a bed bug infestation is always, “why do my bed bugs keep coming back?” The answer is almost always going to be the same! Bed bugs will keep coming back because you haven’t eradicated every single bed bug in the colony, including unhatched eggs. One of the most challenging aspects of bed bug treatment in Knoxville is ensuring the entire colony is wiped out because they are so good at hiding in the smallest crevice!

Pest Control Fact! A single female bed bug can lay up to 5 eggs every day, and once hatched, which takes ten days, the new nymphs take about six weeks to reach maturity. One or two missed bed bugs can trigger a new colony in 7 or 8 weeks!

How Did Bed Bugs Get Missed During Treatment?

If you have already had bed bug treatment in Knoxville, you may wonder why some of the bed bugs or their eggs were missed, resulting in a new infestation. There are a number of reasons for that, but here are some of the most common.

  1. You Used Over-the-Counter Treatment - If you attempted bed bug treatment on your own using an over-the-counter product, then it is almost certain you won’t get all of the bed bugs hiding in your home. Apart from the fact that you will likely miss lots of potential hiding places, bed bugs have also become resistant to most insecticides over the years, so it won’t kill many of them and may have no impact on eggs.
  2. Your Pest Control Provider Didn’t Use Heat - If you booked a pest control provider to carry out bed bug treatment in Knoxville and they did anything other than thermal heat treatment, then there is a good chance that some of the bed bugs and their eggs survived. As mentioned above, bed bugs are increasingly resistant to pesticides and insecticides. That’s why at Otis Pest Control, we use thermal heat treatment to exterminate bed bugs. Bed bugs and their eggs will not survive if exposed to 113°F for extended periods of time.
  3. You Were Carrying Them - Some people get bed bugs again soon after bed bug treatment in Knoxville because they were carrying hitchhikers! If you leave your home so that your pest control technicians can treat it and grab your handbag or backpack, you could be taking some of the bugs with you. Then you will reintroduce them after the treatment when you come home! This comes as a massive surprise to many people! When you leave the property for bed bug treatment, it is highly recommended that you take the absolute minimum with you. Just your keys and phone if possible! That way, all of your bags and coats can be treated too. When you return home, you should put the clothes you were wearing straight into the dryer on high heat just in case!

What is Thermal Heat Treatment

At Otis Pest Control, we have learned over the years that thermal heat treatment is the best and most effective way to eliminate a bed bug infestation. It is also chemical-free which is always a bonus! As mentioned above, bed bugs cannot survive for long at high temperatures. At 118°F, bed bugs and eggs will die after 90 minutes of exposure. If you raise the temperature to 122°F, most of them will die instantly! During thermal heat treatment, the room is heated to somewhere in the range of 113°F to 140°F for extended periods of time, using fans to push the hot air around the room. It usually takes between 6 and 8 hours to treat your whole house.

A Word of Caution

It is important to note that while thermal heat treatment is considered to be the most effective bed bug treatment in Knoxville, it is only guaranteed to kill off the existing colony of bed bugs. Even when every single bed bug and egg is exterminated, there is always a risk of new infestations. This is because of the nature of how bed bugs enter our homes by being carried in on clothing, bags, and furniture. However, you can take some preventative steps to reduce the risk of reinfestation. Your pest control technician can offer advice when carrying out your bed bug treatment in Knoxville.


Otis Termite & Pest Control is a full-service pest control company with a focus on outstanding service. We have been serving the East Tennessee area for over 56 years and our reputation is built on prompt and effective service. We’re good at what we do and we’re fast. We do the job right the first time – and that’s an actual guarantee! 

Call 865.690.1662 or visit www.otispestcontrol.net.



Emily Moeck

"I unknowingly moved into a home that had a HUGE bed bug infestation..."Don't you worry, we are on top of this until they are gone, I promise!"... Jack was knowledgeable and honest in his assessment of my house/treatment methods. Thank you, Jack and Rocky and the whole Otis team! My home is home again!"


Joshua Weaver

"Prompt responses and appointment times. Very friendly and knowledgeable. Straight forward service without any "pushing" for extras."


Charlotte Bishop

"These guys were super helpful and kind. Jack thoroughly explained every procedure and made what could have been a horrible situation much more bearable. I definitely recommend them!"


Tamie Ridenour

"Excellent service and staff!! They were at my house the same day I called, for New construction pre-treatment!"


Cathy Amos

"Highly recommend! Jack and Rocky are great! You've got a business and highest recommendation! Great people to work with!"

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