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Can You Use Bug Bombs for a Pest Infestation?

September 21, 2019

Today, we’re talking about total insect foggers, or home insect foggers (aka “bug bombs”). Thanks to the rise in bed bug infestations in Cincinnati and the rest of the country, bug bombs are exploding in popularity.

But are they really effective against bed bugs, or other pests? Should you use them?

Keep reading to find out.

What “Bug Bombs” Actually Are

Before we talk about whether or not you should use total release foggers, we need to define what they are, exactly.

A total release fogger is a device that contains a pesticide that is released as a fine, aerosolized mist. Most total release foggers are made to be set in the middle of the room (on a chair or table) and activated. When activated, the pesticide mist is released upward, then this “fog” settles onto any exposed surfaces in the home—like floors, the tops of furniture, chairs, countertops, etc.

It’s important to emphasize that bug bombs work on exposed surfaces. To be clear, that means the pesticides in bug bombs will not go deep into cracks and crevices or penetrate furniture or walls. As a result, bug bombs have some pretty significant limitations, which we’ll talk about next.

The Limitations of Bug Bombs

Bug bombs have a lot of limitations, so you should know what they can—and can’t—do before using them.

Hiding Pests, Surviving Pests

If you know anything about pests, you’re probably already aware that they like to hide. Cockroaches hide under floorboards, and bed bugs hide in mattresses and furniture—just to name a few. These pests are not going to make it easy for you to get rid of them.

What does this mean for bug bombs?

Well, it means that bug bombs are not effective for all pests. Some pests—like bed bugs and cockroaches—will not be eliminated from bug bomb treatment alone, because the pests are hidden and not sitting out on exposed surfaces. This allows the pest infestation to continue.

Making a Bad Thing Worse

The pesticides in insect foggers are not always lethal to all pests. Again, if some pests survive, of course, the infestation continues.

In addition, in some cases, a bug bomb can actually make things worse by acting as a repellent. That means the pests in your home are driven out of the center of the room (where foggers are typically placed) to hide deeper in your home. They might move to other rooms or further inside walls and other hard-to-reach areas. This makes it even more difficult to treat them!

We recommend asking a qualified pest control professional for their advice if you are thinking of using an insect fogger. They can tell you whether or not the bug bomb will work—so you don’t waste your time or money on a pointless treatment! You can also look at reputable pest control companies’ websites and educational resources online to learn more about insect foggers and which pests they kill.

The Hazards of Bug Bombs

If you’re thinking of using a bug bomb in your home, you need to know more than just the limitations—you need to know the potential hazards, also.

Bug bombs can be a useful treatment when used appropriately—and a dangerous hazard when used inappropriately.

Risking Health Problems

Improper use of bug bombs can cause health problems, like respiratory or skin ailments. People with asthma should especially take care not to breathe in the fogger’s mist.

Unfortunately, health problems happen often when homeowners don’t follow all bug bomb instructions to the letter. For example, some homeowners have forgotten to remove food, utensils, and cookware from the area (then used that cookware). Others have stayed in the area while the fogger is activated or returned too soon after using a fogger. All of these mistakes can potentially make you sick.

Foggers and Fire Don’t Mix

Bug bombs can cause fires and even explosions when misused. That’s because the pesticides inside can be flammable.

Many homeowners have set fire to and caused explosions in their homes after forgetting to extinguish the pilot lights on stoves, furnaces, and other appliances when using a fogger. Some homeowners have also caused fires or explosions by using a fogger while smoking.

Too Much of a Good Thing

When it comes to insect foggers, too much of a good thing can become a very, very bad thing. But some homeowners don’t realize this, thinking that if one fogger is good, two or more must be better!

Bug bombs are designed to be used in a specific way—with specific calculations for the number of bug bombs to be used based on room size. Do not go over the recommend number! Using too many bug bombs can increase the amount of flammable vapors in the air—increasing the risk of fire and explosion—and cause adverse health effects.

What Else Can You Do to Get Rid of Pests?

If you’re not sure about bug bombs after reading this, don’t worry: there are many other pest control options available to you! Depending on the pest in your home, you might consider traps, targeted pesticide applications, or heat treatment (among others).

We recommend reading our blog for some great tips on dealing with the pests in your home. And of course, if you have any questions or need a professional’s help, we’re here for you.

Contact Us Today

Contact Scherzinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-888-681-1925 or through our websiteFacebook, or Twitter.

Authored By: Eric Scherzinger

Quality ProNational Pest Management AssociationOPMABetter Business Bureau Angies List Super Service Award

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