Propane Thermal Foggers: Operating Instructions

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Do you have a propane thermal fogger? Do you want to use it safely? Here is an operating guide with all of the instructions you’ll need to use your fogger, from preparation to storage and everything in between. You should, of course, read the manual that came with the fogger to see if the manufacturer has any additional special requirements or tips.

Preparing the Fogger

1. Lock the fogging trigger.

Check if your propane mosquito fogger has a trigger lock button. This button locks the fogging trigger so you don’t accidentally press the trigger while setting up the fogger. This lock button offers additional safety because releasing fog unintentionally can be dangerous for the person operating a fogger. That’s why you should lock the trigger before setting up your mosquito fogger.

2. Fill the container with insecticide.

The next step before fogging is to fill the container with an insecticide. To do this, unscrew the plastic or metal vessel that is generally located under the body of the fogger. This tank should come off easily.

Only use the insecticide or other fogging liquids recommended by the fogger’s manufacturer. Insecticides may contain different chemicals. So, some liquids may be denser than others, which can damage parts of the fogger while in operation.

Don’t overfill the container and make sure that you fill it with enough liquid for the fogger to be able to operate. The pump tube of some insect foggers may not reach to the bottom of the container. That’s why it’s important to make sure that there is enough liquid in the tank for the fogger to be able to pump it into the heating coil.

When you have filled the tank with an insecticide, screw it back on the fogger and tighten since you don’t want it to come off during the fogging process. Don’t over tighten the tank, though, as this could damage the thread of the tank. This is especially true for plastic tanks.

3. Close the fuel valve and insert the propane cylinder.

The last thing to do in the preparation phase is to insert the propane cylinder. Before this, it’s important to make sure that the fuel valve is closed. The fuel valve on a propane fogger is usually located on the side, closer to the back of the fogger.

For most propane foggers, you have to turn the valve clockwise to close it. Make sure it’s properly closed before inserting the propane tank.

The next thing to do is to check if there is any dust or other debris stuck to the propane tank or on the back of the fogger where the propane cylinder goes. If there is any debris, clean both units before inserting the propane cylinder.

Lighting the Fogger

1. Make sure there are no flammable materials around.

Place the fogger on a flat surface. Make sure there aren’t any flammable materials near the fogger before ignition.

2. Make sure the fogging trigger is locked.

If your fogger has a trigger lock button, make sure that it has locked the trigger before lighting.

3. Open the fuel valve.

Slightly turn the fuel valve counterclockwise to begin the flow of gas from the propane cylinder to the fogger’s coil. The gas flow should be minimal, but you still need to hear the gas flowing from the cylinder.

4. Ignite the burner.

The method of igniting the burner will depend on the model of propane fogger you have.

  • Press the ignite button, if your propane fogger has one.
  • If your fogger doesn’t have an ignite button, light a match or a lighter and place the flame under the coil of the fogger.
  • After multiple tries, if the igniter doesn’t light the heater coil, close the fuel valve and wait for two minutes. Then open the fuel valve and try to ignite it again.
  • If the burner still won’t light, open the fuel valve a bit more since the gas flow might not be strong enough.
  • If the burner coil still doesn’t light up, check if the gas cylinder is properly attached to the fogger. You should also check if the cylinder is empty and replace the cylinder if need be.

5. Allow the fogger to heat for a couple of minutes.

This step is very important. You must do this with all propane foggers. Allow the fogger to heat up for two minutes before starting to fog. If you fail to do so, the fogger may spit out unwanted flames or become damaged.

Operating the Fogger

1. Release the trigger lock.

Before starting to fog, you’ll need to release the trigger lock by pressing the button on your fogger.

2. Pump the trigger to start fogging.

After the burner has heated up for about two minutes, you can start fogging. Press the fogging trigger every four seconds. This will pump insecticide into the coil, heat it up, and turn it into a fog, which will then spray out through the nozzle.

Common Fogger Problems

You might face some problems in the fogging process. Here are some common problems and their solutions.

A flame has appeared in the nozzle.

If an unwanted flame appears from the nozzle, stop fogging immediately. Place the fogger on a flat surface and turn off the fuel valve. Let the fogger cool down for 10 minutes before lighting it again, following the steps listed above.

Liquid has started to drip from the nozzle.

If you notice that insecticide is dripping from the nozzle, this means that you are fogging in too short of intervals. You either need to wait for a couple more seconds before the next trigger pump or let the burner heat up for a bit longer.

The fogger is producing a fog that is yellow or brown.

If the fog produced by the fogger is in yellow or brown in color, your fogger has overheated. In this case, you’ll need to fog in shorter intervals until the fog returns to white.

Remember not to fog in too short of intervals, though, as the insecticide could start dripping from the nozzle of the fogger.

Turning the Fogger Off

1. Lock the fogging trigger.

First, you should disable the fogging trigger by pushing the trigger lock button.

2. Wait until all the insecticide has been fogged out.

You’ll have to wait about two minutes for all of the insecticide to leave the coil as fog. During this time, you’ll see fog coming out of the nozzle of the fogger. After a few minutes, all the insecticide will have been used up and you won’t see any more fog.

3. Turn off the gas supply.

Turn off the gas supply by turning the fuel valve. You generally have to do this by turning it clockwise. With the fuel valve closed, the fogger burner will burn for a few minutes longer, so you’ll still see a little flame around the coil.

4. Leave the fogger alone to cool down.

Before doing anything else with the fogger, allow it to cool down completely. This process can take 10+ minutes and can vary according to the type of fogger.

Storing the Fogger

1. Remove the container and the propane cylinder.

Remove the insecticide container and the propane cylinder from the fogger.

2. Empty the insecticide container completely.

Don’t store the insecticide container with any insecticide inside of it. Empty the insecticide container after each use. Then clean the container and the fogger to remove any dust and debris. Storing the container with any amount of insecticide inside may damage the container and the fogger.

Store the fogger, insecticide container, and the fogger itself in a dry, cool, and well-ventilated area.


Thomas Shoff

I own the 1443 model. It is more than 10 years old. The foggier heats and dispenses a very thin stream of Black flag insecticide. The functions seem to be working but it won’t send forth clouds of smoke as before.
Have any thoughts? Thank you.


    The first thing that comes to mind based on what you wrote in your comment is that a part of the fogger might be clogged up and therefore isn’t allowing the fog to be dispensed. The nozzle, the end of the coil and the pump piston all can easily get clogged, so clean them and see if that doesn’t solve things.


My Black Flag fogger does not light. New tank and trying to light with a lighter doesn’t work.


    There might be a few reasons for your fogger not to light even with a lighter. Make sure the fuel valve is intact and open. As well as ensure that the propane tank is attached correctly and is full. If the fogger still doesn’t light, the problem might be that you have a propane leak and it is dissipating before it can get to the burner. Or that the burner or the gas tubes are clogged.

Roberto Juarez

Using Cutter brand mosquito fogger insecticide with Burguss fogger what other nussient bugs and insects will this affect? Thanks


    The Cutter fogging insecticide is meant for combating mosquitoes and biting flies.


The ignite button on my backyard fogger is no longer working. Can I use a lighter to light it?


    Yes, you can try the lighter. A long nozzle BBQ lighter would be preferred for safety reasons.

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