Study: Bed Bug ‘Bombs’ Don’t Work
Do-it-yourself “bombs” or “foggers” that target bugs by filling entire rooms with aerosol insecticide are billed as an easy, cost-effective alternative to pricey pro exterminators. Although these products are indeedcheap, retailing at hardware stores for around $10, if you use them on bed bugs you’re likely to get what you pay for.
In a new study, the first of its kind to be published, entomologists at Ohio State University tested three commercially available foggers – sold under the Hot Shot, Spectracide, and Eliminator brands, respectively – and concluded that all three products were virtually useless at fighting bed bug infestations.
Bed bugs in houses and apartments tend to be resistant to the insecticides used in most foggers, the study found, and even non-resistant bugs are likely to survive a fogging because the mist of chemicals doesn’t appear capable of penetrating the cracks in furniture and walls where bed bugs usually hide.
“Based on our findings, bug bombs should not be used for crawling insects such as bed bugs,” says lead researcher Susan C. Jones, Ph.D., an associate professor at the university. “These products shouldn’t even be labeled for bed bugs.”
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Only one of the products tested, the Hot Shot Bedbug & Flea Fogger, specifically calls out bed bugs on its label, while the othersrefer broadly to “crawling” or “biting” insects.
Bed bugs are a major nuisance but generally don’t pose a threat to health, as their bites rarely cause more than itching welts or the occasional allergic reaction. Foggers, on the other hand, can be
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