If I had a dollar for every time I met a new customer who told me they tried bug bombs before calling me I would be able to retire. In every single case they used way too many creating a potentially dangerous situation, not to mention it didn’t work. If it did, they wouldn’t have called me. I know there is at least one of you yelling at your screen saying I am wrong. OK, read THIS. Now read the rest of this post and if you have any questions, just let me know.
Let’s start with the AI (active ingredients). This is the chemical that actually does the killing. If you go to the local wally world and look at the plethora of products you will often find a can of Raid labeled for roaches and one labeled for spiders. The AI is often exactly the same, marketing genius. They want you to buy one to kill roaches and one to kill spiders where either would do the job. However, in Tennessee, the label is the law. This means that whatever the labels says you can and can’t do with the product is legally binding. So… they only put the one pest on the label legally causing you to not be able to use one for the other, but I know you will anyway. What a criminal mastermind you are.
These AIs used are usually common products also used by professionals. The catch is 2 fold. The concentrations are often weaker in consumer products because the manufacturer doesn’t trust you to read the instructions. Admit it, 90% of you never read the instructions did you? The manufacturer also has less liability with a weaker product when you miss-apply it. The other issue is quality. The production of the AIs makes a big difference. Synthetic pyrethroids used in almost all of these products can be created many different ways and like anything else in life, there are cheap ones and quality ones. The professional products also use technologies like micro caps to lengthen the effectiveness which is where the magic happens. All of them will kill a bug if you get it on them. The difference is what it does tomorrow, next week, and next month.
Now with the inferior ingredients aside, let’s look at how the product physically works. You set the bomb can on the floor and hit the button to release the fog and run out the door like pulling the pin on a grenade with your teeth. What happens in the house while you are exiled from it? If you were to stay and watch, (please do not) you would find a spout of pesticide 2-3 feet high. Then this fog will dissipate out around the room. The problem is that most of the product falls right back down to the ground within a couple feet of the can proving Mr Newtons discovery has weight. I have no doubt that anything with 6 legs or more in this small circle would be toast but that’s not where the problem is. The directions even call for a cardboard base to put the bomb on to aid in cleanup. If you are bombing for fleas, no product gets under the furniture or between the couch cushions. If you are bombing for roaches it doesn’t get into all the little nooks and cranys that they love to hide in. To make matters worse, the pyrethroids are repellent in nature pushing them into the cracks where they are protected. The results are abysmal. It’s not about the product as much as where you put it.
Bug bombs are just plain lazy. It’s a reflection of our society searching for that magic pill that cures everything fast and easy. Bug Bombs just don’t fit this bill. Inferior products at lower concentrations that don’t even get where they need to be in order to be effective.
Now lets get into safety in case the last paragraphs didn’t convince you. For starters, I am a professional Pest Control Operator and even with the products I have at my disposal, I very very rarely use foggers. In fact it has been so long I can’t tell you the last time. Why? The results achieved are far less than the safety risks. These products often leave a greasy film all over the top of horizontal surfaces which is not where it needs to be to be effective AND you will need to clean them before use. As we have already discussed, most of you didn’t read the instructions (which is required by law) and missed the part about turning off the pilot light. There have been several cases of people blowing up their homes turning a bug bomb into a real bomb when the pesticide is ignited by the pilot light. The Mythbusters even did this test and blew it up.
Here is what the Washington State Health Department has to say about the dangers of bug bombs.
And if you are still not convinced, see what the Entomology department at the University of Kentucky has to say on the matter.
If you have more questions feel free to contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org. Phoenix Pest Control services Knox and Blount Counties in East Tennessee.
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