Cleaning up After Using Insecticides Indoors

Bugs are everywhere and will inevitably find their way indoors now and then. One or two creepy-crawlies in your house are no problem; however, insects can breed at alarming rates and just a couple of roaches can quickly become thousands. Once they’ve reached full-blown-infestation status, many pest species can be near-impossible to get rid of completely.

If your insect invasion becomes overwhelming, resorting to insecticidal control methods (such as foggers, bug bombs, sprays, and powders) may be your only option for total eradication.

However, chemical control methods can have a harmful impact on your health and home if used improperly. When using insecticides in your home, it’s vital that you follow all instructions to the letter and clean up properly after. But what’s the best way to clean up after indoor insecticidal treatment, so you can protect your health while making sure your bugs are exterminated?

Why do you need to clean up after using insecticides indoors?

Generally speaking, professional and safe indoor insecticide use shouldn’t require a ton of cleaning after. Provided you take the necessary steps to prepare your home for treatment, there should be little or no contamination of food items, cooking utensils or clothing. What’s more, many chemical pest control treatments rely on the residual insecticides left behind to completely eradicate an infestation. Excessive cleaning after a treatment is, therefore, bound to lessen its effectiveness.

Lingering chemicals can negatively impact your health if you don’t follow the appropriate safety measures. Insecticides have been found to significantly worsen indoor air quality, which can have a wide variety of health effects. These range from the not-so-serious (headaches, dizziness, and nausea) to organ damage and an increased risk of cancer.

Insecticides can also find their way into your body via your food. Though all food should be sealed and stored during treatment, residual chemicals on your kitchen counters can easily transfer to food items afterward. Ingesting trace amounts of pesticides over a short period of time is unlikely to cause any significant harm – but it won’t do you any good, either.

So, how can you clean up after using insecticides at home, without reducing the effectiveness of the treatment?

How to clean up after using a fogger or bug bomb indoors

Total release foggers spray a fine, insecticidal mist into the air that eventually drifts down and settles on exposed surfaces around your home. The pesticides in foggers usually kill bugs on contact, and the residue left behind is essential for eradicating any insects that survive the initial treatment.

You can reduce your chance of exposure by properly storing all food items, cooking utensils, cutlery, clothing, children’s toys, and other items prior to treatment. However, the air in your home will still be impregnated with the insecticide, which presents a potential health hazard to you and your family. It is important to open all windows and doors for several hours following treatment, to allow the product to completely disperse before you go back indoors.

Some foggers and bug bombs may not have residual action. If this is the case, there is no need to leave them in place and you can clear up immediately after treatment. To do this, take a rag and a bucket of warm, soapy water and get to work wiping down any surfaces that have come into contact with the insecticide.

Top tip!

When airing out your home after insecticidal treatment, use fans to increase air movement and expedite the process.

How to clean up after using insecticide sprays indoors

Insecticides for home use often come in the form of aerosol sprays. These kill-on-contact products are easy to use and can effectively take down a wide range of pests, from mosquitoes to roaches.

However, just like foggers and bug bombs, these products release chemicals into the air in your home, which can cause health problems when inhaled. They can also settle on surfaces around your kitchen, increasing the risk of food contamination.

If you use an insecticidal aerosol spray, ventilation is key. Keep windows and doors open during use, and leave them open to allow the spray to disperse properly after. If the spray comes into contact with food preparation surfaces or utensils, make sure to wipe/wash them thoroughly afterward.

Top tip!

Safely store all food items, cooking utensils and children’s toys in rooms where you use an aerosol spray.

How to clean up after using insecticide powders indoors

Insecticidal powders and dusts are inexpensive, easy to use and have long-term residual effects that can help to clear even large infestations. Unfortunately, this means they must be left in place for a long period of time, to allows as many insects to come into contact with them as possible.

This makes them largely unsuitable for exposed areas in your home. Dusts and powders are most often used in attics, crawlspaces, and cracks, where they can remain undisturbed while they work their magic.

Insecticide powders should be used only in areas where people are unlikely to come into contact with them and should be wiped or vacuumed up immediately if spilled. This is especially true in food preparation areas, and in places where children play.

Top tip!

Insecticidal powders are most effective when applied lightly and are easier to clean up, too!


Insecticides for home use can be a highly effective way to eradicate persistent infestations. These products often kill bugs on contact and can have residual effects that continue to work for days or weeks after the initial treatment.

This makes them a popular choice among people experiencing a heavy insect invasion, but what about the effects of these products on your health? Airborne particles left behind after treatment can be harmful if inhaled, and food items can be contaminated after coming into contact with treated surfaces.

Cleaning up insecticides properly after indoor use (by thoroughly airing out your home and clearing excess product from floors and surfaces) is essential for reducing your chances of accidentally ingesting these harmful products.

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