Can a Bug Bomb Help My Pest Situation?

person holding a bug bomb

You’ve tried all of our at-home tips for preventing pests, like keeping your kitchen free of things they love, including standing water in the sink and uncovered food left out on the counter. Nevertheless, the pests you’ve been fighting off won’t disappear. Trust us; we understand the frustration this can cause.

We understand the hesitation to call a professional when less expensive solutions you see advertised on TV and online claim to rapidly eliminate the pests that keep bugging you. 

But do store-bought options like bug bombs do the trick, and are they safe? Read on to learn what our experts in pest control have to say about bug bombs.

What Is a Bug Bomb?

One of many, store-bought pest control products available to the average consumer, a bug bomb is an aerosolized “fogger” canister that’s pre-filled with insecticide (usually a type of pyrethroid) that’s released to spray into large areas and usually meant for killing cockroaches, fleas, and bed bugs

Are Bug Bombs Effective?

You may know that not all DIY versions of exterminating pests work. But are bug bombs an exception?

Bug bombs can only kill insects that are out and about in the area you’ve released them. In effect, whatever is hiding out of the insecticide fog’s reach in the cracks of walls, under or inside furniture, or elsewhere won’t be affected. That’s one reason we don’t think they’re very effective.

Plus, many of the pests that bug bombs are specifically designed for are resistant to pyrethroid insecticides: Bed bugs and roaches often know how to sense when it is coming and will hide.

Are Bug Bombs Safe?

Now that we’ve explained that bug bombs aren’t that great when it comes to certain pests, you might wonder how safe they are to use for your family and pets. There are a couple of reasons why we wouldn’t consider bug bombs “safe” for you, your family, or your pets.

Toxic Residues

According to the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, the residual chemicals that bug bombs leave behind can stick around for up to a year after you use them—even after following the proper procedures of ventilation, evacuation of pets and people, and covering of surfaces and items which come into contact with skin. 

Although there’s much to be studied, there are many reports of people becoming sick after entering an area that’s been ventilated following a bug bombing, which is part of why the FDA and EPA have a pesticide residue monitoring program to watch out for the long-term effects these products have on human health. If you have asthma, it’s good to not go near a bug-bombed home (if you can help it).

Fire Hazards

Although many bug bombs are regulated and approved by the EPA, they’re highly flammable. When stored and used properly according to the manufacturer’s instructions, there shouldn’t be much of an issue. However, it’s worth noting that bug bombs released in the proximity of a pilot light cause hundreds of fires each year.

The Final Verdict from Pest Control Experts

After taking all the risks and drawbacks of using bug bombs that we’ve listed into consideration, you can probably guess our final verdict: you should pass on the bug bombs if you can help it. We may be a little biased, but after exploring just how many downsides DIY fogging has, your best bet is to call a pest control professional who can thoroughly survey your home and help eliminate the pests bothering you.

Our pest experts at Vulcan Termite & Pest Control Inc. in Birmingham, Alabama, have provided Birmingham with superior pest control since 1965. We’re committed to helping you rid your home or business of unwelcome pests—and keeping them out—so you and your family are safe, healthy, and comfortable. Learn more about pest prevention on our blog, and contact us today for a free estimate. We look forward to serving you!