How Long Does It Take To Get Rid Of Bugs?

Some bugs can spread disease and some devour wood, but regardless of the type of bug you want to eliminate them fast.

This article may contain affiliate links where we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

Some bugs can spread disease and some devour wood, but regardless of the type of bug you want to eliminate them fast.

The amount of time it takes to get rid of bugs depends on the type of bug you are dealing with, the method of extermination, and the severity of infestation. Typically it will take anywhere between a few days and a few weeks to completely eliminate an infestation.

Since different bugs require different types of extermination, it is important to look at your specific type of pest to see how to get rid of them and how long it will take. This table gives approximate time frames to get rid of certain bugs that may be causing you problems.

Table of Contents


Roaches are gross. They are also an extremely common house pest that can contaminate your home. Sometimes they carry microbes that can make you sick. Let’s face it, you want to get rid of every last cockroach and you want to do it fast.

Cockroaches congregate around food, water, and shelter. To prevent future infestations, it is important to clean up food often. Also, unwashed dishes and utensils should never sit overnight when roaches are the most active.

Once you have a roach infestation, the best way to get rid of them is with insecticide. It works best if you can find the places that harbor cockroaches.

Many people wonder what type of pesticide to use. You have a few options:

  • Spray
  • Dust
  • Bait
  • Foggers


Sprays work well if you use them correctly. Unfortunately, most people just spray down countertops or individual roaches and expect it to work.

Instead, you need to spray insecticide in areas where the roaches spend more time since it can remain on a surface and still be effective for a few weeks. Roaches die quickly with spray and usually succumb within 30-120 seconds. For large infestations, you should use bait in addition to bug spray.


There are a couple different types of dusts and powders that you can use against the roaches in your home. The most common are boric acid and diatomaceous earth. Out of these two, boric acid tends to work better.

There are a number of different insecticides made with boric acid. When roaches crawl over a table, counter, or any area that is treated with boric acid, they get the poison on them and die. When you apply it, don’t use too much because then the roaches will walk around it instead of through it.

You should apply insecticide around the dishwasher, cabinet corners, behind and under the refrigerator, and underneath sinks. You do need to be careful to not apply boric acid anywhere that food is prepared.

When roaches come into contact with boric acid, they die in around 72 hours. If you have an infestation, you can expect to see a reduction in numbers in a week or two, but it could take up to 4 weeks to completely eradicate the pests.


Baits contain a slower acting poison, along with an attractant, to kill roaches. Because of this, it may take a little longer to get rid of the roaches than with other methods. Roaches will find the bait, eat it, and then have time to crawl away before dying.

There are a couple different types of baits for you to choose from. There are plastic pre-made bait stations that are the most popular. There are also gel baits that require you to inject bait into smaller spaces with a syringe. This can be effective because you can insert the gel into cracks and hiding places.

With bait, the poison should begin the kill roaches fairly quickly. This initial reduction in the infestation will be achieved in a day or two. However, eradication will take 7-10 days for a smaller infestation and a few weeks for a larger infestation.


Despite their popularity, foggers are not an effective treatment for roach infestation. In fact, using a fogger can actually cause the bugs to hide or relocate into other areas of your home since it acts as a repellent.

Foggers can also project poison onto food or areas where you prepare food. In addition, bug bombs are a potential fire hazard.

Bed Bugs

As the name suggests, bed bugs often hide out in our beds and sheets. They also tend to find refuge in clothes, couches, and luggage.

The first step to getting rid of them is to clean all of your sheets and bedding, as well as curtains and clothes, in hot water. Then, dry them with the hottest dryer setting you have available.

You should also vacuum the bed and any areas around it. Then, it is important to put the vacuum cleaner bag into a tightly closed trash bag and immediately place it outside so that the bugs don’t migrate back into your home. Sometimes it is necessary to replace your entire mattress if the infestation is severe enough.

In addition to these steps, it is entirely likely that you will also have to use insecticide treatments to eliminate the bed bugs from your home. It is always important to use chemicals that are safe for humans since we spend every night lying on the bed that needs to be treated.

You can choose spray or dust insecticide, but the process and timeframe are essentially the same. Using both spray and dust can sometimes be more effective than one or the other.

It is important to treat all areas around the bed in addition to the bed itself because the bugs tend to travel short distances. 95% of the bed bug infestation will  be within 5 to 6 feet of the bed, but you don’t want additional bugs that are farther away laying eggs.

Another option is steam treatment. A steam cleaner can reach a high enough temperature to kill bed bugs. Just make sure it reaches a minimum of 130 degrees fahrenheit so that it doesn’t just cause the bed bugs to run away.

The treatments will kill the bed bugs very quickly, usually within 2 hours. However, insecticides do not kill the eggs which take around 2 weeks to hatch. Therefore, depending on when the eggs hatch, you will need to treat the bed and room at least two times. This means it can take 3-4 weeks to completely eradicate the infestation.


Since termites can significantly damage your home, it is important to get rid of them as fast as possible. It is often necessary to hire an exterminator for termites, but there are some things you can do as well.

In addition to this spray, there are a few more treatment options including:

  • Foam
  • Termiticide
  • Bait
  • Foggers


Foam is very effective for eliminating termites because you can use it on both the interior and exterior of your home. It is easily spread from one termite to another and starts to work immediately.

Since termites can transfer it, they can take it back to the termite colony. This can successfully eradicate every last termite from your home.

The downside to foam is that it does not prevent future termite infestations. Just be sure to take necessary steps to prevent termites from entering your home before and after using foam termite products. With foam it can take 30-60 days to eradicate all the living termites.


Professional grade termiticide may be available to you depending on where you live. This poison is effective and termites even spread it to one another. It is good to use it to treat the soil and exterior of your home. Some products can even treat the wood itself to keep termites away.

Termiticide begins to work quickly and you can even eradicate a small infestation in 1-2 weeks. This is the best option for quick extermination and prevention.


Baits work very well, especially when used in conjunction with foam, foggers, or termiticides. It can take a few days until bait even begins to work and probably will not eradicate an entire termite infestation unless you also use other products.

With bait, you can expect significant reduction, or even elimination, in 1-3 months.


Even though foggers kill all of the termites that it reaches, it does very little to prevent them from returning. In addition, if any are missed by the aerosol insecticide, they can reinfest the house. It may be good to use a fogger to reduce the amount of damage the termites are causing, but you should combine it with other treatment options as well.


Ants are common and can invade a home rather quickly. Sometimes the ants are coming from a nest that is outside, while other times they build a nest inside your home. It is important to eradicate the entire colony to eliminate your ant problem

There are several tried and true methods for getting rid of ants. Some options include:

  • Bait
  • Spray
  • Granules


Bait is very effective for ants because they work hard and bring the bait back to their nest. In addition, they leave a pheromone trail that leads other ants to the bait

There are a variety of different ant baits on the market and they only take 1 to 2 days to kill an infected ant. This gives the ant enough time to get back to the nest, but it also works rather quickly. You can also use types of baits inside and outside the home.

With baits you can expect to kill off the colony in 1-2 weeks, but it can take longer for a severe infestation with multiple nests.  


Spray is very effective in killing some ants, but doesn’t destroy an entire colony. If you want to eliminate ants from a specific area of your home, spray them down and wipe away their trail. This will eliminate the smell of the pheromones so that more ants do not come back immediately.

Spray can also be used as a preventative measure by spraying it around access points all around the perimeter of the home. It is a good idea to use spray to reduce the infestation size and prevent further infestations. This is especially effective when combining spray with bait or granules.


Granules are very effective for prevention and eradication. They can be applied around the house so that ants stop looking for other food sources. This can prevent them from entering your home in the first place.

If you can locate the ants’ nest, then granules are a very effective way of poisoning it without disrupting them. Just sprinkle them on and around the nest and they will take notice. Once they are poisoned, it is only a matter of time until they begin to die off.

Granules are taken back to the nest so it can completely eliminate the infestation. This often takes some time, but you can usually see a reduction in ants within a couple of days. It may take up to a month to get rid of a bad infestation.

Recent Articles

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Thank you! You're signed up for our free newsletter!

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form