Cockroach Fogger: 4 Things You Should Know
Cockroaches are one of the most common household pests in the United States and are considered a public health pest due to their link to asthma and mechanical transmission of pathogens (e.g., bacteria) that can cause human illness. These insects have been around since before the dinosaurs roamed the earth and, unfortunately, nearly every homeowner has encountered cockroaches at one time or another. While cockroaches are naturally found outside, their flat bodies allow them to crawl inside easily, meaning they can access your home through small cracks and holes. This is especially true when temperatures cool in the fall or following a heavy rain, as the insects seek shelter from cold temperatures and try to avoid drowning.
Once inside your home, cockroaches can quickly establish an infestation. These insects can also live in filthy conditions, such as garbage piles, bringing them into contact with a variety of germs that they can transfer to your house.
This unsanitary reputation is one reason why many homeowners search for fast and easy cockroach killers. One common do-it-yourself method of cockroach control is the cockroach fogger, also known as a cockroach bomb. What are cockroach foggers and are they an effective method of controlling these widespread pests?
How Cockroach Foggers Work
Cockroach foggers are sold at many home improvement stores. They look like small aerosol cans and are designed to be used in confined spaces, like rooms within a house. Typically, the fogger is placed on a table or chair, and the user activates it by pressing a button or removing a tab on the top of the can.
When activated, the cockroach bomb releases a pesticide into the air. This pesticide then settles on surfaces on which cockroaches may come into contact with, thereby killing them.
Things to Consider
Cockroach bombs may seem like the ideal control method — readily available, relatively inexpensive and easy to use. However, there are several things to consider before using one of these products in your home.
Effectiveness – Cockroaches hide in areas fogger aerosols may not be able to reach. Foggers will only kill the insects that come into contact with the pesticide. In reality, this may only be a small percentage of the cockroaches present in an infestation. Cockroaches are commonly found in hard-to-reach areas of the home, including the spaces behind walls and even in small appliances or electronics, like toasters and cable boxes. For this reason, bombs are largely ineffective at treating large scale cockroach infestations.
Safety – Cockroach foggers coat the surfaces in your home with pesticides, which can be harmful to your health. After use, pesticide residues may be on surfaces you, your family members and your pets routinely contact. Additionally, the aerosol contained in these products can make them flammable.
Precautions – According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), homeowners who use cockroach foggers should take several precautions, including vacating the premises to avoid inhaling pesticides. Homeowners and pets should stay out of the house for a specified period of time, typically two to four hours, depending on the product used. Before using the fogger, food preparation surfaces should be covered, including counters and sinks. After use, windows should be opened to allow the house to air out, linens should be washed and carpets vacuumed. A nationwide study has shown that most DIY fogger-related injuries occur when people do not follow label instructions and either 1) re-enter the area too soon post-fogging or 2) use more than the recommended amount of insecticide.
Time and money – As with many DIY pest control solutions, cockroach foggers may be more trouble than they’re worth. Because of the effectiveness issues mentioned above, many homeowners may end up spending more money trying to solve their cockroach problem than they had anticipated. Additionally, due to the health concerns and potential hazards associated with cockroach foggers, it’s critical that homeowners follow the directions closely and not use more than one fogger per room, as recommended by the EPA.
Professional is Best
Cockroaches are a serious public health issue, and any homeowner dealing with these unwanted pests needs a solution. A professional pest control company can conduct a thorough inspection of your home and pinpoint the harborage areas that may be the source of cockroaches. More importantly, pest control specialists have the ability to treat the hard-to-reach areas cockroaches seem to favor. Finally, they can identify the different types of cockroaches that may be infesting your home and, using integrated pest management techniques, recommend the appropriate course of treatment to combat each.
Terminix® offers comprehensive cockroach control that begins with an initial inspection and includes ongoing service. We’ll help you fight cockroaches in their hiding places, including cracks, wall voids, false ceilings and electronic equipment, and we’ll use a variety of effective treatment methods, including crack and crevice treatments, void treatments and baits. We will also provide education about how you can help prevent cockroach infestations. Call to schedule your initial consultation today with a pest control technician.