Do Bed Bug Bombs Work? Do-It-Yourself

Use of bed bug bombs to kill bed bugs is increasing day by day. The aerosol foggers contain insecticide like pyrethroid, permethrin or pyrethrin –  administered in different dosage. So, do bed bug bombs work?

Simple answer, Yes, bed bug bomb kills all bed bugs and eggs that gets into contact with the chemical being sprayed. But any beg bug, baby bed bugs, or eggs that is not reached by the chemical won’t be killed.

The Killing power of any bed bug bomb is determined by the concentration in each can, penetration action and the area being served. Most of the bed bug bombs are able to reach bed bug hideouts within your room especially if there is continuous air circulation. 

So, let’s get into details.

Do bed bug bombs work?

Bed bug bomb kills bed bugs by continuously fumigating/spraying the entire room with bed bug killing insecticide – any bed bug or eggs that comes into contact with this chemical dies.

The bed bug bombs, also known as foggers, are packed in pressurized can/canister in aerosol form. Most of these bed bug killers contain pyrethrins, permethrins or pyrethroid mixed with other chemicals in a suitable ratio.

Related: Does Lavender Kill Bed Bugs?

How do I use bed bug Bomb in a safe way?

Simple! You will need to set bed bug aerosol can in a proper point within a bed bugs infested room and activated the canister. Ensure that all the doors and windows are closed for at least 2 to 3 hours during the application time.

Improving air circulation in your room using fan or air conditioner helps the bed bug bomb to penetrate effectively into crevices/cracks, beneath beds and furniture.

Bed bugs bombs contain flammable chemical that can affect both your humans and pets. However, you must properly identify the bugs – check the pictures of bed bugs.

Therefore, the following precautions should be followed during use:

1. Read keenly and follow directions given in each aerosol canister during application. You will need to note main things like cautions/warnings, application procedures and side effects.

2. Cover all food substances in your room and gaming toys for children and pets airtight. Children may put fumigated toys in their mouth. Food absorb this chemical leading to food poisoning.

3. Get the accurate area/volume of room you want to treat with bed bug bomb. To do this, measure the length, width and height using a foot or tape measure.

Then, multiply the measurements of these sides to get volume. Do the same for other rooms and sum the volumes of each room. Compare the total with the indicated volume in the aerosol canister.

4. Switch off lights/deactivate sockets from mains and remove anything that can spark. Bed bud bombs are highly flammable due to aerosol propellants used. Ensure that you place your aerosol can/canister at least 7 feet from any spark source within your house/office.

5. Vacate your humans and pets from the room being treated. When inhaled, beg bug bombs cause air track discomfort. Bed bug bomb can kill pets such as dogs. Keep off the house for two to three house.

6. Use right number of bed bug bombs in a given area/space. Excess Bed bud bombs is dangerous as it may take long before it leaves your room.

In additions, some residual may be difficult to get rid of. Less quantity of bed bug bombs will cause inefficient killing of these bloodsuckers. You will therefore need to stick to application instructions – if you are unable to, engage an examinator.

7. Inform your neighbors about bed bug bomb application – this will minimize any effects that may cause chaos in the eve of application. Recommend them to switch of any spark source during that time.

8. Keep off people from accessing the room. Ventilate the office/room/s well before entering. Ensure you open doors and windows to let in fresh air for 60 minutes.

9. Store the unused bed bug bombs in an enclosed place away from children and pets.

Related: What Causes Bed Bugs?

Why Bed Bug Bombs won’t kill all your bed bugs.

It is unfortunate that most of bed bug bomb users are not able to achieve complete killing of all bed bugs in their place. This is one of the many challenges in household pest control.

However, there are several reasons that may lead to incomplete killing of bed bugs in your room/office/house or warehouse while using bed bugs bomb. These include:

1. Incomplete Penetration. Bed bug bombs works by spraying the gaseous insecticide killer over bed bugs and their egg, thus killing them.

Any bed bug or eggs that is not reached is not killed. The insecticide is expected to access the cracks/crevices, mattress seams and roofs sealing those point thus killing bed bugs by suffocation.

2. Incomplete air circulation in your room limit the action of the bed bug bobs from penetrating into some bed bugs hideouts such as crevices/cracks, ceiling, inside mattress, bedding, clothes or under the carpets.

You will need to turn some of your items like chairs, couches, bed, clothes, picture frames and drawers to enable killing gas to penetrate to these sections properly.

3. Less quantity application. All bed bug bombs have application descriptions, which also indicated volume capacity, mode and area that each aerosol canister can serve. Administration of larger space won’t kill all bed bugs.

4. Mutation/chemical resistance. Most bed bug bombs contain pyrethrin or pyrethroid. EPA banned the use of DDT in 1972 – this led to development of a synthetic pyrethoids, which were then used to kill bed bugs.

According to Economic ecological research, the report shows that most of bed bugs are becoming immune to these chemical. They undergo mutation and there these chemical may not kill them.

By 2010, some species of bed bugs had gained complete resistance/mutated and could not be killed by these chemicals. In case you find yourself in such case, ensure your use alternative method such as heat treatment.

5. Using the wrong bed bug bomb. There are varieties of bug bombs in the market. Purchasing the wrong bug brand won’t kill bed bugs. You will need to be keen on the labels indicating kid of insects killed by a given fogger.

6. Less powerful bed bug bomb. The market is currently flooded with varieties of bed bug bombs. Check diatomacious earth for bed bugs.

Though they can kill bed bugs, these aerosol foggers do not have enough concentration needed to kill bed bugs. You will need to test various bed bug bombs or get insight through the reviews from other users in the universe.

Which alternative bed bug killers will work?

Bed bug bombs may fail to kill bed bugs in your house/office effectively due to some of the reasons I have highlighted above. Below are some of the alternatives that you can use instead.

1. Heat treatment. This involves heating the bed bug infested room to a temperature of 125 degree Fahrenheit.

At this temperature, all bed bugs and their egg will be dead. Check the bed bug steamer.

This will take longer time and cost as compared to bed bug bombs. This calls you to vacuum clean all your bed bugs infested items and house.

The vacuum machine sucks both the adult and their eggs. However, this method may not remove some of bed bugs hidden deep in mattresses and crevices.

2. Dry cleaning/using a dryer. This requires you to put your bed bug infested clothes or bedding into a dryer operation at a temperature of 125 degree Fahrenheit. Here’s how dryer kill bed bugs.

This temperature will kill all the bed bugs and their eggs. This method may not kill bed bugs in some items like couches, mattresses or bed since these items can’t fit in your dryer. The dryer is unsuitable for entire room treatment.

3. Using bed bug sprays. Spray bed bug infested room or items directly using bed bug spray available in the market.

This method is dangerous as you are directly involved in spraying and thus you may get affected by these aerosols which cause nausea, dizziness, breathing discomfort and stomach upset.

4. Dispose all bed bugs infested items. This is not easy since you may not be willing to dispose your newly bought items.

But, it is recommendable to dispose old bed bugs infested items or burn them. NB: Desist from purchasing any second hand items – they are one means of transferring bed bugs into your home/office.

5. Setting bed bug traps. These will trap bed bugs that crawl into them. They are not very efficient as they may not trap bed bugs that do not come from other hideouts and their eggs.

Ways That Will Make Bed Bug Bombs Kill Bed Bugs Efficiently

Though bed bug bomb may not completely kill bed bugs in your bed bugs infested office, home or warehouse, you can improve its action/performance by doing some of the following things:

1. Ensuring your room/house/office doors and windows are airtight closed during the 2 to 3 hour application time – this will concentrate the killing gas within all possible bed bugs hideouts in the room.

2. Turning all bed bugs infested items in your room. Ensure you spread bed bugs infested clothes, bedding, chairs, couches or footwear and turn the beds as well as wall units in your room to offer ample penetration of bed bug bomb into those places without obstructions.

3. Using several small quantity bed bug bomb. Place several bed bugs aerosol canisters in various points with your room. This helps in quick access and penetration of active insecticide simultaneously in the room.

It also prevent bed bugs from hiding at one part of the room when they sense danger. NB: The sum total of all these canisters should not be more than volume of room being served.

4. Boosting air circulation. Insufficient air circulation within the bed bugs infested room cause incomplete penetration of the bed bug killing gas to such place as beneath the bed, shelves/drawers, under the table, couches or carpets.

You can boost room air circulation using fan or air conditioner. Remember to power these devices from outside to prevent any spark. 

Related: Best Bed Bug Traps

Can Bed Bug Bomb Cause Sickness to Humans & Pets?

Chemicals such as pyrethrins or pyrethroids that make bed bug bombs can kill both your humans and pet when taken to a given concentration.

In the 2018 research bed bug report on “Improper use of Bed bug Bomb” done in America shows that most of people who get exposed to bed bug bomb had weak immune and were highly susceptible to diseases as compared to other who were not.

Bed bug bombed rooms are unsuitable for your humans or pets as the gas may cause choking or respiratory when inhaled. Chemicals such as pyrethrins or pyrethroids found in bed bug bomb cause toxicity in cats and dogs.

You will see you pets tremor, vomit, drooling, seizure or lethargy when under effects from exposure of bed bug bomb. Some pets such as dogs and cats have been reported dead in rooms that have been fumigated using bed bug bomb.

NB: In case your humans or pets are exposed to bed bug bombs, move the person/pet to a place with fresh air. Once they regain strength, rush them to hospital/health center/dispensary for medication.

What Are Side Effects of Using Bed Bug Bombs?

When you are exposed to bed bug bomb in a substantial quantity, you may experience some of the following effects:

  • Headache, dizziness and wheezing.
  • Burning and stinging sensation in eyes.
  • Muscle cramp and stomach upset.
  • Difficulties in breathing and irritation of upper airway.
  • Gastrointestinal problems, coughing or nausea.
  • Can even trigger Asthma and allergic reaction especially children.

How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Bed Bug Bomb?

The cost of a package of bed bug bomb varies according to quantity, number of canisters in a single kit or the manufacturer’s costing system.

However, you will require between 10 to 50 US Dollar to purchase a package.  This may vary according to economic shift too.

Conclusion

Bed bug bomb do work by killing all eggs, nymphs and adult bed bugs that come into contact with it. However, bed bugs that are in unreachable hideouts will not be killed.

This method is affected by incomplete air circulation within the room being treated. Proper administration of bed bug bomb is important in order to avoid side effects associated with it.

Sources:

  1. Exposure risks and ineffectiveness of total release foggers (TRFs)

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