Looking for the best bed bug bombs and foggers?
You’re in the right place! In this Pest Strategies guide you’ll learn:
- What bed bug foggers and bombs are
- If you should use them (or not)
- Our preferred products for most people
- And our personal experience with bed bug foggers and bombs for infestations
If you’re wondering if buying a bed bug fogger or bomb is worth your time, we have your answers from an experienced exterminator.
Ready to learn? Let’s get into it!
Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
- Powerful immediate knockdown effect on bed bugs
- 2-week residual killing effect after application
- Easy to use “point and spray” application
After our review, our #1 pick goes to Bedlam Plus.
Well, if you’re looking for a bomb or fogger to kill bed bugs, you’re going to be disappointed because none of them work and will only make your bed bug problem worse.
This is because most foggers and bombs use pyrethrins, Cypermetherin, Deltamethrin, Tetramethrin, or some other pyrethroid variant that have all lost most of their effectiveness toward bed bugs elimination. Now they only serve to agitate or bother bed bugs, which results in the colony “splintering” making infestations even worse for typical homeowners!
It’s worth pointing out, Bedlam Plus isn’t actually a bomb or a fogger at all. It’s an aerosol insecticide with an active ingredient called Imdacloprid, which started life as a termiticide for killing termites. Bedlam has a good knock down power and a long-term residual impact.
You need to wear a respirator mask when you’re spraying it. Hold the can down and spray the target area back and forth, making sure you cover every square inch of it. Once you’re finished spraying, leave the room for two to four hours. When you return, many of the bed bugs will be dead, and many more will die in the days to come.
If you’re curious about actual fogging machines, we do recommend the Actisol® Machine mixed with a combination of Crossfire and Gentrol in the tank. Crossfire is a powerful bed bug pesticide with a remarkable track record of success.
Gentrol is an IGR that acts like birth control for bugs, preventing them from reproducing. It goes without saying, to ALWAYS consult an exterminator prior to using pesticides around your house ESPECIALLY for bed bugs.
Keep reading for a detailed guide on using these products in your home.
Bed bugs are many people’s worst nightmare. Waking up to dozens of little bites on your body and realizing it is because bugs were crawling all over you during the night while you were sleeping, is more than enough to give anyone a serious case of the creeps. You might be getting itchy just reading about it.
Luckily there are answers. You can fight back and you can win. But, and we have to be honest here, victory is going to come at a cost. Shouting ‘Death to All Bed Bugs!’ is cheap. Going through with it – isn’t.
Ed has been working in the pest control industry for years helping 1,000's of homeowners navigate the world of insect and rodent management. He manages Pest Strategies now helping homeowners around the world!
Table Of Contents
Top 2 Best Bug Bug Foggers & Bombs
If you’re short on time and just want to know what you should use here’s our short list. Remember to always consult an exterminator before using pesticides around your living conditions!
What Are Bed Bug Bombs & Foggers?
The truth of the matter is, there isn’t any difference between bombs and foggers. It’s like asking, what is the difference between a car and an automobile? There isn’t any difference. It’s just two different words for the same thing.
That’s the way it is for bombs and foggers. Bombs and foggers are pressurized cans full of insecticide. When the tab is pushed into the locked position, the can begins releasing its contents into the air in an insecticide “bomb”, or it is filling the air with a fog of insecticide. Either way, it means exactly the same thing.
Unless you’re talking about a fogging machine. That’s a whole new kettle of fish.
What Is A Bed Bug Fogging Machine?
A fogging machine is an electrical or gas powered machine equipped with a tank which can be pressurized after it has been filled with a liquid insecticide. Once the pressure has stabilized, pressing the trigger expels a stream of pressurized chemical fog at the pinpoint location of the operator’s choice.
The chemical tank can be filled with any number of different bed bug pesticides, mixed to various strengths and combined with Insect Growth Regulators (IGR) to inhibit their reproductive ability.
There is a wide range of fogging machines, backpack foggers, and Actisol® machines. The one thing they all have in common is, they cost more than the pressurized can-type of foggers and bombs, usually a lot more. In the case of the Actisol® machines, over $1000.
What Is Our Experience With Bed Bug Foggers And Bombs?
Before we go any further, I need to disclose that I have 14 years of experience as a licensed pest control technician in Texas. I also have a CA license (Certified Applicator) which means I can instruct other people through their apprenticeship period and get them ready to take the State test to obtain their license.
Read Also: What’s the best way to get rid of bed bugs?
I’ve used Actisol® machines, both the portable ones and the ones on the cart but I am not paid by Actisol® in any way, shape, or form. I will just be telling you about my personal experience with them. I’ve also used backpack foggers and some of the smaller fogging machines. I’m not advocating any particular model or brand.
I’ve also seen the results of people using the pressurized can-type of bombs and foggers in their own homes and businesses. Most of what I’m about to present to you is based on that experience.
How Do Bed Bug Foggers And Bombs Work?
The pressurized can is filled at the factory with a pre-measured and pre-mixed pesticide, usually a pyrethroid plus a few additives and stabilizers. Pyrethroids are synthetic chemicals that mimic the action of natural extracts from chrysanthemum flowers. They’ve been around and used in insecticides since the 1950s.
Unfortunately, in that time, bugs of all kinds, including bed bugs, have built up a resistance to them from repeated exposure. Today, pyrethroids are considered a low effectiveness insecticide, mainly used around the outside of buildings in high concentrations for general pest control.
Most of the pressurized can-type bombs and foggers use pyrethrins, Cypermetherin, Deltamethrin, Tetramethrin, or some other pyrethroid variant. The pressurized contents spread out in the room, becoming more diluted in the air as they spread. Bed bugs hide in cracks and crevices, the very last place the fog will reach, and therefore the point at which the barely effective pyrethrins will have been the most heavily diluted.
Bottom line: how do bed bug foggers and bombs work? They don’t.
What Happens If You Use A Bed Bug Fogger Or Bomb?
Going into a house or apartment building where bed bugs are active is a creepy experience. You automatically want to start itching and scratching as if just being there is enough for them to jump on you and start biting.
It’s easy to tell when people have bombed or fogged before I arrived because the pyrethroids, which can’t kill the bed bugs, are still strong enough to agitate them and stir them up causing the colony to “splinter”. Bed bugs normally hide during the day or stay underneath blankets or down in between cushions.
Read Also: How to use bed bug covers for your mattress?
When I see them openly crawling around, it tells me something has driven them out of their hiding holes. Nine times out of ten, it’s because someone didn’t want to wait for the “bug man” to arrive and tried to do it themselves.
Aside From Foggers Or Bombs Can Anything Kill Bed Bugs?
Actually, yes there is, and it’s our number one pick (only pick). We’ll cover it below but we need to make one observation about it first; it’s not a bomb or fogger.
It’s a spray that you use to coat the floor, bed, mattress, baseboards, etc., with. You use it in a pinpoint fashion, focusing the spray on the areas where bed bugs like to nest. Basically, it’s like using a handheld fogging machine.
Now that we’ve covered the basics and why bed bug bombs and foggers don’t work, let’s take a deep dive on the two products we actually recommend when trying to tackle a bed bug problem.
Bedlam actually has several active ingredients in it that work together to kill pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs, a fact it specifically mentions in a bright red band on the label directly beneath the name. I’ve used it to do bed bug clean outs. Other pest control technicians have reported the same results when we met once a year at conferences for our CEUs (Continuing Education Units).
Using it is a slow process and a disposable respirator mask is definitely needed to protect you from the fumes. To treat a standard 1800 square foot house, you’ll need to use two to three cans of Bedlam Plus.
The Good And The Bad
- Easy to use "point and shoot" application method
- Effective killing action
- Long residual effect
- Need to wear a respirator mask
This is the most accurate method of killing bed bugs I’ve found in 14 years as a pest control technician. It’s also the most expensive. The handheld unit is over $1000 and the cart model is just under two grand, so it’s not for everyone.
The atomization nozzle produces the perfect sized droplets to reach bed bugs in their nests and cracks and crevices where they like to hide. It’s faster than the fogging machines and slower than a backpack fogger but it does a better job than either one.
If you use this machine, be sure to treat all the seams of the mattresses, all the cracks and crevices on all the baseboards, the windows and blinds, the frame of the bed, the feet of the bed, all the drawers (inside and out) in the bedside table and dressers, the hinges in the doors (including the closet doors), and all the seams of all the furniture. If there are rugs or carpets, treat every square inch of them but pay special attention to any seams. Bed bugs will often use the seams as a way to crawl under the rugs and carpets.
As a general rule of thumb, if it takes you less than an hour to treat each room, you’re going too fast.
The Good And The Bad
- Does an excellent job reaching the small cracks and crevices bed bugs like to hide in
- Has a long hose to make it more user friendly
- Very expensive
- Very loud