Can You Use a Mosquito Fogger in a Wine Cellar?

A mosquito fogger is a machine that sprays insecticides into the surrounding air in the form of a mist or fog. This fog kills or repels mosquitoes and other unwanted insects (spiders, fruit flies, etc.). One common question is whether you can use a mosquito fogger in your wine cellar. In this post, we’ll explore that very question.

About Mosquito Foggers

First, let’s take a quick look at mosquito foggers. Generally speaking, there are two different types. Thermal foggers use the heat produced by electricity or by burning propane gas to vaporize the liquid into a fog. Cold foggers only use electricity for power. They generally create fog using a special nozzle and a lot of air pressure. In both cases, the fog or mist will contain an ingredient that repels or kills mosquitoes and other bugs, similar to the mosquito repellents you use on your skin.

Mosquitoes in Wine Cellars

Why would you want to use a fogger in your wine cellar? Well, you probably know from experience that this part of the house always tends to get a nice infestation of insects around summertime. (Maybe there’s a bit of spilled alcohol on the floor or it’s just humid.) Since this is a gathering point for mosquitoes and other pests looking to penetrate your house, you might think it’d be a good place to use a fogger. Think again!

There are several reasons why you shouldn’t use foggers in your wine cellar. Let’s go over them, one by one.

Pyrethrins can cause allergic reactions in humans

The ingredient in the fogger fluid that repels the mosquitoes, in many cases, is a substance called pyrethrin. Apart from its effect on insects, this can cause an allergic reaction in humans. This is especially true for those with respiratory problems, like asthma sufferers. That’s why it’s unwise to use pyrethrin fogging liquids in areas where people live, work, eat, etc.

They are generally safe for outdoor use only

You can also use a fogger in a garage, provided it’s large and well ventilated. Be sure to look at the instructions that came with your product, though. In most cases, the directions for use will actually specify keeping it away from pets and humans. They’ll also say that it’s unwise to allow the fogger fluid to settle on countertops, exposed food, etc. You’ll have to cover these and/or clean them before using them after fogging.

The pesticide might affect your wine

Another problem with using a fogger in your wine cellar is that if you keep your wine bottles down there, there’s a risk that the pesticide will coat the caps, corks, etc. It could even penetrate the wine itself, making your stock undrinkable. Why risk it? There are other mosquito treatment methods out there.

Foggers might not even effective indoors

If you set the fogger up so it simply sprays the fog into the air, the pesticide will settle on the surfaces, the furniture, the floor, etc. Very little will penetrate the cracks, holes, nooks, and other hard-to-reach areas. This is exactly where the bugs tend to congregate! Insect repellent can actually cause the insects to move deeper into those hard-to-reach locations, which, in this case, would make fogging counterproductive. Here, a flyswatter and a good vacuum might be a better option.

The ingredients in mosquito foggers may be flammable

This is true when the insecticide is used – or even just stored – near fire or an open flame. If your wine cellar also houses your home’s pilot light, beware! Again, you’ll need to check the instructions that came with your product. But it’s always better to be safe than sorry. This is yet another good reason to steer clear of using insect foggers and misters in your wine cellar.

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