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When Should I Use a Bug Bomb?


Question: When Should I Use a Bug Bomb?

I've got a pest problem in my home and I don't want to hire a professional exterminator. I was thinking of using some of those bug bombs to get rid of the insects. Will this work? When should I use a bug bomb?


Bug bombs, also known as total release foggers or insect foggers, use an aerosol propellant to fill an indoor space with chemical pesticides. These products are often marketed as all-purpose extermination tools that are easy for a homeowner to use.

When should you use a bug bomb? Almost never, to be honest. Bug bombs are most effective on flying insects, such as flies or mosquitoes. They don't provide much control for cockroaches, ants, bed bugs, or other pests that most concern homeowners. So unless you live in the Amityville Horror house, you won't find a bug bomb to be of much help with your insect problem.

Consumers are fooled into using bug bombs for roaches and bed bugs because they believe the airborne pesticides will penetrate every crack and crevice where these insects hide. Quite the opposite is true. Once these hidden pests detect the chemical fog in the room, they'll retreat further into walls or other hideaways, where you'll never be able to treat them effectively.

Regardless of the targeted pest, a bug bomb should really be a pesticide of last resort, anyway. First of all, the aerosol propellants used in bug bombs are highly flammable, and pose a serious risk of fire or explosion if the product is not used properly. Second, do you really want to coat every surface in your home with toxic pesticides? When you use a bug bomb, a chemical cocktail rains down on your counters, furniture, floors, and walls, leaving behind an oily and toxic residue.

If you still feel a bug bomb is your best pest control option, be sure to read and follow all directions on the label. Take all necessary precautions to prevent accidents or health hazards. If the bug bomb treatment doesn’t work the first time, don't try it again – it's not going to work. Consult your county extension office or a pest control professional for help.

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