Bed Bug Bombs are Dangerous
© Copyright 2013 Shawn Cole. All Rights
Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten or redistributed.).
Cole Home Maintenance is an exterminator Located
in Palatine and serving towns in
Lake County, Cook County, Mc
Henry County, Du Page County, Kane County
$60.00 to spray up to a 2 bedroom apt for bed bugs
Bug bombs are also called "foggers". Homeowners try to
eliminate bugs such as cockroaches, bed bugs and fleas in their home
themselves instead of hiring a pest control
professional. These bug bombs, also called "total
release foggers" (TRFs) are spray cans that usually contain
pyrethroid, pyrethrin or both as the active ingredients. The
homeowner lights and/or activates the bug bomb. The contents
release upward and fill the air with pesticides and the flammable
aerosol. The spray droplets remain suspended in the air for a
short time and gradually settle onto the floors, countertops,
clothing, children's toys and other surfaces within the room.
Some homeowners and tenants have thought that if one bug bomb was a
good idea -- more bug bombs would be better. Homeowners have
literally blown up their homes in an explosion and set the home on
fire. Other homeowners have had to call for an ambulance to
take them to the hospital because they have poisoned themselves.
EPA Requires New Warning Labels
The Federal Environmental Protection
Agency has taken action by September 30, 2011, to change
the labels on these bug bombs in order to warn the public to the
danger associated with these bug bombs. The new labels are
required to be written in plain language with clearer headings that
warn the user that there is an explosion hazard. The new
labels will warn the user to leave the room and open the
windows and doors to help rid the home of the poisoned air.
The label will also inform the homeowner that pilot lights may cause
the aerosol to explode.
Bombs are Dangerous - Can Cause Fires and Explosions
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC), published an article that between
2001-2006 there were 466 cases of fogger related illnesses or injury
involving exposure to total release foggers (bug bombs).
Homeowners forget to cover exposed food, utensils and food
preparation equipment and surfaces before using bug bombs in the
kitchen. Thus, the pesticides are contaminating the food,
pots, dishes and food. Now the homeowner is eating the
The California Department of Pesticide
Regulation (DPR) has reported that in April
2001, fumes from a gas pilot light ignites 18 foggers in a small San
Diego apartment, ripping the ceiling open and ripping the kitchen
cabinets from the walls. Between 2993 to 2000 the DPR reviewed
bout 50 cases of persons being injured from improper use.
"There's a reason why people often
refer in these devices as "bug bombs", said DPR Director Paul E.
Helliker. "Foggers are simple to use, but they contain highly
flammable materials and consumers should read and follow
label directions to the letter."
The propellant inside the aerosol can is highly flammable. If
the homeowner forgets to turn off the pilot lights in his house,
that small pilot light can ignite the fog and cause a fire or
an explosion. This happens several times per year.
The New York State's Department of
Environmental Conservation, stated that these total release
foggers (bug bombs) have caused at least four to eight serious
explosions in apartments in New York City. According to
Fire Department data, an apartment building in Manhattan was
evacuated after a fogger caused an explosion. Ten people were
treated at the scene, including six who were brought to the
"Fortunately, we have the authority
to address these hazards and protect New Yorkers," said Alexander
B. Grannis, commissioner of environmental conservation, whose
department will move to classify foggers as restricted-use
product, meaning that only certified pesticide applicators --
rather than the public -- will be able to obtain them."
Hazard From Appliances in Multi-Unit Buildings
If you live in a multiple unit building, it is possible that
the ventilation system runs throughout the building. The bug
bomb you set off in your apartment may have the fog travel to
adjacent apartments. If your neighbor has a pilot light
or an electrical appliance such as an air conditioner or
refrigerator, gas dryer plugged in, that may cause the fog to
explode in the adjacent apartment. The pilot light in the
cooking stove could and has in the past caused an explosion.
Bombs are Ineffective Against Bed Bugs
Most bed bugs are resistant to the type of pesticides used in these
bug bombs. The other problem is that bed bugs hide in small
cracks and crevices, inside walls and other places that the fog does
The Journal of Economic Entomology
published an article on the effectiveness of the bug bombs on bed
bugs. Researchers exposed five different groups of live
bed bugs to three different over-the-counter insect foggers for a
period at two hours. The result was that very few
bed bugs dies as a result of exposure to this type of pest control.
A study at the Ohio State University (OSU)
and that these bug bombs do not kill the bed bugs. In
fact, the study found that the foggers actually stirred up the
bed bugs and caused them to scatter into the walls, cracks and
crevices and SPREAD THE BED BUGS THROUGHOUT
THE BUILDING. The Ohio study also found that bed bugs
have developed a resistance to the pesticides used in these bug
bombs. Susan C. Jones, Ph.D is the head researcher and
stated that "Based on our findings, bug bombs should not be used for
- On page 25 of the July 2006 Bed Bug Code of Practice (PD),
Dr. Stephen Doggert states"
"Aerosols should never be used as
space sprays for bed bug "elimination; the fine droplets
simply will not penetrate into the locations where the
insects hide. As most contain pyrethroids, there is an
associated excitatory flushing effect and by spraying into space
rather than harbourage areas, the bugs are likely to disperse
and can spread an infestation. Like aerosols, the smoke
generating insecticides (known as pyrotechnics)_ or total
release insecticides ("bombs") are also unlikely to penetrate
into harbourage areas."
- The Environmental Protection
Agency's "Safety Precautions for Total Release
Foggers," warned consumers as of November 2011 that, "Foggers
and bug bombs do not control bed bugs."
As of May 2012, this language has been changed to "Foggers and
bug bombs should not be used as the only method to attempt to
control bed bugs."
- Researchers at Ohio
State University tested these bug bombs (foggers) and
found that they are not effective against bed bugs. The
Ohio State University entomologists found that the foggers did
not kill bed bugs that were hiding even under piece of
cloth. The OSU study is published in the June 2012 issue
of the Journal of Economic Entomology , a peer-reviewed
publication of the Entomological Society of America.
- Dr. Michael Potter's article "Limitations of Home Insect
Foggers ("Bug Bombs:) from 2010 warns of the dangers of
repellency, limited effectiveness of pyrethrins and potential
fire hazards for consumers. Note that Dr.
Potter's commends are not solely relevant to the use of such
product against bed bugs, but more generally".
- Dr. Stephen A. Kells and Jeff Habin of the University of Minnesota Department of
Entomology note in "Prevention and Control of
bed bugs in Residences"..... but bombs, also known as
total release foggers are popular to buy are not effective
when treating bed bugs. These products throw
insecticides into the air of which very little, if any, comes
in contact with bed bugs whicvh are hiding in cracks and
behind and under objects. Its use will not have
any impact in the bed bug infestation. Unfortunately, it
is too easy for people to misuse or over use bug bombs which
can result in unnecessary pesticides exposure. But bombs
are also potentially flammable if used incorrectly."
Bombs Cause Cockroaches to Spread Throughout Building
A study by Ballard et al. (1984) showed that German
cockroaches moved from fogged units to adjacent units in 50 percent
of apartments, with increased catches of cockroaches the night
following the fogger treatment. The German cockroaches
prematurely released their oothecae (egg cases), resulting in an
increase in newly hatched nymphs in response to fogging with
pyrethrins or dichlorvos. This means that fogging increases
the cockroach problem in a building.
(Foggers) Are Only Effective for a Few Hours
Some homeowners and tenants think they are saving money by
doing the job themselves. They do not realize that the bug
bombs only kill the pests that are in the open area of a room at the
time the fog is in the air. There is no lasting
effect of the pesticide after a few hours. Any eggs
that are in the room are not affected and the cockroach, mite, bed
bug, tick etc. will simply continue to develop and hatch. The foggers
do not kill any pests that are in the walls and cracks and
Bed bugs like to hide inside mattresses, clothing, base boards,
walls, television sets, computers, light fixtures etc. They
will also hide under floor boards, window frames, bed frames,
clothing, dog beds, children's toys, pillows and blankets and
more. The mist from buy bombs do not reach these hiding
places. The mist from the bug
bombs will not reach into the mattress or inside pillows or any
other hiding places.
They are only called bed bugs because that is where you are when you
are being bitten. If you decide to sleep on the living
room couch, the bed begs will find you in that room by sensing the
carbon dioxide in your breath. It is this carbon
dioxide that causes bed bugs to come out of their hiding places to
feed. The bug bomb mist will not reach into most of
their hiding spots. It only coats the surfaces of
Call Cole Home Maintenance for
Call 630-306-7925 or
Cole Home Maintenance knows how to eliminate bed bugs. There
is no reason to be ashamed or afraid to ask for help. People
in million dollar homes with a cleaning crew every week get bed
bugs. You are not alone! The important thing -- is
that you call for help as soon as you find bed bugs. If you
are finding bug bites on your arms or legs, chances are you are
having a reaction to the bed bug bites. These bites may look
like small insect bites or a more severe reaction can start to
look like a rash.