How Do Bed Bug Foggers Work


Bed Bugs

Should I Use a Fogger?

While we can’t tell you whether or not to use a fogger, we can explain some things about foggers and how to use them safely to help you decide.

We register all pesticides to ensure they are safe to use, presuming you follow the label directions. This includes foggers (the full name is "total release foggers," to distinguish them from pesticide application equipment that is designed to emit a fog-like pesticide spray, but is under the control of the user).

When and How to Use a Fogger

To use a total release fogger, you place the canister in an appropriate location, activate it, and leave the room (perhaps even leave the building if directed by the label).

Total release foggers are approved for use against a variety of indoor pests, including bed bugs. Not all foggers are labeled for use against bed bugs, so you need to read the label before purchasing a fogger to ensure you are getting one that lists bed bugs on the label.

Effectiveness of Foggers

Questions have been raised about the effectiveness of total release foggers against bed bugs. Bed bugs often hide, especially during the day. Foggers should not be used as the sole source of bed bug control. The pesticides used in total release foggers must contact the pest to kill it. If the material does not reach the cracks and crevices where bed bugs are hiding, they will not be killed.

Fogger Safety Tips and Videos

If you are considering using a fogger:

  • Read the label before purchasing it to be sure to buy a product registered for use against bed bugs.
  • Read the label before using the product, to ensure you use it correctly.
  • Only use the number of foggers required for your space. More is not better and too much could cause an explosion.
  • Turn off pilot lights and unplug appliances to reduce the potential for an explosion.
  • Leave the room or the building as directed by the label and don’t return until the amount of time listed on the label has passed.
  • View our videos on fogger safety for some tips.
  • Bedbug Treatments: Facts and Myths

    What works and what doesn’t to get rid of a bedbug infestation?

    • B.A., Political Science, Rutgers University

    Bedbugs aren’t easy to get rid of, and in desperation, you might be tempted to try the first remedy you read about online. Unfortunately, many of these methods are ineffective—and some can even be dangerous. If you ever find yourself in a battle with these pesky varmints, make sure to separate fact from fiction before you fight back. Knowing what works and what doesn’t will save you time, money, and aggravation.

    Fact: You’ll Need to Call Pest Control

    The most effective means of getting rid of bedbugs is to call in a trained professional and have them apply a pesticide. Many pros also recommend giving your home a thorough cleaning because bedbugs can hide anywhere and pesticides can’t be applied to everything you own. You’ll need to get rid of clutter and launder anything washable in hot water. You may also need to steam-clean your carpets and furniture.

    Fact: Pesticides Don’t Always Work

    Bugs can develop resistance to pesticides over time, especially if they’re overapplied. Chemicals, such as deltamethrin, that were once commonly used to combat certain pests are no longer effective. According to research from 2017, bedbugs may be developing resistance to pyrethrums, the most common chemical used to combat them.

    Fact: You May Not Have to Toss Your Furniture

    If the infestation is caught early, a professional pest control application and diligent cleaning should remove these critters from your furniture. More severe infestations are another matter. If your mattress is torn or separated at the seams, bedbugs have likely moved inside, making treatment near impossible. In such circumstances, replacement may be your only option.

    Fact: Mattress Covers Work

    A number of companies make bedbug resistant mattress covers that form an impenetrable barrier around the exterior of your mattress. If you’ve had your home treated for a bedbug infestation, using a mattress cover can prevent any remaining bugs in your mattress from getting out and biting you.

    Myth: You Can Kill Bedbugs With Bug Bombs

    Bug bombs, or total room foggers, release a pesticide into the air in your home. Most bug bombs contain pyrethrin, one of the chemicals used to combat bedbugs, so you might think this product is an effective way to eliminate an infestation. Not so.

    First of all, bedbugs (and other crawling insects) typically flee when pesticide is released, heading for cover in the deepest, most inaccessible crevices of your home. Second, effective treatment requires directed applications in all the places where bedbugs hide: behind moldings and casements, inside electrical boxes, or inside mattresses, for example. Chemicals released by a bomb simply can’t reach such places adequately to kill all the bedbugs in your home.

    Myth: Bedbug Sniffing Dogs are Highly Effective

    While companies that use bug-sniffing dogs may claim a success rate of over 90%, the truth is, there hasn’t been a lot of testing to see if these claims are true. (And at between $500 and $1,000 for their services, that’s an expensive "maybe it works and maybe it doesn’t.") In 2011, two researchers at Rutgers University did put some bedbug-sniffing dogs through their paces in real apartment buildings, and the results were nowhere near as effective as advertised. The accuracy of the dogs’ detecting abilities averaged just 43%.

    Myth: You Can Kill Bedbugs by Turning Up The Heat

    Heat treatments do kill bed bugs effectively, but simply turning up your thermostat isnota heat treatment. To roast bedbugs in your home, you’d have to heat the entire house evenly to over 120° F for at least an hour (including the voids between interior and exterior walls and the insides of your furniture). No home heating system is designed to do that. Professional heat treatments usually involve sealing your home and using multiple heat sources throughout the house to raise the temperature.

    Myth: You Can Kill Bedbugs by Turing Off The Heat

    Temperatures below 32° F can and do kill bed bugs outside of the home—if temperatures remain below freezing for a prolonged period of time. but who wants to live in a freezing house? Moving out for the two to three months that it would take to starve bed bugs of their source of food (you) is equally impractical.

    When to Use a Bug Bomb to Control Pests

    Debbie Hadley/Getty Images

    • B.A., Political Science, Rutgers University

    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.

    But is a bug bomb always the right choice when confronted with a home pest problem? Learn when to use a bug bomb—and when you shouldn’t.

    Bug Bombs Work Best on Flying Insects

    Bug bombs are most effective on flying insects, such as flies or mosquitoes. They don’t provide much control at all 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 often 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, though. 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.

    Got Bed Bugs? Don’t Bother With a Bug Bomb

    Are you battling bed bugs? Entomologists at The Ohio State University say not to bother using a bug bomb. Their 2012 study showed bug bomb products to be ineffective for treating bed bug infestations.

    The researchers studied three brands of insect foggers that list pyrethroids as their active ingredient. They used five different bedbug populations collected from Ohio homes as their variables and a laboratory-raised bed bug strain known as Harlan as their control. The Harlan bed bug population is known to be susceptible to pyrethroids. They conducted the experiment in a vacant office building on campus.

    The OSU entomologists found that the insect foggers had little adverse effect on the five bed bug populations collected from the field. In other words, the bug bombs were virtually useless on the bed bugs that are actually living in people’s homes. Just one strain of the field-collected bed bugs succumbed to the pyrethroid foggers, but that was only when those bed bugs were out in the open and directly exposed to the insecticide mist. The foggers did not kill bed bugs that were hiding, even when they were only protected by a thin layer of cloth. In fact, even the Harlan strain—bed bugs that are known to be susceptible to pyrethroids—survived when they could take shelter under a piece of cloth.

    The bottom line is this: If you have bed bugs, save your money for a professional exterminator, and don’t waste your time using bug bombs. Using ineffective pesticides inappropriately only contributes to pesticide resistance, and it won’t solve your problem.

    Bug Bombs Can Be Hazardous

    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 used improperly. 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 option for pest control, be sure to read and follow all directions on the label. Remember that when it comes to pesticide use, the label is the law! 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.

    Is Using a Fogger to Kill Bed Bugs a Good Choice?

    Y ou’re waking up with itchy red bites in clusters on your body. Your bedding has dried blood spots and little black spots on it. You realize with horror that bed bugs have moved in. You immediately make a trip to the nearest store and look for something to kill them. There are several brands, all promising to eradicate your bed bug infestation. Which ones keep that promise? Which products work the best? The shelves contain dusts, sprays, and a bed bug fogger. You don’t want to spend another night getting bitten, and a fogger seems to be a good choice. Keep reading. We have helpful tips for you.

    Table of Contents

    Are Bed Bug Foggers Effective?

    If you decide to eliminate your bed bug problem yourself rather than calling an exterminator, you have a big job ahead of you. Bed bugs are crafty little creeps, and most people consider them the most difficult pest there is to eradicate.

    You have a variety of products and brands to choose from. A bed bug fogger is the first choice for some people. Foggers are also known as fumigators. Another name is bed bug bomb, and you can learn more about them here.

    All of the products contain a pesticide or insecticide. Bed bugs have munched on humans for as long as humans have existed. People have used everything they can think of to kill them. One of the earliest bed bug killers was pyrethrin, which was extracted from a plant.

    Pyrethroid Is the New Pyrethrin

    Today, many bed bug killers contain pyrethroids. Pyrethroids are chemical synthetics that imitate pyrethrin. Bed bugs, and other pests, have become resistant to the first versions of pyrethroids. New formulations come on the market frequently.

    You can tell if your product contains a pyrethroid, because the last part of the toxic ingredient will end in “thrin.”

    Examples are:

    • Bifenthrin,
    • Cypermethrin,
    • Deltamethrin,
    • Permethrin.

    Not all pests are resistant to all formulations. If the bugs seem to be coming in from the outside, you can learn more in this article about using Tempo SC Ultra for Bed Bugs outdoors.

    Like all pesticides or insecticides, bed bug products must be used with care. They kill bugs by disrupting their nervous systems. Minimal exposure is usually harmless to humans and animals, but pyrethroids are used in far more products than the general public realizes. Limit your exposure as much as possible, and avoid all pyrethroids if you’re pregnant.

    How Do I Use Foggers

    They are easy to use. You simply place the fogger in the room, activate it, and leave. The instructions will tell you how big a room the fogger will treat so that you will know if you need more than one canister.

    The instructions also advise you on how long you need to be out of the room, and how far away you need to be. Most products tell you to turn off pilot lights and disconnect any appliances to avoid potential explosions.

    Do They Have Good Reviews?

    Bed bug foggers tend to have poor reviews. That’s often a result of not following the manufacturer’s instructions exactly. The foggers often must be used in conjunction with other eradication products. They are rarely effective if used alone.

    Many people envision a bed bug fogger as releasing a mist that will penetrate into every crack, crevice, or corner where bed bugs hide. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Foggers release a mist into the air, which settles on whatever it touches.

    Bed bugs hide during the day. They can squeeze their flat little bodies into tiny places that foggers can’t reach. Bedbugs have to come into physical contact with most poisons before they die. The fogger mist has to actually land on a bed bug to kill it. You can try to do the fogging at night when they’re out, but any light you need will send them scuttling to their hiding places.

    Bed bug foggers may not be effective because:

    1. They can’t get into the places where bed bugs hide.
    2. The insecticides used in them only kill on contact.
    3. Consumer products contain small amounts of insecticides.

    Exterminators use products with high concentrations of insecticides that kill on contact and also leave a residue that can kill days later.

    How Effective Is Hot Shot?

    Hot Shot makes a complete line of bed bug eradication products. Two that are often used together are their bed bug spray and fogger. The spray efficiently gets in the crevices where the bed bugs hide, where they are killed on contact.

    Hot Shot Bed Bug Fogger is made with a different pesticide than what’s in the spray. It will kill any bugs that either escaped the spray or were resistant to it.

    The fogger releases the insecticide into the air in your room. Although the insecticide isn’t as strong as what’s in the spray, it is still toxic and it can cause a breathing problem. It’s essential that you wear a mask while using it and leave the room afterward.

    Does Hot Shot Kill Bed Bugs?

    Like all aerosol foggers, Hot Shot kills bed bugs on contact. The mist it emits settles on whatever is in the room, rather than penetrating behind or under baseboards or bed frames. Bed bugs that are deeply hidden are able to escape the toxic mist.

    Unless you can completely seal off a room before using the fogger, you will also probably need to place a fogger in each room. That keeps the bugs from escaping the insecticide in one room by running into another room.

    Hot Shot has detailed instructions for use on the label. You must read and follow those carefully, both for your safety and to ensure that the fogger is effective. Hot Shot has a reputation for excellent customer service and maintains a toll-free line for consumers needing advice or help.

    What Do Reviewers Say?

    Hundreds of consumers have used Hot Shot. Those who have posted positive reviews emphasize following the instructions to the letter.

    It’s also important to understand the life cycle of bed bugs because the fogger does not kill the eggs. You need more than one treatment to kill the new generation after the eggs hatch. Reviewers that complained that they had bed bugs again a few days after treatment hadn’t understood the necessity of repeat treatments.

    Consumers report that the fogger is affordably priced. Some find that the odor is unpleasant, and others say they didn’t notice a lingering odor.

    What Do I Need to Know About Raid

    Raid Max® Concentrated DEEP REACH™ Fogger promises to kill bugs on contact and with residual action. The label doesn’t specifically mention bed bugs, but the fogger contains cypermethrin, which is known to kill bed bugs.

    The instructions emphasize the following:

    • Don’t use in an area smaller than 5′ by 5′.
    • Don’t use more than one fogger per room.
    • Turn off fans, air conditioners, and pilot lights.
    • Close windows and doors.

    You will also need to leave the area for at least four hours.

    Does Raid Work?

    Like most foggers, Raid is most effective when used in conjunction with their bed bug spray. In their reviews, consumers have noted that Raid works well when used according to the directions. Others mention that the fogger works fine one year, but is less effective in succeeding years. That is an indication that the bed bugs have become resistant to the insecticide.

    Raid Bed Bug Spray is formulated with different insecticides than used in their fogger. The spray will kill adults as well as the eggs. If you use the spray first, you’ll eradicate a significant part of the bed bug population. Follow the spray with the fogger to eliminate the remaining population.

    The Best Available From Home Depot

    Home Depot features Hot Shot Bed Bug Fogger. As well as the fogger, Home Depot carries a full line of Hot Shot bed bug killer products. The eradication process sometimes requires more than one product to ensure success. It’s safer to use products made by the same company rather than mixing brands.

    If you want to try other brands, Home Depot also offers:

    • Black Flag,
    • Harris Bed Bug Kit,
    • Raid Bed Bug Fogger,
    • Real Kill Indoor Bed Bug Fogger,
    • Spectricide.

    Not all products are available in all stores. Some states don’t allow certain products within their border.

    Home Depot also has bed bug interceptors, traps, and dusts. Lethal dusts usually contain diatomaceous earth for bed bugs, which is described in this article.

    I Want the Best Fogger for Bed Bugs

    You can choose from a variety of products made by different companies, all designed to kill bed bugs. The reason for this is that bed bugs go through six cycles of growth before they become adults.

    Different insecticides are required for the three main cycles, which are:

    • Eggs,
    • Nymphs (Juveniles),
    • Adults.

    The eggs mature into fertile adults in 45 to 60 days.

    Life Cycle of the Bed Bug

    Because bed bugs often become resistant to insecticides, you may have to experiment with various brands of bed bug foggers before you find one that is effective. There isn’t a particular brand that is the best fogger for every bed bug infestation. The best brand is the one that quickly and efficiently kills every single one of the repulsive little bugs that invaded your home.

    You don’t have to live with bed bugs. Used correctly, bed bug foggers will help you eradicate the pests. Just be sure to use the fogger more than once, so that you kill any bugs that hatch after each treatment.

    You can find further details of Bed Bugs Control here.

    About Inga Cryton

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    The 6 Best Bed Bug Fogger of 2019

    Bed bugs are insects whose main diet is human blood. They are known human parasites that usually come out at night, thus the name. Their bites can have lots of adverse effects like allergic symptoms, psychological effects, disturbed sleep, and skin rashes. The bites can even form prominent blisters that, in some cases, may even cause pain. Itchiness is also a common symptom of the bite, while some people may get a fever or feel fatigued.

    They have two main primary species called the Cimexhemipterus and the more common Cimexlectularius. They are really small insects of about 1 to 7 mm in length. They spread throughout the home by crawling between nearby places or being carried along with personal items. Bed bugs are common in high-density areas where they are able to spread more quickly. They spend most of their lives hidden in locations like the cracks of the wall or the seams of the mattress.

    Eliminating bed bugs can be quite difficult since they can survive up to a year without any need for feeding. There are various treatments that people all over the globe employ to get rid of bedbugs. However, in order to truly get rid of them, it is important to choose a highly effective method like the best bed bug bomb or fogger so that you can stop a bedbug infestation right in its tracks!

    Table of Contents

    How to Identify Bed Bugs?

    Bed bugs are really small, which is why they mostly travel undetected. They can travel through couches, beds, clothing, luggage, or any other personal belongings. They have really flat bodies that make it really easy for them to fit into small spaces, even if it is a width of the credit card. The insects don’t form nests like bees or ants but rather just live in groups in dark, hidden places. If you are looking to identify it, you need to look in headboards, mattresses, bed frames, and box springs. These places give them ready access to people to bite in the night.

    Bed Bugs close up

    It is best to find the bed bug infestation as early as possible so that you can remove them with the best bed bug bomb. Treating a minor infestation is easier and less costly than treating an infestation that has spread across the home.

    However, it can be really hard for homeowners to find low-level infestations since they are so conspicuous. It can be challenging to find and identify it correctly. Some people can also mistake the bed bugs for other insects like carpet beetles. If you mistakenly identify the wrong bugs as a bed bug infestation, it will give the real bugs more time to spread through your home. You may even waste your best bed bug bomb in the wrong places.

    Most people rely on the bites on the skin to indicate whether you have a bed bug infestation or not. However, bed bugs bites can look a lot like other bites from chiggers or mosquitoes. Even rashes and hives can be from allergies, eczema, or fungal infections. Some people do not even get reactions to bug bites at all. This is why it is harder to identify a bed bug infestation with bites.

    A more accurate way to locate bed bugs is by looking for possible physical signs for bed bugs. When you are changing your bedding or cleaning, you should look for:

    • Reddish or rusty stains on mattresses or bed sheets that may appear when bed bugs get crushed during the night.
    • Dark, small spots where a bed bug may have bled or excreted in the beddings.
    • Really small (about 1mm) eggshells and eggs from bed bugs. You may even find small pale yellow skins that a nymph shed when as they began to grow bigger.
    • Live bed bugs

    Bed bugs can hide in all sorts of places where you may need to use your best bed bug fogger on them. If severe enough, it can include all the locations below:

    • Around piping, tags, and seams of the mattress
    • In the cracks of the headboard and bed frame
    • In the folds of the curtains
    • Between on in cushions
    • In the seams of couches and chairs
    • In drawer joints
    • In appliances and electrical receptacles
    • Under wall hangings or loose wallpaper
    • In the junctions where the ceiling and the wall meet
    • In the heads of screws

    When and How to Use The Best Bed Bug Fogger?

    Once you have a successfully identified that you have an infestation of bedbugs, you can employ a DIY project to get rid of them. Most people recommend that you find the best bed bug fogger in the market and use it in your home to get rid of the irritating bed bugs in your home.

    There are some foggers that don’t work on bed bugs, which is why you will have to find the best bed bug fogger in your local area before you purchase it. Read the label to see if it will get rid of the bed bugs for you. If you have bought a total release fogger then you will need to place the canister in the best place possible. Do make sure that it is near the infestation and will cover the entire infected area. Read the instruction carefully on how far you have to be from the best bed bug fogger when you activate it. Activate it carefully and promptly leave the room or building as per the instruction.

    The Effectiveness of Best Bed Bug Foggers

    Foggers are a really great option for those homeowners who don’t want to call an expensive pest control company for their home. If the infestation isn’t severe and you find the best bed bug fogger in the market, then it can be a really effective tool to get rid of the bugs once and for all. You will have to make sure that you find a bed bug bomb that will reach all the cracks and crevices that the insect could be hiding in.

    Best Bed Bug Foggers

    There are some easily available best bed bug foggers that you can use at home very easily. They are a cost-effective way to get rid of the bed bugs in your home.

    1. Hot Shot 95911 Bedbug and Flea Fogger

    The Hot Shot 95911 is one of the best bed bug foggers in the market and it can also get rid of lice, fleas, ticks, and other small insects. It can inhibit re-infestation for a long time, ensuring that you won’t have to suffer through bites during the night while sleeping. This best bed bug bomb should be used in closed spaces where bed bugs may have developed like bedrooms, apartments, attics, basements, cabins, condos, homes, kitchens, garages, and other closed spaces. They can treat up to 2,000 cubic feet of unobstructed spaces.

    Here are some bed bug fogger reviews that you should read before you make the decision to buy this product:

    “My mobile house was full of these tiny creepy crawlies. Finally, I got disgusted and ordered a dozen of these and let them all loose in my 1000 sqft home. I returned after a few days and cleaned and vacuumed the entire place. I didn’t notice any live insects crawling around and they haven’t appeared since. Good Riddance!”–Lindsay Lou

    “I am a huge germaphobe so my apartment is always clean. You can imagine how surprised I was when I began to wake up with welts and bites all over my arms, legs, and back. It was a nightmare! I sprayed every corner with an insect repellent but nothing worked and I still got around 12 bites the next day. I bought two Hot Shot foggers and released them both in my room. I left them there for about 10 hours while I was at work. I came back and washed my sheets and there was no smell in my room from the fogger. I thought it wouldn’t work but I haven’t had a bite in three days so I guess it did work!” –Emily

    Product nameRatingPrice
    Ortho 0196410 Home Defense MAX Insect Killer Spray for Indoor and Home Perimeter, 24-Ounce (Ant, Roach, Spider, Stinkbug & Centipede Killer)(2Pack) *

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