You literally don’t need to read any further. The title says it all. If you’re standing in a store reading this with a fogger in your hand, consider putting the fogger down and step away from the shelf. Foggers play little to no part in a bed bug treatment protocol and in many instances may only make matters worse. Ohio State University conducted a study that found that foggers were ineffective for bed bug control. In addition to their poor effect on bed bugs, they can spread bed bugs into areas of your house you wouldn’t expect to find them, make their future control harder and more expensive and worse yet, if you live in an apartment building may spread the bed bugs into other apartments.
Within the pest control industry fogging a room is referred to as a space treatment. What that means is that the fog will treat the air space within the room and potentially kill any bugs flying around or walking on the surface of areas where the pesticide settles. Foggers can be very effective for treating a room for flies or other insects that are flying around. That being said they do not address the areas where bed bugs most commonly hide: cracks and crevices. Research has shown that foggers do not penetrate “hard-to-reach” areas where bed bugs are hiding. In addition, as the pesticide settles on different surfaces, bed bugs can sense the presence of the pesticide and will avoid those surfaces. In professional terms, this is referred to as repellency and why foggers may push bed bugs from room to room or apartment to apartment.
Lastly, if you’ve made it this far and are still thinking about using foggers to treat for bed bugs PLEASE follow the label directions. There have been a number of incidences in the past few years of homeowners hurting themselves, loved ones and even destroying their house due to the misuse of foggers. Remember that they are a pesticide and there are precautions one needs to take. In addition, stories have surfaced of homeowners using more foggers than recommended by label and caused an explosion as some of the propellants in the foggers are flammable.
That being said, if you’ve found bed bugs in your house, for your own sake….put the fogger down!