Is Using a Fogger to Kill Bed Bugs a Good Choice?
You’re waking up with itchy red bites in clusters on your body. Your bedding has dried blood spots and little black spots on it. You realize with horror that bed bugs have moved in. You immediately make a trip to the nearest store and look for something to kill them. There are several brands, all promising to eradicate your bed bug infestation. Which ones keep that promise? Which products work the best? The shelves contain dusts, sprays, and a bed bug fogger. You don’t want to spend another night getting bitten, and a fogger seems to be a good choice. Keep reading. We have helpful tips for you.
Table of Contents
- Are Bed Bug Foggers Effective?
- How Effective Is Hot Shot?
- What Do I Need to Know About Raid
- The Best Available From Home Depot
- I Want the Best Fogger for Bed Bugs
Are Bed Bug Foggers Effective?
If you decide to eliminate your bed bug problem yourself rather than calling an exterminator, you have a big job ahead of you. Bed bugs are crafty little creeps, and most people consider them the most difficult pest there is to eradicate.
You have a variety of products and brands to choose from. A bed bug fogger is the first choice for some people. Foggers are also known as fumigators. Another name is bed bug bomb, and you can learn more about them here.
All of the products contain a pesticide or insecticide. Bed bugs have munched on humans for as long as humans have existed. People have used everything they can think of to kill them. One of the earliest bed bug killers was pyrethrin, which was extracted from a plant.
Pyrethroid Is the New Pyrethrin
Today, many bed bug killers contain pyrethroids. Pyrethroids are chemical synthetics that imitate pyrethrin. Bed bugs, and other pests, have become resistant to the first versions of pyrethroids. New formulations come on the market frequently.
You can tell if your product contains a pyrethroid, because the last part of the toxic ingredient will end in “thrin.”
Not all pests are resistant to all formulations. If the bugs seem to be coming in from the outside, you can learn more in this article about using Tempo SC Ultra for Bed Bugs outdoors.
Like all pesticides or insecticides, bed bug products must be used with care. They kill bugs by disrupting their nervous systems. Minimal exposure is usually harmless to humans and animals, but pyrethroids are used in far more products than the general public realizes. Limit your exposure as much as possible, and avoid all pyrethroids if you’re pregnant.
How Do I Use Foggers
They are easy to use. You simply place the fogger in the room, activate it, and leave. The instructions will tell you how big a room the fogger will treat so that you will know if you need more than one canister.
The instructions also advise you on how long you need to be out of the room, and how far away you need to be. Most products tell you to turn off pilot lights and disconnect any appliances to avoid potential explosions.
You may believe that you have to discard your mattress and bedding as part of your bed bug eradication effort. That isn’t always necessary. If you haven’t eliminated every single adult bed bug, juvenile, and egg, your new mattress and bedding will become re-infested. Instead, wash your bedding in very hot water and purchase encasements. Encasements are sacks that enclose your mattress and box springs. They are made in several layers designed to seal whatever is enclosed. Any bed bugs inside will eventually starve to death. The outer coverings are smooth and don’t provide hiding places. You then have a chance to eradicate the bed bugs hiding in other places while having a bug-free place to sleep.
Do They Have Good Reviews?
Bed bug foggers tend to have poor reviews. That’s often a result of not following the manufacturer’s instructions exactly. The foggers often must be used in conjunction with other eradication products. They are rarely effective if used alone.
Many people envision a bed bug fogger as releasing a mist that will penetrate into every crack, crevice, or corner where bed bugs hide. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Foggers release a mist into the air, which settles on whatever it touches.
Bed bugs hide during the day. They can squeeze their flat little bodies into tiny places that foggers can’t reach. Bedbugs have to come into physical contact with most poisons before they die. The fogger mist has to actually land on a bed bug to kill it. You can try to do the fogging at night when they’re out, but any light you need will send them scuttling to their hiding places.
Bed bug foggers may not be effective because:
- They can’t get into the places where bed bugs hide.
- The insecticides used in them only kill on contact.
- Consumer products contain small amounts of insecticides.
Exterminators use products with high concentrations of insecticides that kill on contact and also leave a residue that can kill days later.
How Effective Is Hot Shot?
Hot Shot makes a complete line of bed bug eradication products. Two that are often used together are their bed bug spray and fogger. The spray efficiently gets in the crevices where the bed bugs hide, where they are killed on contact.
Hot Shot Bed Bug Fogger is made with a different pesticide than what’s in the spray. It will kill any bugs that either escaped the spray or were resistant to it.
The fogger releases the insecticide into the air in your room. Although the insecticide isn’t as strong as what’s in the spray, it is still toxic and it can cause a breathing problem. It’s essential that you wear a mask while using it and leave the room afterward.
Does Hot Shot Kill Bed Bugs?
Like all aerosol foggers, Hot Shot kills bed bugs on contact. The mist it emits settles on whatever is in the room, rather than penetrating behind or under baseboards or bed frames. Bed bugs that are deeply hidden are able to escape the toxic mist.
Unless you can completely seal off a room before using the fogger, you will also probably need to place a fogger in each room. That keeps the bugs from escaping the insecticide in one room by running into another room.
Hot Shot has detailed instructions for use on the label. You must read and follow those carefully, both for your safety and to ensure that the fogger is effective. Hot Shot has a reputation for excellent customer service and maintains a toll-free line for consumers needing advice or help.
What Do Reviewers Say?
Hundreds of consumers have used Hot Shot. Those who have posted positive reviews emphasize following the instructions to the letter.
It’s also important to understand the life cycle of bed bugs because the fogger does not kill the eggs. You need more than one treatment to kill the new generation after the eggs hatch. Reviewers that complained that they had bed bugs again a few days after treatment hadn’t understood the necessity of repeat treatments.
Consumers report that the fogger is affordably priced. Some find that the odor is unpleasant, and others say they didn’t notice a lingering odor.
What Do I Need to Know About Raid
Raid Max® Concentrated DEEP REACH™ Fogger promises to kill bugs on contact and with residual action. The label doesn’t specifically mention bed bugs, but the fogger contains cypermethrin, which is known to kill bed bugs.
The instructions emphasize the following:
- Don’t use in an area smaller than 5′ by 5′.
- Don’t use more than one fogger per room.
- Turn off fans, air conditioners, and pilot lights.
- Close windows and doors.
You will also need to leave the area for at least four hours.
Does Raid Work?
Like most foggers, Raid is most effective when used in conjunction with their bed bug spray. In their reviews, consumers have noted that Raid works well when used according to the directions. Others mention that the fogger works fine one year, but is less effective in succeeding years. That is an indication that the bed bugs have become resistant to the insecticide.
Raid Bed Bug Spray is formulated with different insecticides than used in their fogger. The spray will kill adults as well as the eggs. If you use the spray first, you’ll eradicate a significant part of the bed bug population. Follow the spray with the fogger to eliminate the remaining population.
The Best Available From Home Depot
Home Depot features Hot Shot Bed Bug Fogger. As well as the fogger, Home Depot carries a full line of Hot Shot bed bug killer products. The eradication process sometimes requires more than one product to ensure success. It’s safer to use products made by the same company rather than mixing brands.
If you want to try other brands, Home Depot also offers:
- Black Flag,
- Harris Bed Bug Kit,
- Raid Bed Bug Fogger,
- Real Kill Indoor Bed Bug Fogger,
Not all products are available in all stores. Some states don’t allow certain products within their border.
Home Depot also has bed bug interceptors, traps, and dusts. Lethal dusts usually contain diatomaceous earth for bed bugs, which is described in this article.
I Want the Best Fogger for Bed Bugs
You can choose from a variety of products made by different companies, all designed to kill bed bugs. The reason for this is that bed bugs go through six cycles of growth before they become adults.
Different insecticides are required for the three main cycles, which are:
- Nymphs (Juveniles),
The eggs mature into fertile adults in 45 to 60 days.
Because bed bugs often become resistant to insecticides, you may have to experiment with various brands of bed bug foggers before you find one that is effective. There isn’t a particular brand that is the best fogger for every bed bug infestation. The best brand is the one that quickly and efficiently kills every single one of the repulsive little bugs that invaded your home.
You don’t have to live with bed bugs. Used correctly, bed bug foggers will help you eradicate the pests. Just be sure to use the fogger more than once, so that you kill any bugs that hatch after each treatment.
You can find further details of Bed Bugs Control here.