Consumer products known as “bug bombs” or “foggers” have been sold for decades for use against many common household insects, but they don’t work on bedbugs, according research published in June’s Journal of Economic Entomology.
In “Ineffectiveness of Over-the-Counter Total-Release Foggers Against the Bed Bug (Heteroptera: Cimicidae),” authors Susan C. Jones and Joshua L. Bryant provide the first scientific evidence that these products don’t kill bedbugs.
“There has always been this perception and feedback from the pest-management industry that over-the-counter foggers are not effective against bedbugs and might make matters worse,” said Susan Jones, an urban entomologist with Ohio State University and co-author of “Ineffectiveness of Over-the-Counter Total-Release Foggers Against the Bed Bug (Heteroptera: Cimicidae).”
The study evaluated the effectiveness of three different fogger brands purchased at a nationwide retailer in killing five different bedbug populations. Following application of the three foggers, Jones and Bryant found little, if any, adverse effects on the bedbugs.
Because a majority of bedbugs spend most of the time hiding in protected sites (under sheets and mattresses, in cracks and crevices, deep inside carpets, etc.), Jones said it is very unlikely that they will be exposed to the insecticide mist from foggers. And even if they do come into contact with the mist, she added, many bedbug populations have varying degrees of resistance to the insecticides, so the foggers don’t kill them.
“These foggers don’t penetrate in cracks and crevices where most bedbugs are hiding, so most of them will survive,” Jones said. “If you use these products, you will not get the infestation under control, you will waste your money, and you will delay effective treatment of your infestation. Bedbugs are among the most difficult and expensive urban pests to control. It typically takes a professional to do it right.”
Source: Entomological Society of America