home
RSS
Study: Bed bug 'bombs' don't work
June 3rd, 2012
11:30 PM ET

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 indeed cheap, 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."

Health.com: 15 tips for avoiding hotel bedbugs

Only one of the products tested, the Hot Shot Bedbug & Flea Fogger, specifically calls out bed bugs on its label, while the others refer 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 hazardous if used incorrectly.

In a 2008 report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that at least 466 fogger-related injuries or illnesses were documented across eight states between 2001 and 2006. The most common ill effects—such as headaches, nausea, and coughing - tended to be minor and short-lived, although hospitalization was required in 21 cases.

Most incidents apparently involved people who didn't leave the room quickly enough after setting off a fogger, or who reentered a room too soon. In addition, Jones says, the insecticides found in foggers (known as pyrethroids and pyrethrins) can contaminate surfaces such as kitchen counters, and the aerosol propellant used to disperse them is flammable.

Health.com: Can you get bed bugs at a movie theater?

The new study, which appears in the Journal of Economic Entomology, suggests that foggers are so ineffective against bed bugs that they probably don't warrant even the small risk of harmful insecticide exposure or other hazards.

Jones and her colleagues began by collecting five different populations of bed bugs from residences in Columbus, Ohio. As a control group, they added a sixth population, known as the Harlan strain, that has been cultivated in alaboratory - and carefully sheltered from pesticides - since 1973.

The researchers then placed the various bed bug populations in petri dishes and exposed them to the foggers in a campus building slated for demolition. After one test, Jones recalls, "the Harlan bugs were keeled over and all of our field populations [were] just scurrying around as if nothing ever happened to them," which suggests the non-laboratory bugs were resistant to the insecticide.

In a second series of tests, the researchers added small shelters made of paper discs or cloth to the petri dishes. These shelters, which allowed the bugs to hide during fogging, were designed to mimic the bugs' natural hideouts, such as the cracks and crevices in floorboards, along mattresses, and behind picture frames.

This time the fragile Harlan strain survived just fine. "The critical issue is that the droplets don't penetrate cracks or crevices," Jones says. "They don't even get to where the bugs are hiding."

Health.com: Health hazards hidden in college dorms

So is there any way to get rid of these elusive critters?

Professional exterminators can wipe out an infestation, but they charge hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars, Jones says. Simple measures such as putting sheets in the dryer for 30 minutes, scouring mattresses with paper towels, and using a credit card to crush bugs hidden in floor boards and bed frames also can help reduce a population, she adds.

United Industries Corporation, which makes all three of the products tested in the study, emphasized in a statement that only the Hot Shot brand fogger is designed to be used on bedbugs. The company stood by its line of Hot Shot products, saying they are "proven to be effective against bed bugs."

The Hot Shot fogger "is particularly effective when used in in conjunction with our bedbug-killing direct sprays," said John Pailthorp, the company's division vice president of marketing. "We advise homeowners to follow up with a repeat, full-scale treatment one to two weeks after the initial fogging to ensure that bedbugs have been eradicated. And, as always, we recommend a professional evaluation if the problem is particularly severe."

Copyright Health Magazine 2011

Post by:
Filed under: Allergies • Health.com

soundoff (546 Responses)
  1. RV Bedroom Los Angeles

    https://www.lavochka.info/bitrix/redirect.php?event1=&event2=&event3=&goto=https://www.g.page/OCRVFleetServices

    May 12, 2021 at 17:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RV Cabinet Los Angeles

    http://www.itergateway.org/proxify.php?q=http://www.facebook.com/ocrvcenter

    May 12, 2021 at 21:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. 2006 Mercedes Sprinter 2500 Turbo Actuator Repair

    http://account.vfw.org/Authenticate.aspx?ReturnUrl=https://commercialvanrepairshop.com/isuzu-truck-repair-shop-near-me

    May 13, 2021 at 04:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. local paint shops near me

    http://www.proteinaute.com/lib/request/redirect.php?url=https://ocrv.today/prostar-truck-collision-repair-paint-shop-near-me-orange-county

    May 13, 2021 at 05:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. rv alignment near me

    http://old.daliedu.cn/url.asp?url=https://youtube.com/watch?v=n7VoMRLViHc

    May 13, 2021 at 05:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV Refrigerator Near Me

    https://alcoholpolicysolutions.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=yelp.com/biz/ocrv-center-yorba-linda

    May 13, 2021 at 05:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. parts shop near me

    This is the right blog for everyone who wants to understand this topic. You realize a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject that's been written about for decades. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

    http://keyscan.cn.edu/AuroraWeb/Account/SwitchView?returnUrl=https://ocrv.world/rv-furniture-repair-near-me

    May 13, 2021 at 07:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Mercedes Sprinter Refrigerator Repair

    http://gar86.tmweb.ru/bitrix/rk.php?goto=https://fleettruckrepairshop.com/sprinter-van-repair-shop-near-me-2

    May 13, 2021 at 08:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. RV Refrigerator Near Me

    It’s difficult to find well-informed people about this topic, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

    https://www.usedraymond.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=yelp.com/biz/ocrv-center-yorba-linda

    May 13, 2021 at 09:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. temecula tv repair

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely feel this web site needs a great deal more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the info!

    http://neurostar.com/en/redirect.php?url=https://ocrvexperts.com/good-sam-rv-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    May 13, 2021 at 09:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. roof repairs near me

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article! It is the little changes that produce the most important changes. Many thanks for sharing!

    https://publishing.brookes.ac.uk/?URL=ocrvmotorcoaches.com/rv-repair-shop-barstow-california

    May 13, 2021 at 21:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. travel trailers orange county

    https://www.streetmap.co.uk/redirect.srf?id=toshibam&d=https://ocrvcenter.mobi/rv-frame-repair-near-me

    May 14, 2021 at 00:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. dump truck paint schemes

    I really like it when individuals get together and share opinions. Great blog, continue the good work!

    https://www.schornsteinfeger-duesseldorf.de/redirect.php?url=https://ocrv.club/motorhome-vinyl-wrap-repair-near-me

    May 14, 2021 at 01:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. RV Dashboard Orange County

    http://www.festzeit.ch/extern.php?url=http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGb9aC76nAmfzNsCru2KBHA/videos

    May 14, 2021 at 04:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. red tube pictures

    https://eventlog.centrum.cz/redir?data=aclick1c68565-349178t12&s=najistong&v=1&url=http://youtube.com/watch?v=tephm06zGug

    May 14, 2021 at 06:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. wheel repair orange county

    Your style is so unique compared to other people I've read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this site.

    https://assine.hostnet.com.br/cadastro/?rep=17&url=https://ocrv.art/rv-photos

    May 14, 2021 at 13:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. houses for sale spirit lake id

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon every day. It's always exciting to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their websites.

    http://www.php-api.engageya.com/oper/https_redirect.php?url=http://www.meganleary.com

    May 14, 2021 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. 1970 Maserati Ghibli

    This blog was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something which helped me. Many thanks!

    https://www.bcbst.com/providers/mpmsearch/cs.asp?url=https://club-maserati.com/

    May 14, 2021 at 17:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Best Eye Doctor Near Me

    http://pt.tapatalk.com/redirect.php?app_id=4&fid=8678&url=https://arizonasvision.com

    May 14, 2021 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. rv dashboard

    http://demo.cloudhostedresources.com/?id=7cde069d28fee9161e9475b01c2cf8cf&fullscreen=1&task=get&url=oc-rv.com

    May 14, 2021 at 19:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Maserati Mistrale

    http://ace-ace.co.jp/cgi-bin/ys4/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=26651&url=http://club-maserati.com/

    May 14, 2021 at 19:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. sunroof repair near me

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will return once again since I book marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.

    http://neurostar.com/en/redirect.php?url=http://ocrvcenter.biz/

    May 14, 2021 at 20:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Eye Care Center Near Me

    The next time I read a blog, I hope that it won't fail me as much as this particular one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read through, nonetheless I genuinely thought you would probably have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you weren't too busy searching for attention.

    https://scripts.affiliatefuture.com/AFClick.asp?affiliateID=1567&merchantID=617&programmeID=2028&mediaID=0&tracking=&url=https://arizonasvision.com/

    May 14, 2021 at 21:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. homes for sale coeur d' alene idaho

    http://shop-rank.com/01-01/rl_out.cgi?id=depeche&url=https://meganleary.com/

    May 14, 2021 at 21:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Corneal Refractive Therapy

    Aw, this was a really nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to create a very good article… but what can I say… I put things off a lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.

    http://www.music-style.info/music-style/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=7897&url=https://www.arizonasvision.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 00:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. property for sale wallace idaho

    https://www.zlatestranky.cz/Cookies/Disagree?returnUrl=http://meganleary.com/ugryum_reka_2021

    May 15, 2021 at 02:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. real estate for sale near me now

    http://oltv.cz/redirect.php?url=http://meganleary.com

    May 15, 2021 at 05:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Eye Doctors Of Arizona

    http://kebrt.webz.cz/download.php?url=https://arizonasvision.com

    May 15, 2021 at 05:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. fleet repair near me

    This website was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something which helped me. Thank you!

    http://www.click.dsp.com/c?type=2&db=mediav&pub=120013_527433_1050746&cus=172_663_12717020_63096188_63096188000&url=https://ocrv.fun/

    May 15, 2021 at 08:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. home for sale coeur d' alene

    When I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I get four emails with the exact same comment. Is there a means you can remove me from that service? Appreciate it!

    http://p113831.typo3server.info/index.php?id=34&type=0&jumpurl=https://meganleary.com

    May 15, 2021 at 08:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. realtor post falls id

    http://vpdacha.ru/_snippet/redirector.php?url=https://meganleary.com

    May 15, 2021 at 14:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. houses for sale spirit lake id

    http://ww17.freeshoutbox.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=meganleary.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Internet Marketing Pictures

    http://aff-tracking.dkt.com.vn/click/33966?url=https://bestlocalnearme.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 20:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Content Marketing Videos

    https://www.rand-whitney.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 15, 2021 at 22:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Aika Wiki

    https://aikareborn.com/members/haikom.19740

    May 15, 2021 at 23:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Local Marketing Experts

    Your style is unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll just bookmark this blog.

    http://www.masteram.us/away?url=https://affordableranking.com

    May 16, 2021 at 01:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. how to play on private aika server

    http://www.dmca.com/Protection/Status.aspx?ID=edc817fd-d796-4c84-abb8-d1cb5b2e3719&refurl=http://aikareborn.com/wiki/rifleman/

    May 16, 2021 at 01:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Google Marketing Engineer

    http://infosdroits.fr/?wptouch_switch=mobile&redirect=http://www.affordableranking.com

    May 16, 2021 at 03:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. aika online private server download

    http://www.cbs.co.kr/proxy/banner_click.asp?pos_code=HOMPY1920&group_num=2&num=2&url=https://aikareborn.com/wiki/dg_superior/

    May 16, 2021 at 03:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Lanora Pegues

    Ahaa, its pleasant dialogue concerning this piece of writing here at this webpage, I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting at this place.

    May 16, 2021 at 10:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Sprinter Van Repair Shops Near Me

    http://codersclub.org/uchome/link.php?url=fleetservicesocrv.com/semi-truck-technician-shop-near-me

    May 16, 2021 at 14:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Mercedes Sprinter Start Error Fault Repair

    https://www.newszii.com/shopping/wp-redirect.php?url=https://ocrvfleetservices.com/semi-truck-collision-repair-shop-near-me/

    May 16, 2021 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Van Auto Repair

    http://www.php-api.engageya.com/oper/https_redirect.php?url=https://fleettruckrepairshop.com/box-truck-mechanic-shop-near-me/

    May 16, 2021 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. 2018 Maserati Levante Granlusso

    https://gemprice.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=http://club-maserati.com

    May 16, 2021 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. 2011 Maserati Granturismo S

    Saved as a favorite, I love your site!

    http://www.beaulieu-usa.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=maseratiforum.net

    May 16, 2021 at 20:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Maserati Song Rap

    Good article. I certainly appreciate this site. Continue the good work!

    http://www.blog.furutakiya.com/?wptouch_switch=desktop&redirect=http://www.maseratis.net

    May 16, 2021 at 20:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. 2021 Maserati Quattroporte

    Next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn't disappoint me as much as this one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read through, however I genuinely thought you would have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something you can fix if you weren't too busy seeking attention.

    https://readwhere.com/user/logout?ru=https://www.club-maserati.com/

    May 16, 2021 at 22:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Kendra Maserati

    http://www.telecablesat.fr/index.php?goto=http://www.maseratis.net

    May 16, 2021 at 23:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. 2007 Sprinter Rear Heater Repair

    http://kurose96.or.tv/ys4/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=217&url=https://fleetautorepairshop.com/semi-truck-maintenance-shop-near-me/

    May 17, 2021 at 00:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Mercedes Sprinter Cowel Panel Rust Repair

    http://www.landofvolunteers.com/go.php?https://fleetservicerepairshop.com/city-bus-repair-shop-near-me/

    May 17, 2021 at 01:07 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.