Flea bomb foggers and how they work
Flea foggers are aerosol canisters that contain insecticides that kill fleas on contact. They are called foggers because when deployed the insecticide is released as a fog that covers the area to be treated.
This is actually a great method of treating flea infestation because the fog reaches parts of the space that sprays might not get into. Some flea foggers go beyond just killing adult fleas, they kill the eggs and larvae too which are tiny and difficult to sight but the fog often gets to them as it penetrates within carpet fibers, crevices, baseboards, and those areas you might not even think of.
This depth of penetration by the foggers are what makes them an excellent choice for treating a household flea infestation. Some flea fogger brands claim that their product will continue to keep your space protected for up to 7 months after application.
This method, however, is recommended if the infestation is serious. The fog is potentially dangerous to humans and animals so it is important that the house is empty of people and pets for hours after applying it. This will allow the insecticide to work deep and ensure there are no survivors.
This treatment method does not work to treat your pet for fleas.
It is advisable to treat your dogs and cats before even treating your home. That way, they won’t come back home with fleas hidden in their bodies and cause a fresh infestation.
What are the components of a flea fogger?
Flea foggers contain active ingredients that do the actual killing. The most common chemicals used are Permethrin, Tetramethrin, Methoprene, and Cypermethrin. Depending on the brand, any or a combination of these are used in the formulation to give a deep-reaching treatment.
Methoprene on its own does not necessarily kill adult fleas. It mimics the presence of a natural juvenile hormone which keeps flea eggs, larvae, and pupa, from developing. That way new adult fleas are not created and they will eventually die off. This substance is often combined with any of the other insecticides for a thorough flea infestation treatment.
The other insecticides work by attacking the insect’s nerve cells causing them paralysis and death. Another active ingredient used in flea foggers is Piperonyl Butoxide. This is not a pesticide on its own and will not kill insects but it has a job of enhancing the effects of any insecticide it is paired with. The presence of this substance in any insecticide makes it even more active.
How efficient are flea foggers?
Flea foggers (or flea bombs) are an effective way to tackle large, concentrated infestations of fleas. These products typically contain a cocktail of insecticidal ingredients specifically chosen to take down fleas at all stages of the life cycle. Contact killers, such as pyrethrin and permethrin, will instantly exterminate any living flea they come into contact with. Insect growth regulators, such as Nylar and Methoprene, target the larvae and eggs of fleas to prevent eggs from hatching. This is particularly useful if you have carpeted floors, as this is where flea eggs most often end up once they’ve dropped off your pet.
These ingredients are effectively dispersed throughout rooms in your house when you use a flea bomb. The fine mist produced by foggers penetrates cracks and crevices and settles over surfaces in your home to kill fleas wherever they hide. Many flea bombs have residual action, with the active ingredients sticking around for a few days after treatment to take out any remaining fleas.
Unfortunately, no flea treatment is 100% effective. These tiny insects are very good at hiding themselves away, and a few will always escape the flea bomb. However, foggers are a reliable way to kill large numbers of fleas and, when combined with other control methods, can be a key factor in completely eliminating an infestation.
How to use flea fumigators
If you are planning to use a flea bomb at home, make sure you follow these steps:
- Always read the label carefully. Make sure the flea bomb you have chosen is suitable for the size of the room you want to treat. Generally, one flea bomb should be used per room.
- Prepare your home. Cover and store all food, cooking utensils, children’s toys, and pet toys. Clean your house thoroughly prior to treatment so the product is more likely to stick to surfaces. Cover all furniture and electronics to prevent damage or staining.
- Open all doors, cabinets, and drawers in the infested room. This will allow the product to penetrate everywhere fleas may be hiding.
- Be ready to evacuate for several hours. You will need to evacuate your home during and after the treatment. Carefully check the product label on your flea bomb to find out how long you need to be out for.
- Activate the flea bomb. Place the flea bomb in the middle of the room to be treated (on top of a protective layer, like a newspaper), activate it and immediately evacuate the premises.
How to use a flea bomb safely
- Make absolutely sure there are no humans or animals in your house when you activate the flea bomb and be prepared to stay out for a few hours after the treatment. The chemicals used in flea bombs can present a significant health hazard, so you need to be sure the product has completely dispersed before you re-enter your home.
- Turn everything off. One of the main safety concerns with flea bombs is that they contain flammable ingredients. Eliminate the risk of setting fire to your house by unplugging all electronics and turning our pilot lights prior to treatment.
- Ventilate your house. Once you return home, open all the doors and windows to thoroughly ventilate the property and allow the product to disperse.
Top tips for effective use
- Vacuum your house prior to treatment. The vibrations from vacuum cleaners can stimulate flea eggs to hatch, making the treatment more effective.
- Take out your dirty laundry. Clothes can harbor flea eggs and larvae. Remove all dirty laundry from your house before you set off your flea bomb and launder it before you bring it back indoors.
How to determine which flea fogger to buy
It is not in all cases that the entire house needs to be treated. But if you want to, it is often better. If you are sure flea is the only insect afflicting your space, chances are they have been laying eggs all over the place. Those eggs will be in different stages of development.
In that case, you might want to go for foggers that contain Methoprene. This is because this active ingredient will help to kill off flea eggs, larvae and pupa. Those types that will kill only adult fleas might need to be reused at intervals to kill the new hatchlings.
Another thing you might want to consider is the number of canisters in a package. Some come with as many as 6 cans, or even more.
Depending on how large your space is, you might need up to that for a single treatment. It will surely be inconvenient to leave your home for hours if you decide to treat one room at a time.
The size of each can is also a thing. If you want to save money, you can look out for which brand is offering an extra can at a discount. Flea bomb foggers are a great way to treat flea infestation and it is worth serious consideration especially if other approaches have not been fruitful.
Advantages and disadvantages of flea bomb foggers
The active ingredients in these flea foggers are often effective against more than just fleas. They are often general insecticides. So, it is highly possible that a flea bomb will also kill other insects in the house saving you some costs. For instance, Pymethrin is said to be toxic to bees. So if you have a bee invasion in your home, you can eradicate them along with fleas.
Flea foggers offer a deep treatment of your space as the fog will reach into places you might not be able to with insecticide sprays. This is why fogging is often used when the infestation is severe because of the thorough and long-lasting effects it has.
As good and effective as flea foggers are, there some things that are not so cool about them. One of which is the fact that they are toxic.
The fog is potentially poisonous to humans and animals. You will have to wash food processing items and surfaces after the treatment to get chemicals off them.
Though they don’t leave residues nor cause stains, you will still need to do some cleanup when you are done fogging. For the most part, you at least have to clean out the dead insects that will be littering your floor. If you think about it, cleaning up after getting rid of those pesky fleas in your home is right about worth it, isn’t it?