No matter how many locks there are on your doors and windows, there’s still a chance tiny invaders are sneaking into your home to wreak havoc. For the most part, insects are harmless. Certain types, however, can cause real damage and not just to your home but to your family as well. Pests that bite can be irritating and uncomfortable to come in contact with. With an insect fogger in your arsenal, you can rid your home of these nasty invaders and protect your home and family. Read on for tips on how to select the best insect fogger for your home.
- BEST OVERALL: Spectracide 100046128 Bug Stop Indoor Fogger
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Hot Shot 95911 AC1688 Bedbug & Flea Fogger, Pack of 3
- BEST WITH ODOR NEUTRALIZER: Hot Shot 100047495 HG-20177 No Mess Fogger, Aerosol
- BEST FOR LARGE AREA: Raid Concentrated Fogger 1.5-Ounce – 3 Pack
- BEST HEAVY INFESTATIONS: Hot Shot Fogger6 Insect Killer with Odor Neutralizer
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Insect Fogger
When shopping for an insect fogger, there are several factors to take into consideration. Many foggers are made with harsh chemicals and have strict rules to follow. Educating yourself on the best options and safest treatments will ensure you rid your home of irritating bugs in a safe and effective manner. Key features to look for include the type of insects the fogger kills, the ingredients in the fogger, how much space it will protect, how long you’ll need to vacate the area, how long it will last, and how safe it is.
Most foggers are insect-specific. Before purchasing, figure out which bugs you need to eradicate, and purchase a fogger that’s designed to take care of those bugs specifically. Certain insects such as fire ants may need a specific product to kill them off. Using a typical fogger won’t eradicate fire ants; the same is true for fleas.
While there’s a long list of complicated and almost unpronounceable ingredients in some of the best insect foggers, it’s vital to look for formulas that are safe to use in the home. Some foggers leave behind a wet and sticky residue, resulting in a chemical-smelling mess. To prevent this from happening to your home, look for a formula that’s nonstaining and odorless.
Before making a purchase, be sure to double-check the fogger’s coverage, as purchasing a fogger that doesn’t cover the infested area will render the fogger useless. Alternatively, a fogger that’s made for a larger area can potentially be dangerous if used in a small space. For example, a fogger that’s designed to cover 1,000 cubic feet is sufficient for a 900- square-foot space, but it cannot be used for a space that’s smaller.
Dealing with a bug infestation is frustrating. You may even need to vacate your home for several days, as many foggers contain harmful chemicals that cannot be inhaled. Fortunately, there are quick-acting foggers that allow users the convenience of returning to their homes within a few hours.
If you cannot find a quick-acting fogger, you may need to air out your home by leaving the windows and doors open for a few hours once you’ve returned. Be sure to research the time frame of your fogger beforehand. This way, your bug bombing will go smoother and everyone will know what to expect.
After going through the trouble of finding the best insect fogger, evacuating the home for hours, and airing out the space. To prevent the risk of needing a do-over, look for an insect fogger that’s long lasting. Some products work for up to two months post-bombing or even longer. Finding a fogger that’s potent will keep the bugs away and prevent others from following in their tracks.
When ridding the home of nasty bugs, it’s important to do it safely. This is especially true if there are pets or small children within the home. You never know what a pet will lick or what kids might put in their mouths. The best way to keep your family safe from an insect fogger is to follow the instructions and keep your pets and children out of the home until it’s safe for them to return.
In addition to following the on-label instructions, look for products that won’t leave behind a sticky residue. This way you won’t need to clean your home from top to bottom after fogging or worry about your children or pets accidentally ingesting toxic chemicals.
Our Top Picks
With the varying types of insect foggers, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Using the criteria above, this list includes some of the best insect foggers on the market. The top picks will leave your home bug-free and keep your pets and family members safe from harsh chemical residue.
This insect fogger by Spectracide kills many of the bugs that plague homes everywhere, including roaches, ants, fleas, brown dog ticks, mosquitoes, houseflies, silverfish, and spiders. In addition to killing those nasty bugs, this fogger is gentle on the home. The fine mist that erupts from the bomb will not leave stains behind, and it doesn’t have a lasting odor. The fog is water-based and penetrates deep into cracks to kill hidden bugs.
This package includes six 2-ounce fogger cans and a set of detailed instructions to reduce the risk of improper use and damage to the home. When setting off a fogger, the house must be vacated for a minimum of two hours, and the home must be aired out for another two hours before it can be occupied.
With each can covering 2,000 cubic feet of space, this insect fogger by Hot Shot rids the home of bedbugs, lice, fleas, ticks, fire ants, flies, and several other annoying insects. The fogger contains an ingredient called Nylar that prevents flea larvae from developing into the biting adult stage and controls an infestation by stopping the life cycle from repeating. It also inhibits flea reinfestation of the area for up to seven months.
When this bug bomb is set off, members of the household are required to vacate the area for at least two hours, and the home must be aired out for an additional two hours before family members can return.
After using this insect fogger, users won’t be left with a strange or unpleasant odor within their home. The dry fog formula that Hot Shot has crafted infiltrates hard-to-reach crevices within the home to kill off insects, including black carpet beetles, brown dog ticks, carpenter ants, fleas, gnats, houseflies, mosquitoes, roaches, silverfish, and waterbugs. It even works on spiders, which many foggers do not. It does not, however, work on bedbugs.
This fogger is effective on 2,000 cubic feet and will continue to work for up to six weeks. Once the bomb is set, household members should vacate the area for a minimum of two hours, then the home must be aired out for an additional two hours. Because this is a dry fog product, there will not be sticky or wet residue left in the home. If used properly, it won’t stain anything in the house either.
This concentrated fogger covers 5,000 cubic feet—that’s more than double other foggers’ average area. It’s designed to kill ants, roaches, and even spiders. This insect fogger is nonstaining, but it may leave residue behind after each use. There are wipes included to clean up that residue.
After setting off the insect bomb, the area will need to be cleared and vacated for a minimum of four hours, and the home will need to be aired out for a minimum of 30 minutes. Although that seems like a long time, the formula continues to work for up to two months following the bombing.
Whether the dog brings in fleas or there’s an ant invasion, heavy insect infestations can be irritating and hard to control. With this insect fogger from Hot Shot, users can kill large amounts of ants or spiders within just two hours. This fogger also kills brown dog ticks, crickets, fleas, gnats, houseflies, mosquitoes, roaches, silverfish, waterbugs, and more. It doesn’t, however, work on fire ants.
One can of this fogger covers up to 2,000 cubic feet. It’s made of a clear, nonstaining liquid formula that won’t leave behind a wet and messy residue. It’s best not to reenter the home until two hours have passed, and the home will need to be aired out for another two hours before reoccupation. After treatment, this fogger continues to work for up to two months.
FAQs About Insect Foggers
To ensure that your home and family are kept safe while using a chemical-heavy product, here are some of the most frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers about some of the best insect foggers.
Q. Can I use indoor foggers outdoors, and vice versa?
It’s not recommended to use outdoor foggers indoors. This is because the chemicals and formulas used to create outdoor foggers can be harmful to members of the home and to the home itself. Indoor foggers can be used outside; however, they’re likely to be less effective.
Q. Do I need to send children and pets out of the house before I set off an insect fogger?
Yes! Before deploying an insect fogger, everyone within the home should evacuate for as long as the product indicates. Most foggers recommend leaving the home for two to four hours and then airing out the home for an additional length of time.
Q. Will an insect fogger cause my fire alarm to go off?
While it’s unlikely that insect foggers will set off a fire alarm, it’s best to turn off these alarms while using any kind of bug bomb.
Q. Are insect foggers safe for the environment?
Insect foggers, or “bug bombs,” are pesticide-filled products that contain aerosol propellants that release into the air when used. Using too many foggers or using a fogger improperly may cause harm to people, animals, and the environment. In addition, foggers contain flammable ingredients and pose an explosion or fire hazard.
To ensure your family, pets, and your property remain safe during the fumigation process, remember to:
- Follow on-label instructions.
- Turn off pilot lights and unplug electrical appliances (beforehand).
- Remove toys and any other items your children or pets use from the area (beforehand).
- Remove food, dishes, and plants (beforehand).
- Evacuate the building immediately after setting the “bomb.”
- Stay away from the area for the amount of time specified on the product’s label.
- Open windows and doors upon return.
For more information on safety precautions for insect foggers, visit the Environmental Protection Agency website at epa.gov.