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Many of our Modesto clients ask us for advice on what to do after pest control sprays. The biggest questions are usually when to clean, what to clean, is our food safe to eat, and are our children and pets going to be okay. In this post, we’ll cover everything to do both before and after a Modesto pest control treatment. 

Let’s get started! 

What to do before a pest control treatment

What you do before the pest treatment will depend to a certain extent on what we’re treating. For example, bed bugs vs rodents. However, there are a few things you can do regardless of the pest that’s being treated. 

cleaning before pest control treatment

Give us access

Take the time to move all of your furniture a few feet away from the walls so your pest control technician can see the walls and access all baseboards. This allows them to quickly spray your home without the extra time of moving things around. It also provides them a clear view of your walls. There may be chew marks from rodents, an insect nest, or other signs of an infestation that would otherwise be hidden. This also keeps your stuff away from the chemicals being used and protects them from pesticides. 

Clothing preparations

If you’re being treated for bed bugs, there are specific steps to take that differs from other treatments. Since they’re very small, hard to kill, and can hide anywhere you want to place all clothing and sheets in tightly tied plastic bags. Then wash them with very hot water and dry with high heat. Then place them back in plastic bags, well tied, and keep them away from everything else. There are several other steps so talk to a pro before doing anything if you’re suffering from a bed bug infestation. 

For all other treatments, you still want to bag your clothing and put plastic over your toiletries, jewelry, makeup, etc. and seal them with masking tape since it absorbs the chemicals. You also want to cover sofas, chairs, pillows, mattresses, etc. with plastic if possible. If you’re dealing with termites and need fumigation, you may need to empty all wooden furniture and bag all food in special bags we will provide you with. 

Kitchen preparations 

When spraying the kitchen or treating it for termites there are a few things to do here. Take out your trash so there’s nothing hiding in there. You also want to clear off your counters and, in the case of fumigation, place all silverware, food, etc. in well-sealed bags (we’ll give them to you). 

You also want to move small appliances out of the kitchen or cover them with plastic, cover your water filter, make sure nothing that could be contaminated is exposed. 

Pictures and paintings

In the vast majority of treatments, you don’t have to worry about things on the walls because we spray around the base of your home. However, if your homes being fumigated or treated for bed bugs, you’ll want to cover these items in plastic or remove them from the home. In the case of bed bugs, it’s best to let your pest control tech remove these items since they could have bed bugs and removing them would only cause an infestation in another part of your house. 

Everything else 

Perform a general review of your home and make sure that nothing is leaning against the walls, that your valuables are wrapped or removed from the home, that your silverware, food, etc. are all safe. Your technician isn’t going to spray your silverware or food but we do these things as a precaution. In the case of fumigation, everything has to be wrapped for the obvious reason that it’s a gas that permeates 100% of your home. 

You also want to make sure that your pets are not roaming around during pest treatments. In the case of fumigation, they should be removed from the home. With any other treatment, they should be kenneled until the sprays dry. We offer green pest control treatments that are not harmful to pets or children so if you go this route, we still ask that you keep your pets kenneled but the solutions are harmless to them. 

What to do after a pest control treatment 

After your pest control treatment, there are a few things to do now that your home’s pest free and back to normal. 

woman mopping her floor after a pest control spray

Let it dry

Before you do any cleaning or touching treated areas, give it some time to dry. Typically it takes only a few hours in the Modesto, CA climate but we say to give it at least 24 hours. This prevents you from wiping off any of the solutions or getting it on your skin. Also, keep pets and children away from these areas. Once its fully dry, the chemicals aren’t easily absorbed into your hands or your pet’s paws. 

Get rid of food that wasn’t wrapped and wipe down cans

If you had a fumigation treatment, get rid of any food that was left unwrapped. In the case of cans, you can simply wipe them down with a clean rag to remove anything from the outside. 

Don’t clean right away 

After the solutions have dried you can clean. Before this time though, we advise you to wait since you may end up removing the solution and therefore breaking the invisible barrier that was just placed around your home. 

Repair the issues 

Often times pests enter your home through cracks, breed in standing water, hang near leaky pipes, etc. Your pest control tech can tell you what’s causing the issue so after the treatment you want to install door sweeps, patch cracks, fix leaky pipes, etc. to prevent a recurrence of the pest problem. 

Keep checking for pests 

You may see bugs coming out of their hiding places and dying. This is a normal part of the process. Often the critters have been hiding in the walls and other places that are out of sight. But we just made those environments uninhabitable to them so they’ll come out to die. You can just sweep them up and dispose of them. 

Continue monitoring for pests over the coming weeks though. If you still see signs of pests, give us or your local pest control company a call so they can come and resolve the issue. 


The above are just a few of the primary things to do after pest control sprays and fumigations. For more specific answers, give us a call at Modesto Pest Control and we can advise you on how to prepare for your specific treatment (assuming you live in the Central Valley). Otherwise, call your local company like our Woodland Hills pest control friends and they’ll be able to help you out.