A flea fogger is a type of flea treatment that uses a variety of active ingredients to create a lethal pesticide for killing fleas and other household pests. The fogger sprays out a very fine mist that quickly expands to fill the room—infiltrating baseboards, frames, and ceiling gaps to kill fleas where they hide. A single fogger takes about two hours to fully disperse the pesticide throughout the room and another two hours (post-application) to properly air out the home so that it’s safe enough for people and pets.
High-quality flea foggers should consist of quick-acting, active ingredients, have long-lasting residual effects, and have the ability to act on eggs or larvae so that the treatment doesn’t need to be repeated. To help you kick-start your search for the best flea fogger to treat your flea infestation, several top picks are listed below.
- BEST OVERALL: Hot Shot Fogger6 With Odor Neutralizer
- RUNNER UP: Spectracide 100046128 Bug Stop Indoor Fogger
- BEST WITH ODOR NEUTRALIZER: Hot Shot 100047495 HG-20177 No Mess Fogger
- BEST FOR LARGE AREAS: Durvet 011-1135 No-Bite Multi-Pest Indoor Fogger
- LONGEST LASTING: Black Flag 11079 HG-11079 6 Count Indoor Fogger
What to Consider When Choosing the Best 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 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, the 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 an area of coverage of about 2,000 to 3,000 cubic feet.
Larger flea foggers can exceed 5,000 cubic feet, ensuring that even the largest of rooms won’t need more than one fogger to properly treat the flea infestation. Keep in mind that a room should be measured in length, width, and height in order to find the volume of the room. The length and width of a room will provide you with the square footage, not the cubic footage.
The term “active ingredient” in flea sprays, baits, and foggers refers to the component of the mist that’s responsible for killing the fleas, larvae, and eggs. Typical ingredients in flea foggers can include S-methoprene, pyrethrins, and piperonyl butoxide.
- S-methoprene acts directly on a flea’s hormone production system to prevent the flea from reaching maturity or reproducing. While this active ingredient doesn’t immediately kill the fleas, it does sterilize the nest so that when the current generation dies, the infestation won’t come back. This active ingredient is often used with pyrethrins, which kill live fleas directly.
- Pyrethrins are naturally occurring chemicals found in the chrysanthemum flower that are highly toxic to insects. Pyrethroids are a synthetic imitation of the natural pyrethrin that acts on fleas and other insects in the same way. Some common chemicals that fall into this category include permethrin, tetramethrin, and cypermethrin. These insecticides act directly on the nervous system of the flea to cause muscle spasms, paralysis, and death in a short period of time.
- Piperonyl butoxide is an interesting active ingredient because it doesn’t harm the insect when used on its own. However, when paired with a pyrethrin, it dramatically increases the effectiveness of the fogger. This is because piperonyl butoxide stops the production of certain enzymes used to break down some toxins, ensuring that resistant insects don’t survive the initial fogger application.
One frequently overlooked aspect of flea foggers is the versatility of the pesticide. One product can work on a variety of insects, arachnids, and other pests, so it’s important to refer to the list of affected pest species provided by the manufacturer in order to be certain that it 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 only designed for adult fleas—leaving the larvae and eggs to hatch and re-infest the home. Keep in mind that some foggers are only intended to sterilize 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 pressurized spray that continuously spreads out to all corners of the 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 properly apply. This time period is called the vacating time.
A typical vacating time is about four hours. This is split into two hours for the flea fogger to fully disperse the pesticide into the area and two hours for the home to air out. Keep in mind that after the first two hours, the windows and doors of the home need to be opened in order to efficiently clear out any remaining flea treatment.
The length of time that a single treatment of pesticide 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 like baits, traps, and concentrates.
Typical flea foggers take just a couple of hours to apply and last for six to eight weeks. Long-lasting treatments may last about 12 weeks, at which point if there are still flea problems the home should be treated again. Also, very large infestations may rapidly deplete the poison, requiring reapplication in a shorter time period.
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 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.
Our Top Picks
These top recommendations for the best flea fogger were chosen for quality, price, and overall value. The major considerations mentioned above were also integral to choosing the best flea fogger products for treating flea infestations.
Treat infestations quickly and efficiently with this flea fogger that disperses an aerosolized pesticide into every crack, crevice, and corner of a room to reach pests where they nest. The value pack comes with six fogger cans that each contain 2 ounces of pesticide, effective at treating an area of up to 2,000 cubic feet. After the initial treatment, the pesticide continues working for up to eight weeks.
This flea fogger has a built-in odor neutralizer, so consumers won’t need to worry about a lingering chemical smell following the treatment. Due to Hot Shot’s dry fog technology, there’s no need to turn off the pilot lights on the major heating and cooling systems before activating the flea foggers. Active ingredients in this formula include tetramethrin and cypermethrin, allowing the fogger to treat most ant species, fleas, gnats, mosquitoes, ticks, crickets, earwigs, pillbugs, spiders, and many more insects and arachnids that are listed on the label.
This Spectracide value pack features an odorless, water-based formula that won’t leave wet residue or stains on the furniture, floors, walls, or fabrics as long as the product is used as directed. This affordable pack includes six fogger cans that each contain 2 ounces of pesticide, which is dispersed into a 2,000 cubic foot space over the course of two hours, allowing the fine mist to seep into deep cracks and crevices.
The pesticide uses tetramethrin and cypermethrin as active ingredients, which are both pyrethroids. This means that the pesticide begins attacking the nervous system as soon as it is in contact with the flea. It then begins shutting down muscle function, restricting movement, and killing the insect within eight hours. This flea fogger is great for fleas and is also effective at treating roach, ant, tick, and spider infestations.
Clearing out a flea infestation doesn’t have to mean a lingering chemical smell will permeate the home for weeks if the fogger is designed with an odor neutralizer, like this Hot Shot flea fogger three-pack. Each fogger contains 1.2 ounces of pesticide that takes a minimum of two hours to properly disperse into a 2,000 cubic foot space with the effects lasting for up to six weeks.
If the home can be kept sealed up for longer than two hours before ventilation, the pesticide will be even more effective, which is why it can be a good idea to use a flea fogger before leaving for vacation. The flea fogger uses a combination of tetramethrin, permethrin, and piperonyl butoxide to quickly treat infestations of fleas, roaches, silverfish, carpenter ants, and many other insects and arachnids, though it isn’t effective at killing bed bugs.
Big houses tend to have at least a few very large rooms that wouldn’t be adequately treated with a standard flea fogger, but each can in this three-pack of flea foggers is capable of treating up to 6,000 cubic feet, or a room that measures 30 feet by 25 feet by 8 feet. Use the fogger in the attic, basement, garage, storage spaces, kennels, boats, stables, or even to treat an entire apartment, allowing two hours for dispersal and two hours of ventilation before reentry.
This flea fogger is very potent because of the combination of piperonyl butoxide with the two pyrethroids known as tetramethrin and permethrin. This means that it can be used to kill a wide range of insects and arachnids, including fleas, ticks, centipedes, cockroaches, and even the larvae, helping to prevent reinfestation. Despite the potency of the fogger, it doesn’t have an unpleasant odor, which is primarily due to the water-based formula.
Take back control of your home from fleas, roaches, some ant species, most spiders, mosquitoes, silverfish, brown dog ticks, houseflies, and many more insect and arachnid species with this value pack of six Black Flag flea foggers. Each can contains 1.25 ounces of pesticide that can be used to effectively treat spaces of up to 2,000 cubic feet. The minor amount of fogger spray reaching beyond this point may still harm some pests, but it isn’t reliable.
The flea fogger has a very long-lasting effect that can remain active on nonporous surfaces, like stainless steel appliances, sealed tile, and laminated wood, for up to 12 weeks after the initial application. The active ingredient in this fogger is a chemical called cypermethrin that belongs to the pyrethroid family. To complete the treatment it takes about two hours to fully disperse and an additional two hours to air out the home with all windows and doors open.
FAQs About Flea Foggers
Consider these frequently asked questions about flea foggers for your home or yard if you aren’t certain about what 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 two to eight 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 a bad idea. Houses are designed to connect through ventilation systems and the gaseous pesticide can seep through the walls, under doors, and even up into connected ceilings. 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, like 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 use of flea foggers.