A flea fogger is a flea treatment that uses many active ingredients to create a lethal pesticide for the control of fleas and other household pests. The fogger sprays out a very fine mist that quickly expands to fill the room—infiltrating crevices and gaps to kill fleas where they hide.
These high-quality bug bombs consist of quick-acting ingredients, have long-lasting residual effects, and target flea eggs or larvae so the treatment doesn’t need to be repeated. To find the best flea fogger to treat flea infestation, several top picks and handy tips are listed below.
- BEST OVERALL: Precor Plus Fogger
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Black Flag Concentrated Fogger
- BEST WITH ODOR NEUTRALIZER: Hot Shot No-Mess! Fogger With Odor Neutralizer
- BEST FOR OUTDOORS: Cutter Backyard Bug Control Combo Pack
- BEST LONG-LASTING: Raid Concentrated Deep Reach Fogger
Before You Buy a Flea Fogger
Flea foggers are powerful alternatives to baits, traps, and sprays, and they act as a type of flea bomb to disperse the flea treatment quickly and efficiently throughout a home, ensuring that the poison reaches the hidden nooks and crannies where adult fleas, flea eggs, and flea larvae lurk.
While this may suggest the use of harmful chemicals, Jim McHale, entomologist and president of JP McHale Pest Management, states that popular flea fogger brands “are registered with the EPA and have undergone significant testing. Most active ingredients are derived from a chrysanthemum plant, degrade rapidly in sunlight, and do not build up in fatty tissue of mammals.” That said, it is still worth noting that the use of flea foggers can be a drastic step to tackling a pest problem, requiring users to vacate the treated area for some time.
An alternative option to handle flea infestations as well as bed bugs without resorting to a synthetic pyrethroid or insect growth regulator is diatomaceous earth. Simply sprinkle the diatomaceous earth lightly on affected bedding and carpeting as well as into any hidden crevices to dehydrate bed bugs, fleas, and other pests rapidly. Just keep in mind that this method doesn’t work on flea eggs, so the user will need to reapply after about 10 days to ensure that any newly hatched fleas are also dealt with before they can reproduce.
How We Chose the Best Flea Foggers
In curating our list of top picks, we did extensive research into the main issues that shoppers consider when choosing a flea fogger. We also reached out to industry experts who shared their hands-on experience with a range of pest control products to help narrow our focus and recommendations into a helpful list of options.
Tim Sherrer, owner of Expest Exterminating, warns that many flea foggers “primarily kill adult fleas upon contact and may not eradicate their entire life cycle.” To combat this issue, his recommended brand is Precor: “Flea control products containing Precor will usually achieve the greatest success. Precor will prevent fleas from repopulating, thus ending the flea life cycle.” With this in mind, we made sure to include Precor as the top recommendation on our list.
We also researched other sought-after flea foggers in their respective categories and discovered that the best products are determined by their coverage area, active ingredients, vacating time, compatible insects, and longevity. Plus, some top brands include other special features.
To ensure that our list included reliable options, the selected flea foggers typically cover 1,000 to 6,000 cubic feet of space with tetramethrin-, cypermethrin-, Nylar-, permethrin-, piperonyl butoxide–, and pyrethrum-based formulas. These pesticides kill fleas but also work on spiders, ants, silverfish, cockroaches, mosquitoes, ticks, and more. Additionally, selected indoor fogger products generally require a vacating time of only about 4 hours.
Not only are these flea bombs effective on contact, but they also continue working after application, with some picks lasting for more than 2 months. Plus, some of these foggers have odor eliminators built in, so users don’t come home to a noxious chemical odor.
Our Top Picks
We chose these top recommendations for the best flea fogger for quality, price, and overall value. The major considerations explored below were also integral to choosing some of the best flea fogger products for treating flea infestations.
Flea baths can kill the pests that have already taken up residence in the fur of dogs, cats, and other pets, but to prevent the problem from recurring, the flea population needs to be eliminated. Use this flea bomb three-pack by Precor to treat up to 3,000 cubic feet for up to 7 months. The fogger treatment sinks into carpets, furniture, and tiny crevices to kill adult fleas and their eggs.
This solution also breaks the life cycle of any fleas that manage to survive, preventing reproduction and reinfestation. The fogger has an odorless and nonstaining formula, so users don’t need to worry about it damaging their belongings. However, it should be noted that nontarget arthropods, such as lobsters and crabs, are highly susceptible to this pesticide because of the use of (S)-methoprene.
- Longevity: 7 months
- Active ingredients: (S)-methoprene and permethrin
- Coverage area: 1 fogger treats up to 3,000 cubic feet
- Odorless and nonstaining formula; will not leave any pesky residue behind
- Conveniently effective for up to 7 months; no reapplication required
- 1 fogger treats up to 3,000 square feet of space; 3-pack can cover up to 9,000 square feet
- Insect growth regulator breaks the flea life cycle; kills adult fleas as well as larvae
- (S)-methoprene can affect nontarget arthropod species
- The manufacturer states that users will want to avoid the affected area for at least 2 hours after the application
- Cannot be used in small spaces such as kitchens or in cabinets
Get the Precor flea fogger at Amazon or Walmart.
Pest control doesn’t need to be costly with this pack of six concentrated flea foggers by Black Flag. The affordable flea bomb uses cypermethrin to kill a wide variety of invading pests, including fleas, roaches, mosquitoes, houseflies, spiders, and ants. However, it isn’t effective against bed bugs, brown recluse spiders, fire ants, carpenter ants, harvest ants, or pharaoh ants.
After using this Black Flag flea fogger, the effects can last for up to 3 months. Additionally, the fogger leaves a fresh scent instead of a powerful chemical odor. Just make sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s directions to ensure that the home is properly prepared and that the pesticide is applied in a safe, responsible manner.
- Longevity: 3 months
- Active ingredients: Cypermethrin
- Coverage area: 2,000 cubic feet
- Affordable and effective against a range of pests; kills fleas, roaches, mosquitoes, and more
- Leaves a fresh scent throughout the home after use
- Comes with 6 foggers; suitable for very large coverage areas or multiple uses
- Lasts for up to 3 months after application for added protection
- Does not work on bed bugs; may not be suitable for some users’ preferences
Get the Black Flag flea fogger at Amazon, Tractor Supply Co., Walmart, or Menards.
A common problem with pest-control treatments is that they typically rely on strong chemical solutions that leave behind a powerful odor. This premium-priced fogger by Hot Shot is made with an odor neutralizer, so users can kill fleas, roaches, and other pests on contact without having to deal with overpowering chemical odors.
The fogger uses a mixture of tetramethrin, cypermethrin, and piperonyl butoxide to eliminate fleas, roaches, spiders, mosquitoes, crickets, houseflies, silverfish, and carpenter ants. It also has a dry fog formula that won’t stain or leave an oily residue behind. Use just one can to treat up to 2,000 cubic feet for about 6 weeks.
- Longevity: 6 weeks
- Active ingredients: Tetramethrin, cypermethrin, and piperonyl butoxide
- Coverage area: 2,000 cubic feet
- Built-in odor neutralizer eliminates chemical smells as it works
- Nonstaining, odorless solution provides peace of mind
- Dry fog formula doesn’t leave an oily residue behind after use
- Versatile formula; kills fleas, roaches, spiders, mosquitoes, crickets, and more
- Releases a strong and rather unpleasant odor when used
Get the Hot Shot flea fogger at Amazon, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, or Walmart.
Not all foggers are for indoor use. This product by Cutter is designed to be applied outdoors to kill mosquitoes, fleas, wasps, flies, and even some ant species, though it isn’t effective against carpenter, fire, harvester, or pharaoh ants. The bundle includes an outdoor fogger that is intended for immediate treatment of active pest populations within 1,200 cubic feet, though it lasts for only about 24 hours.
The yard spray treatment provides long-lasting protection for up to 3 months and can treat an area of about 5,000 square feet. However, the outdoor fogger contains tetramethrin and phenothrin, which are powerful active ingredients that can have negative effects on the ecosystem, so it’s recommended to treat the yard only as necessary and no more than once per day.
- Longevity: 24 hours
- Active ingredients: Tetramethrin and phenothrin
- Coverage area: 1,200 cubic feet
- Treats outdoor infestations and repels pests for about 24 hours
- Effective against flies, mosquitoes, fleas, wasps, and some ant species
- Comes bundled with a yard-spray treatment
- Nonstaining water-based solution kills on contact
- Frequent reapplication may be necessary
- Not intended for indoor use; may not be ideal for most users’ preferences
Get the Cutter flea fogger at Amazon, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, The Home Depot, Walmart, or Menards.
The Raid fogger comes with three fogger cans that are each capable of treating an area up to 625 cubic feet. Each fogger can also last for up to 2 months, giving users a total of 6 months of pest-free protection. The flea fogger kills fleas, roaches, mosquitoes, and houseflies, as well as some species of spiders and ants.
The nonstaining formula doesn’t leave behind a wet or oily residue, though it’s important to open the windows to help clear out the powerful chemical odor after use. Additionally, this product is not a suitable method for handling bed bugs; brown recluse spiders; or common invading ant species, including fire, carpenter, harvest, and pharaoh ants.
- Longevity: 2 months
- Active ingredients: Cypermethrin
- Coverage area: 625 cubic feet per fogger
- Wide coverage area of up to 625 cubic feet per fogger; suitable for large coverage area or multiple uses
- Keeps killing for up to 2 months after application for added peace of mind
- Works on fleas, roaches, and some spider and ant species for ample versatility
- Nonstaining formula will not leave any odor or sticky residue behind
- Not effective against bed bugs
- Leaves a strong chemical odor
Get the Raid flea fogger at Amazon, Lowe’s, or Walmart.
Or, DIY Your Own Flea Fogger
Although trying to create one’s own pressurized flea bomb isn’t recommended, there are DIY solutions that can help consumers take care of some flea infestations without having to rely on store-bought products. DIYers can make a quick flea killer and repellent by mixing about eight drops of peppermint oil with 1 cup of water or mixing 2 teaspoons of neem oil with 4 cups of water. Apply the spray to carpets, pet bedding, and other areas where fleas are known to hide to kill the pests on contact.
Alternatively, DIYers can consider the expert advice of Nicole Carpenter, president of Black Pest Prevention, who suggests diatomaceous earth: “It acts as a microscopic abrasive that cuts through the fleas’ shells and larvae. Importantly, it is harmless to both humans and pets.” Detailed information on how to use diatomaceous earth can be found in our handy household guide.
What to Consider When Choosing a Flea Fogger
To ensure a flea fogger will properly treat an infestation, it’s important to identify the active ingredients, area of coverage, and the types of pests the fogger is designed to kill. Other important factors to take into consideration include the insect fogger’s safety features, vacating time, and the length of time the pesticide remains effective.
It’s important to measure the size of the room before choosing a flea fogger. If the room is too big, even the best insect fogger may not reach every corner and crack. If the room is too small, the fogger may pump too much pesticide into the home, which could create a safety issue. Typical flea foggers are designed for the average-size home, with a coverage area of about 2,000 to 3,000 cubic feet.
Some flea fogger coverage can exceed 5,000 cubic feet, ensuring that even the largest of rooms won’t need more than one fogger to treat the flea infestation properly. Keep in mind that a room needs to be measured in length, width, and height to determine its volume. The length and width of a room will provide shoppers with the square footage, not the cubic footage. Oftentimes, foggers have warnings regarding use in small rooms. Because of the pressure from the pump, they can’t be safely used in confined spaces.
A primary factor to consider when looking for a flea fogger is the active ingredients that are used to kill or repel fleas and other insects. Many products contain hazardous chemical components such as permethrin, cypermethrin, tetramethrin, phenothrin, piperonyl butoxide, and (S)-methoprene, which can pose a risk to kids, pets, and the local biosystem.
To help mitigate the risks, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully and ensure that all items are properly stored before setting off the flea bomb. Upon reentry, open windows and doors to increase the airflow through the home.
If the potential consequences of relying on these chemical solutions doesn’t seem appealing, fleas are also susceptible to a variety of natural ingredients, such as peppermint oil or neem oil, which can be applied as a spray to kill and repel fleas without harming the environment.
One frequently overlooked aspect of flea foggers is the versatility of the pesticide. Sometimes one product can work on a variety of insects, arachnids, and other pests in the home, so it’s important to refer to the list of affected pest species provided by the manufacturer to be certain that the product can kill fleas.
Another aspect of flea-fogger versatility is whether it works on all life stages of the flea or if the pesticide is designed to kill adult fleas only—leaving the larvae and eggs to hatch and reinfest the home. Keep in mind that some foggers are intended to sterilize only the adult fleas, preventing reinfestation instead of killing the insects immediately.
For heavy-duty and thorough flea treatment, a fogger with (S)-methoprene can be used initially to prevent further egg laying. Follow this sterilization with a fogger that uses more than one type of pyrethrin in combination with piperonyl butoxide to kill even the most resilient living remnants of the nest.
Flea foggers work by slowly releasing a pressurized spray that continuously spreads out to all corners of a room, from floor to ceiling. At this point, the fine mist seeps through narrow cracks in the baseboards, flooring, ceiling, and walls to reach the dark, hidden crevices where insects hide. This method is incredibly effective, but it also takes a lot of time to apply properly. This period is called the vacating time.
A typical vacating time is about 4 hours. This is split into 2 hours for the flea fogger to disperse the pesticide fully into the area and 2 hours for the home to air out. Keep in mind that after the first 2 hours, the windows and doors of the home need to be opened to clear out any remaining flea treatment efficiently.
The length of time that a single pesticide treatment remains effective is known as the longevity of the flea fogger. The longevity of a flea-fogger pesticide is typically determined by the amount of pesticide used and how quickly the active ingredient breaks down. Foggers have a short longevity period compared to other treatments such as baits, traps, and concentrates.
Typical flea foggers take just a couple of hours to apply and last for 6 to 8 weeks. Long-lasting treatments may last about 12 weeks, at which point users will want to treat the home again if there are still flea problems. Also, very large infestations may rapidly deplete the poison, requiring reapplication sooner.
When using pesticides inside or outside, safety should always be the primary concern. Before using a flea fogger indoors, follow the manufacturer’s directions for proper use. When setting up the fogger, make sure to use a garbage bag to wrap and stow away exposed food and other sensitive items so that the fine mist doesn’t inadvertently poison the food.
When reentering the home, ensure that proper safety measures are taken. This includes wearing long-sleeve shirts, protective gloves, safety glasses, and a mask. Ventilate the space for the amount of time indicated by the manufacturer before removing personal safety equipment. It may also be a good idea to wash exposed clothes, bedding, and furniture to reduce the chance of residual chemicals being absorbed through the skin.
Tips for Using a Flea Fogger
Although using a flea fogger is an effective way to kill pests in the home—and could save money compared to hiring an exterminator— using one can be a tricky task. Users must prepare their home for the treatment, apply the treatment, vacate the home to let the product work, and then clean up after use. To prepare the home, close all the windows and open all drawers and cupboards within the product’s cubic-foot coverage area so it reaches all the nooks and crannies where fleas hide.
Next, remove utensils, clothes, food items, pets, and plants from the space, and turn off any ignition or fire sources in the home. Place the fogger in the center of the home or space, and turn it on. Be sure to leave immediately after the fogger begins working. Once the vacating time has ended, return home, open the windows, and turn on the air conditioner to allow the space to ventilate. Repeat as necessary.
- Air-conditioning units and fans should be turned off while the fogger is working to ensure proper coverage.
- The fogger must be placed on a flat surface in the home so it can be properly dispersed.
- For those who have fish tanks, make sure they are covered or removed from the immediate vicinity of the fogger.
Consider these frequently asked questions about flea foggers for your home or yard to help determine which product would be suitable for treating the infestation.
Q. Do flea foggers kill fleas instantly?
No, foggers don’t typically kill fleas instantly, but the time between poisoning and death is only a few hours. The pesticide must adhere to them so that it can be absorbed into the body before it can begin to take effect.
Q. How long does it take to kill fleas after fogging?
The period between the flea fogger being set off and the fleas being killed is generally between 2 to 8 hours, depending on the specific product, the severity of the infestation, the size of the area being treated, and the active ingredient in the flea fogger.
Q. Can I use a flea fogger in one room and stay in the house?
Staying in the home while a flea fogger is being used is not recommended. The gaseous pesticide can seep through the walls, under doors, and even up into connected ceilings through the home’s ventilation system. In fact, the house should remain completely clear of people and pets for a few hours during and after the bug bombing to ensure all family members are safe.
Q. Do I have to wash everything after using a flea fogger?
After a flea fogger is used, anything that is exposed to the chemicals, such as clothing, bedding, and furniture, should be washed to ensure that lingering pesticides cannot negatively affect the health of the people in the home.
Keep this in mind before using a flea fogger to get rid of fleas in the home so that exposed food or flea-free clothing and bedding can be placed into a protective garbage bag to shield them from the fogger. However, as with any dangerous substance, the manufacturer’s directions for use of a specific product should take precedence over more generalized directions for using flea foggers.
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