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 (663 Responses)
  1. Dodge Van Frame Repair Kit

    That is a very good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Short but very accurate information… Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read post!

    http://www.p1-uranai.com/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=538&url=https://www.boxtruckrepairshop.com/conversion-shop-near-me

    May 17, 2021 at 04:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. judi online uang asli

    Hello, I think your blog might be having browser
    compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet
    Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Other then that, amazing blog!

    May 17, 2021 at 04:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Maserati Granturismo Lease

    http://informatief.financieeldossier.nl/index.php?url=http://www.club-maserati.com

    May 17, 2021 at 04:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. 2004 Maserati Cambiocorsa

    https://decarealtyinc.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=maseratiforum.net

    May 17, 2021 at 08:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. 2003 Sprinter Ac Repair

    https://www.nsbe.org/impakredirect.aspx?url=http://fleetservicesorangecounty.com/alignment-shop-near-me

    May 17, 2021 at 09:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Mercedes Sprinter Start Error Fault Repair

    https://yamaguchi.keizai.biz/banner.php?type=image_banner&position=right&id=41&uri=https://fleetrepairshops.com/food-truck-repair-shop-near-me/

    May 17, 2021 at 09:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Mercedes Sprinter Service Center

    http://www.prokhorovfund.ru/bitrix/rk.php?id=14&event1=banner&event2=click&event3=1+2F+5B145D+5Bsecond_page_2005D+XI+CAD0DFCACA&goto=https://fleetautorepairshop.com/semi-truck-upholstery-shop-near-me

    May 17, 2021 at 10:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. 2021 Maserati Ghibli

    http://www.lincolndouglasdebates.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=maseratis.net

    May 17, 2021 at 10:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. RV Fabrication California

    Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Spending some time and actual effort to produce a good article… but what can I say… I put things off a lot and never seem to get nearly anything done.

    http://p1-uranai.com/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=538&url=tomspeed.de/index.php?option=com_phocaguestbook&view=phocaguestbook&id=1&Itemid=53&t=20&el_mcal_month=1&el_mcal_year=2016&limitstart=120

    May 17, 2021 at 14:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Dent Repair Orange County

    http://gomag.com/?id=73&aid=&cid=&move_to=https://home-decoration28382.blogdomago.com/3139057/rv-solar-installation-near-me-things-to-know-before-you-buy

    May 17, 2021 at 15:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. 2005 Maserati Spyder

    http://www.viidii.info/?https://maseratiforum.net

    May 17, 2021 at 17:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV Plumbing Near Me

    Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post. Thanks for providing this information.

    https://members.practicegreenhealth.org/eweb/Logout.aspx?RedirectURL=https://diplingpaedmediatorreiter.eu/index.php?option=com_phocaguestbook&view=phocaguestbook&id=1&Itemid=4&t=4700&limitstart=57640

    May 17, 2021 at 17:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Maserati Granturismo For Sale Near Me

    Great article. I am dealing with many of these issues as well..

    http://www.10lowkey.us/UCH/link.php?url=https://maseratis.net/

    May 17, 2021 at 19:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. fiberglass near me

    http://leadmarketer.com/el/lmlinktracker.asp?H=eCtacCampaignId&HI=HistoryId&C=ContactId&L=eLetterId&A=UserId&url=https://ocrvcenter.com/

    May 17, 2021 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Movies

    If you aare going for most excellent contents like Ido, simply go to seee this site every day as it
    provides quality contents, thanks

    May 18, 2021 at 00:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. 바카라사이트

    I was pretty pleased to uncover this great site.
    I wanted to thank you for ones time for this fantastic read!!
    I definitely loved every part of it and i also have you bookmarked to see
    new stuff in your website.

    May 18, 2021 at 09:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. lighting repair near me

    http://love.okchatroom.com/lovelove/link.php?url=http://ocrvcenter.com/

    May 18, 2021 at 12:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. website

    Hi there! This blog post could not be written much better!

    Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He constantly kept preaching about this. I am going to
    forward this article to him. Pretty sure he'll have a good read.
    Thank you for sharing!

    May 18, 2021 at 12:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. how to start a food cart business

    http://www.suzuki.saikyou.biz/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=5&url=http://www.cateringbusinessplans.com

    May 18, 2021 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. India Pale Ale Beer

    You are so interesting! I do not suppose I've read anything like this before. So great to find someone with a few original thoughts on this issue. Really.. thank you for starting this up. This website is something that is needed on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!

    https://www.capnordic.dk/redirect.asp?url=https://www.craftbrewersofboise.com/

    May 18, 2021 at 15:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Dentists Around My Area

    Very nice write-up. I definitely appreciate this site. Stick with it!

    https://sh.shulcloud.com/track.php?id=4c5c111e733449a9a439790f0d4b1431&url=https://getdentalimplantsnearme.com

    May 18, 2021 at 15:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. type a catering

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up and also the rest of the site is also really good.

    http://weblib.lib.umt.edu/redirect/proxyselect.php?url=http://cateringbusinessplans.com/

    May 18, 2021 at 16:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Senior Care Palm Springs

    I like looking through a post that will make people think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!

    https://best-gyousei.com/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=1649&url=https://assistedlivingseniorcarepalmdesert.com

    May 18, 2021 at 16:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Digital Marketing Agency Orange County

    https://www.fotobug.net/home/link.php?url=https://www.spokanevalleymarketing.com

    May 18, 2021 at 21:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Residential Roofing Companies Near Me

    http://drmshk.com/link.php?url=http://sanmarinoroof.com

    May 19, 2021 at 02:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. The Collection Maserati

    http://zhouyiworld.com/home/link.php?url=https://club-maserati.com/

    May 19, 2021 at 05:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RV Repair California

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend who was conducting a little research on this. And he actually bought me lunch due to the fact that I discovered it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to talk about this subject here on your web site.

    https://10lowkey.us/UCH/link.php?url=https://chormi.com/archives/1227

    May 19, 2021 at 17:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Headlights Los Angeles

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon every day. It's always helpful to read through articles from other writers and practice a little something from other websites.

    /

    May 19, 2021 at 22:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Google Marketing Consultant

    I was able to find good advice from your blog articles.

    http://rondomusic.com/cgi-bin/affiliates/clickthru.cgi?id=bwcornwell&page=https://postfallsbootcamp.com

    May 20, 2021 at 02:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Content Marketing Specialist

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

    May 20, 2021 at 02:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Social Media Marketing Specialist

    https://www.matomex.com/dir/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=1406&url=https://www.postfallsbootcamp.com/

    May 20, 2021 at 06:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Internet Marketing Business

    http://shop-rank.com/01-09/rl_out.cgi?id=atorie&url=https://bestservicenearme.com

    May 20, 2021 at 06:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Internet Marketing Consultants

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

    May 20, 2021 at 09:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Internet Marketing Firms

    https://khazin.ru/redirect?url=https://www.affordableranking.com/

    May 20, 2021 at 10:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. RV Toilets Los Angeles

    http://d-click.abnt.org.br/u/15007/839/7593/11704_0/4a0ff/?url=http://ocrv.vip/rv-repair-shop-brea-california

    May 20, 2021 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. orange county california rv parks

    http://sier-paises.olade.org/utilidades/cambiar-idioma.aspx?idioma=2&url=http://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-hawthorne-california/

    May 20, 2021 at 17:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RV Washing Near Me

    https://passport.osp.ru/sso/index.php?logout=1&url=http://ocrvmotorcoaches.com/rv-repair-shop-temple-city-california

    May 20, 2021 at 18:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. rv inspections near me

    http://www.webexhibits.org/cs.html?url=https://ocrvcenter.com/tank-truck-collision-repair-shop-near-me/

    May 20, 2021 at 21:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. RV Plumbing Los Angeles

    You need to take part in a contest for one of the finest websites on the web. I will highly recommend this blog!

    http://www.danubiushotels.com/inc/u/?https://ocrvmotorsports.com/rv-repair-shop-manhattan-beach-california&_ltra=dab4d1d3b7718c2c9e91a686f3ff7361.ltra.1613.12

    May 20, 2021 at 22:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Dent Repair Los Angeles

    You ought to take part in a contest for one of the highest quality blogs online. I will recommend this website!

    https://d.agkn.com/pixel/2389/?che=2979434297&col=22204979,1565515,238211572,435508400,111277757&l1=https://ocrvandtrucks.com/rv-repair-shop-aliso-viejo-california

    May 21, 2021 at 01:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Mercedes Sprinter Body Repair

    https://www.chiefarchitect.com/go?resource=redirect&url=https://fleetservicerepairshop.com/van-upholstery-shop-near-me/

    May 21, 2021 at 03:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Ranch simulator pl

    We are a group of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community.
    Your web site offered us with helpful info to work on. You've performed an impressive job and
    our whole community might be thankful to you.

    May 21, 2021 at 04:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Sprinter Heater Contol Repair

    https://content.sixflags.com/news/director.aspx?gid=0&iid=72&cid=3714&link=http://sprintervanrepairshop.com/ram-luxury-van-repair-shop-near-me

    May 21, 2021 at 05:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. dash board repair

    Howdy! This post couldn’t be written any better! Going through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I'll send this post to him. Fairly certain he will have a very good read. Thank you for sharing!

    http://cat.sustech.edu/cgi-bin/koha/tracklinks.pl?uri=//ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-shower-repair-near-me/

    May 21, 2021 at 05:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Blinds California

    http://bd.jinti.com/Return/go.asp?mail_id=20170911jd&url=https://ocrv.me/rv-repair-shop-oceanside-california

    May 21, 2021 at 07:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RV Restoration Los Angeles

    https://www.adminer.org/redirect/?url=https://ocrvexperts.com/rv-repair-shop-santa-monica-california

    May 21, 2021 at 10:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. rv mattresses near me

    Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Spending some time and actual effort to produce a really good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and don't manage to get anything done.

    http://tamiroom.com/bbs/cafe.php?mode=node&id=936&page=1&home=https://ocrvcenter.com/passenger-truck-collision-repair-shop-near-me/

    May 21, 2021 at 10:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV Interior Designer Orange County

    https://cdn.embedded.com/common/jumplink.php?target=https://ilsmag.com.pk/news/infinix-unveils-s5-pro-with-40mp-pop-up-selfie-camera/

    May 21, 2021 at 10:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. bus body repair

    http://www.datumconnect.co.nz/ra.asp?url=http://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-yucaipa-california/

    May 21, 2021 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. california collision center lancaster

    I like it whenever people come together and share opinions. Great site, stick with it!

    http://www.interempresas.net/estadisticas/r.asp?idsector=129&e=221083&c=195&d=https://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-culver-city-california/

    May 21, 2021 at 13:08 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

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.