‘Bug Bombs’ Are Ineffective Killing Roaches Indoors

— Written By

NC State University | 1/27/2019

Zach Devries | zcdevrie@ncsu.edu | 919.515.1820
Coby Schal | coby@ncsu.edu | 919.515.1821
Mick Kulikowski | mick_kulikowski@ncsu.edu | 919.515.8387

Total release foggers, commonly known as “bug bombs,” are ineffective at removing cockroaches from indoor environments, according to a new study from North Carolina State University.

Bug-bomb chemicals fail to reach places where cockroaches congregate the most – on the underside of surfaces and inside cabinets, NC State researchers say. Besides leaving behind numerous cockroaches, bug bombs also leave behind nasty toxic residue in the middle of floors and countertops, areas cockroaches generally avoid but which are heavily used by humans and pets.

“There’s been a general assumption that bug bombs work to eliminate cockroaches indoors, but no one had conducted a formal assessment of their efficacy and any exposure risks,” said Zachary DeVries, an NC State postdoctoral researcher and the lead author of the study, published in BMC Public Health. “We’ve done that simultaneously in this study.”

To understand more about the effectiveness of total release foggers, the researchers tested four different commercially available bug bombs with various insecticide active ingredients in five different apartment complexes with moderate to severe infestations of German cockroaches (Blattella germanica), common indoor household pests.

“All the fogger products contained pyrethroids, a class of fast-acting insecticides, and some contained piperonyl butoxide, a chemical that prevents roaches from metabolizing, or breaking down, the insecticide,” said Coby Schal, Blanton J. Whitmire Distinguished Professor of Entomology at NC State and senior author of the paper.

Continue reading the full study.