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BUG “BOMBS” AND “FOGGERS” ARE NOT THE ANSWER

By Chris Williams on March 15, 2018.

For decades, we have had safer, more effective, specialized pest control applications at our disposal. Even with offerings such as insect baits, crack and crevice treatments, and pheromone traps, folks still like to reach for what they know, the big guns, better known as “bug bombs.”

You might call them bug bombs or “foggers” but the correct term is total-release fogger (TRF) or total-release aerosol. Consumer-branded bug bombs are basically insecticide in a can under pressure. Easy-to-use, easy-to-buy, impressive, but effective? Not so much; in fact for some pests, bombs are a waste of time and money.

THESE PRODUCTS DON’T REACH INSECTS IN HIDING

When you set off a store-bought bomb or fogger, you get the impression that you are filling the air with insecticide that will penetrate into every nook and cranny to kill any pests hiding there. Unfortunately, that’s not quite what happens. The insecticide kills (maybe) only those pests that it directly contacts. Bug bombs can show results against insects that are out in the open, such as flies, but they don’t work well against insects that spend most of their time in hiding such as cockroaches, ants, or bed bugs. One study found that bed bugs hiding under a piece of thin cotton fabric were unaffected by an aerosol bomb set off only a few feet away. If an insect is hidden in a crack or inside a wall, or is protected in any way from the vapors, it usually survives.

FOGGER OVERUSE AND ABUSE IS COMMON

Besides the consistent lack of good results, bug bombs have a poor safety record when label directions are not followed. Many people believe that the more bombs they set off, the better, increasing their risk of overexposure. In an eight-year period from 2007-2015, the Centers for Disease Control collected data on 3,222 cases of illness attributed to improper use of insecticide foggers. Some users failed to leave the area as directed after releasing the insecticide, others returned too soon before the area had been ventilated. Four people died as a result. See Please Don’t “Bomb” Your Brains Out Using Foggers!

Probably the biggest, and most serious, risk when using aerosol foggers is explosion. We forget that some of our appliances have pilot lights and pilot lights are fire. When aerosol particles build up around gas stoves or water heaters, the pilot lights can ignite the flammable vapor. There are many sad stories about a homeowner who burned down his house in an ill-fated attempt to get rid of pests by using flammable bug bombs.

DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME! CALL A PRO

Don’t waste your money on bug bombs. Be smart and hire a professional who will do the job right the first time and with the safety of your family always in mind. At Colonial Pest, we apply insecticide products to the places where insects hide. That makes it even safer for you. The products we use continue to have an effect on new pests that enter the area or those that hatch out after treatment. Most bug bombs have no lasting effect at all, forcing you to keep purchasing more. Give Colonial a call instead!

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