Do Bed Bug Foggers Work?

Bed bugs are among the most feared pests. Visions of red bites and constant itching can leave those affected desperate to rid themselves of infestations as quickly as possible and by any means available. Many commercial bed bug solutions promise results at a discount but they rarely deliver. 

Bed bug foggers, also known as bug bombs, are an aerosol insecticide marketed to kill bed bugs and other pests. They emit a steady stream of chemicals in areas of infestation to kill any insects residing there. On paper it may sound good but the reality is another story.

Do Foggers Kill Bed Bugs?

Bed bug foggers do not kill bed bugs. In fact, class action lawsuits have been filed against bed bug fogger manufacturers who claim to eradicate bed bug infestations with their product. Some lawsuits attack the effectiveness of the products, others target their safety and many address the health risks of bug foggers. Why are these foggers so problematic and why do they fail on their claim to “completely eliminate a bed bug infestation?”

To understand, let’s first look at how a bed bug fogger is supposed to work.  Bed bug foggers use aerosol insecticides contained in a metal can. If you have a bed bug problem, the instructions tell you to place one of these foggers in the room infested with bed bugs. You release the aerosol manually and then leave the room for several hours while it coats the surrounding area. Ideally, you return to a room full of dead bugs.

Why Bed Bug Foggers FailBed bugs hide in the crevice of a mattress.

Foggers are usually marketed using terms like “affordable” “easy-to-use” and “cost-effective alternative to pest control companies”. However, entomological research studies pitting bed bug foggers against real bed bugs show that these aerosol bombs have little to no effect whatsoever on bed bugs, as well as other insect infestations.

Reason #1: Resistant Genetics

Over the past decade, bed bugs have evolved to resist insecticides that were originally used to kill them. Eventually, bed bug genetics learned how to adapt to these insecticides and passed resistant genes to offspring. Current studies examining the effectiveness of insecticides against bed bugs has revealed that nearly 90 percent of all bed bugs are no longer affected by traditional pesticide ingredients found in insect foggers and bed bug bombs.

Reason #2: Bed Bugs Hide

There’s a reason bed bugs are hard to notice – they’re small and they hide. Bed bugs prefer to wedge themselves into small cracks and crannies. This could be the seam of your mattress, behind your bedroom molding, under rugs and other out-of-the-way locations. From these sheltered vantages, your bed bugs will wait out any pesticide release and re emerge when the coast is clear. Even if it were effective, chances are, your chemical treatment won’t penetrate into the areas where your bugs are hiding.

The Health Risks of Using a Fogger 

A bug bomb sprays a heavy cloud of chemicals into your home or business. While they are FDA approved, most fogger manufacturers recommend staying away for a period of time to avoid exposure. The Washington State Department of Health is one of many agencies that have identified multiple health risks associated with foggers including:

  • Nose and throat irritation
  • Dyspnea (difficulty breathing)
  • Cough
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Cramps

While only a small percentage of people experience severe reactions to bug foggers, a moderate amount will have mild reactions. Given these risks and the limited effect of the treatments, we don’t recommend foggers as a means of treating your bed bug problem.

Alternative Bed Bug Treatments

Because bed bugs are so difficult to find and because only a few overlooked bugs can create a booming population, you need fast and reliable bed bug control that you know will work. 

Investing in an experienced bed bug expert like those at Assured Environments is your best course of action. Our technicians can use K9 teams to pinpoint all the locations where your bed bugs are hiding. From there we can use heat or targeted treatments that will safely remove your infestation. Our team will then follow up to make sure all bedbugs are truly gone.

Schedule Your NY, NJ or CT Bed Bug Treatment Today

For quick and reliable NYC pest control, residents and facility managers have come to depend on Assured Environments to eradicate their bed bug problems without using foggers or toxic chemicals. Call us today or schedule your appointment online. We’re New York’s safest and most experienced pest removal service.