Where You Should and Should Not Use a Propane Fogger

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There are some areas you should use a propane insect fogger and others where you must not.

Propane foggers are thermal devices that use heat to vaporize an insecticide from its liquid state to spray it out as a fog. In order to vaporize, an insecticide fogger must heat the liquid to a high temperature. For that reason, some fire safety cautions must be taken into account before using a heated fogger.

There are also different insecticides specified for different pests or insects and these formulas may contain toxic substances that may not be good for humans, animals, or other insects that may actually be useful to have in your garden.

Each fogger and insecticide comes with a user’s manual which contains important information about the areas in which you can and cannot fog and how much fogging must be done with each insecticide in order for it to be effective.

In this article, I will lay down some of the more common practices as well as which areas can be fogged and which areas must not be fogged with a propane fogger.

Where to use a propane fogger

It is practically always safe to use a propane fogger outdoors. But, you do not want to waste an expensive insecticide by spraying it all over your backyard in areas where mosquitoes do not reside.

It is important to note all of the areas around your house or yard where mosquitoes might be living. Look for dark and humid areas with standing water. Those are the places where female mosquitoes lay their eggs and the majority of mosquitoes will reside in such areas during the daytime. Some of these places may include, but are not limited to:

  • Vegetation (shrubbery, trees, grass, etc.)
  • Metal cans and barrels filled with water
  • Clogged rain gutters and pools non-chlorinated water
  • Swamps, ponds, ditches, and other natural areas with standing water

After inspecting and identifying these areas, it is time to start taking action to eliminate those blood-sucking insects.

But, there are a few things you should know before you start to fog everything you can find.

Choose your insecticide wisely

First of all, you need to choose and purchase an insecticide.

Look for an insecticide that meets all of your requirements. For example, if you have a mosquito problem, search for an insecticide that is intended to control mosquitoes. If you have a wasp problem, look for an insecticide that will be effective on wasps.

You want to be as specific as possible to eliminate the majority of the insects that are problematic to your space, so the appropriate insecticide is a must for successful insect control.

Find out where and how to properly use your fogger

Now that you have an idea where your mosquitoes live and you have filled your propane fogger with the perfect insecticide for your needs, the next thing you need to know is where that fog needs to be applied and how to do so.

Fogging near house

Yusnizam Yusof/Shutterstock.com

The insecticide fog needs to applied directly to the areas where mosquitoes are living.

Targeted fogging will be much more effective and will kill more mosquitoes than simply fogging random spots around the yard or house would be. This means fogging such areas as shrubbery, trees, plants, and the smaller gaps around and below buildings as well as other similar areas around your house.

One thing you should note is that there are two types of foggers and repellents: wet and dry.

Using a wet fogger directly on vegetation is not recommended as it can leave a greasy residue which may harm plants.

On the other hand, dry foggers can be applied directly to vegetation so they are considered more effective at treating mosquito problems. This is why it is important to read the usage instructions for both your fogger and insecticide before using them.

While fogging you need to apply the fog:

  • On the upper surface and undersides of the leaves of plants.
  • Inside of shrubbery as this is one of the most common places for mosquitoes to reside during the day.
  • Around trees, focusing more on treetops that are covered with leaves. This is the area where a fogger can be more effective than other applications of insect repellents due to the difficulty of reaching the tops of tall trees where the majority of mosquitoes reside in the daytime.
  • In tall grasses and smaller bushes.
  • In dark or wet areas around the house and yard where mosquitoes like to live and reproduce.

Precautions to keep in mind when using a propane fogger

The following are some precautions you need to know before fogging in certain areas.

Keep a safe distance from the area you are fogging

Keep a distance of approximately 5-6 feet (1.5-1.8 meters) from the area you are fogging to allow the insecticide particles to land upon the target surface.

This will ensure that the fog does not get blown in any uncontrolled direction in the case of a sudden breeze or bout of wind.

Make sure the fogged area is well-ventilated and does not contain any flammable materials

It is forbidden to use propane foggers indoors. If you need to fog an open area under a roof, a patio, or any similar place, make sure that it is well ventilated.

Also, remove any materials that could catch fire easily as propane foggers operate using a high amount of heat and can sometimes spit out small balls of flame which could set flammable materials on fire.

Where NOT to use a propane fogger

There are certain areas where you must not use a propane fogger in as they can be dangerous for both living beings and the environment.

Here are a few of the areas you must avoid when fogging.

Do not use a propane fogger in an indoor area

It is dangerous to use a propane fogger in any indoor area as it may pose a serious fire safety threat.

A propane fogger works with propane gas which heats the coil to a very high temperature. Propane foggers work using an open flame which makes them dangerous to use indoors, especially when there can be highly flammable materials around the house. You could also accidentally touch something with the tip of the fogger which is heated to an extremely high temperature and could immediately set any flammable material on fire.

Do not use a fogger near food or trays of food

Never use a fogger in areas near uncovered food or trays of food.

The insecticides used in foggers generally contain toxic substances that can be harmful to humans if eaten, even in very small doses.

Do not use a wet fogger directly on vegetation

Avoid fogging vegetation directly with a wet fogger as the insecticide can damage plants. Make sure to remain at a distance and fog in the direction of the vegetation, not directly on it.

Do not fog in areas where children or pets are present

Keep the fogging area clear of children as well as pets. The fog, which includes insecticides, may be dangerous if inhaled, especially for children and pets.

Make sure that the area remains child and pet free before starting to fog and a few hours afterward as well. The amount of time before the area will be safe to re-enter must be indicated on the bottle of insecticide. This will depend on the type of insecticide and the area fogged, but, usually, it will be safe to go into the fogged area after a few hours.



Can I use a Burgess Outdoor Fogger to spray inside my attic vents from the outside? trying to get rid of a stink bug infestation. There is no chance of anything catching fire


    I believe you can, just make sure that the insecticide you are using with the fogger is safe to be applied indoors or to areas like attic vents and so on.

mitch andrus

will insect foggers harm lizards, frogs and geckos?


    It will depend on what fogging liquid (insecticide) you use with your fogger.


Can I use a tick spray, such as permethrin, in a propane fogger. I want to kill/prevent ticks?


    You shouldn’t use regular tick repellent in a propane fogger. There are liquid solutions that are designed for getting rid of ticks and to be used in a thermal fogger, like ExciteR and other products on our best insecticides for foggers article.


Can I use a fogger to spray the top of my linden tree for Japanese beatles and what type of insecticide can I use.


    It depends on how tall your linden tree is. Most home use propane foggers only produce fog that’s about 10 feet tall, so using a fogger might not be your best option here. I would better recommend you using either the Bayer Advanced Landscape Concentrate (that you don’t have to even spray directly on the tree) or the PyGanic Botanical Insecticide (if you want something to spray directly on your tree).

Donna Wilfong

Can you use this in garden and still eat vegetables?

    Kristiana Kripena

    It depends on the fogging liquid you’re using with your propane fogger. The information on if you can use the solution and still eat your vegetables after fogging should be on the label of the product.

Denise Riek

Can I use a propane fogger safely around a pool? If so, what kind of insecticide should I use?


    Yes, the fogger can be used around the pool. As for choosing the insecticide, you should choose one that’s meant to deal with your problem. For example, if you’re dealing with mosquitoes, you should choose one that’s meant for mosquitoes.


The crawl space under my 80 year old home is cramped and not ventilated…What dangers would I be looking at when using your propane fogger?


    Lack of ventilation could definitely become an issue since you should avoid staying in the area before the fumes from the fogger are gone. Foggers should be used in spaces that can be well ventilated afterward.


Can bifenthrin 7.9F be used in a propane fogger? My lawn chemical supplier says yes but I am seeing NO in most posts. If no, what is the best to use to help control mosquitos? Thanks


    Since the label states that Bifenthrin 7.9 F shouldn’t be applied by air, I wouldn’t suggest using it in a propane fogger. You can, however, apply it using a low-volume application equipment such as the Actisol Compact Unit or other similar sprayers. For more information contact the manufacturer.
    As for the mosquitoes, this article has propane fogger friendly options.

Jeff Mathis

I have a 1/2 gallon container of Burgess brand Insect Fog, active ingredient Remethrin cyclpropanecarboxylate, that is several years old. I have used it in a thermal sprayer. Is the contents still potent enough to use for adequate results?


    From what I know, the performance of the active ingredient won’t be affected much in a few years. However, you should still check for an expiration date. If there is one, you should trust it.

Calvin White

Where can I buy mosquito insecticide for use in my propane fogger in Canada? All the places that used to have it no longer seem to carry it. I am in the Burlington and Owen Sound areas in Ontario.


    If you google ”Where to buy mosquito insecticide for propane fogger in Burlington Canada” some places show up. I’m not sure whether or not they actually have insecticides in stock, but you can always try purchasing some online (for example, on Amazon)


What happens if the fall goes into my neighbor’s yard.
Or if people may be walking by the other side of the Bush line


    I would advise you to look up any laws that specific to your location that might regulate such matters. My personal advice would be to notify the neighbor of your plans, as well as making sure you fog the bush line when there is no one walking by.

Ken C

Can a mosquito fogger be used on a hedge row separating my yard from a cow pasture?


    Considering the insecticides are often toxic, you should probably avoid having your cows around, while you’re fogging, and for some more hours after that, so it has time to dry. The exact amount of time you should wait depends on the insecticide used, so be sure to check the label for the instructions.


Can I use fogger on mangoes trees
By using that the fruits or flowers not be affected.?


    Depends on what insecticide you’re using. Read the label, all the info about whether or not it can be used on mango trees (or fruit trees in general) should be disclosed there.


So what do I use inside a large building to rid mosquitos? Fog bomb.? Since I can’t use the propane fogger ?


    Check out this article. It has several products that can be used indoors.


Will the fumes of propane kill insects, alone, or do you have to use a fogger.


    I’m assuming you meant insecticide? If so, then yes, you do indeed need to use an insecticide when treating an area with a propane fogger.


I have a mosquito infestation in my house. Can I use a propane fogger indoors? And I will be using the Black Flag Insecticide, i suppose that will be safe since it is water based?


    No, propane foggers are not supposed to be used indoors. They are a fire hazard, no matter of the insecticide used in them.

Mark Phillips

Could I use my propane fogger to dispense a disinfectant to combat Coronavirus?

    Kristiana Kripena

    If the disinfectant you’re planning on using can be used with a propane fogger then sure! It all depends on both the disinfectant solution and your particular fogger.

Sally S Layton Laney

I’m also wondering about using the propane fogger to spray disinfectant. I’m thinking about using just Hydrogen Peroxide like hospitals use in their Vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide chambers to disinfect soft articles like masks that can not be autoclaved. Would that be possible and safe?


    If you’re wondering about killing the new Coronavirus, we can’t comment on whether or not this solution will be efficient. Also keep in mind that a propane fogger shouldn’t be used indoors, as it poses certain risks to fire safety. You also shouldn’t forget that breathing in hydrogen peroxide vapor can harm you, depending on the concentration. Overall, we would suggest figuring out a different option or consulting experts in cleaning or someone else competent to talk about disinfection and viruses.


Are there are any natural products that can be used in a fogger?


    Go to this article, you’ll find Wondercide solution as the 6th product. It’s natural and works great!


I hear that at dusk is the best time to fog , but can I fog any time during the day before the outdoor activity?


    You should read our article about the best time for spraying. It explains when you should and shouldn’t fog, as well as the reasons why.

Bob Peot

Can I use a propane fogger in my yard with a koi pond? Please recommend an insecticide to use. Thanks for your help.

Chester Marshall

Can i use a propane fogger to disinfect the church corridor?


    We suggest using ULV foggers indoors.

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