Ineffectiveness of over-the-counter total-release foggers against the bed bug (Heteroptera: Cimicidae)

J Econ Entomol. 2012 Jun;105(3):957-63. doi: 10.1603/ec12037.


Field-collected bed bugs (Cimex lectularius L.) showed little, if any, adverse effects after 2-h direct exposure to the aerosolized pyrethroid(s) from three over-the-counter total-release foggers ('bug bombs' or 'foggers'); Hotshot Bedbug and Flea Fogger, Spectracide Bug Stop Indoor Fogger, and Eliminator Indoor Fogger. One field-collected population, EPM, was an exception in that there was significant mortality at 5-7 d when bugs out in the open had been exposed to the Spectracide Fogger; mortality was low when these bugs had access to an optional harborage, a situation observed for all field-collected populations when exposed to the three foggers. Even the Harlan strain, the long-term laboratory population that is susceptible to pyrethroids and that served as an internal control in these experiments, was unaffected if the bugs were covered by a thin cloth layer that provided harborage. In residences and other settings, the majority of bed bugs hide in protected sites where they will not be directly contracted by the insecticide mist from foggers. This study provides the first scientific data supporting the position that total-release foggers should not be recommended for control of bed bugs, because 1) many field-collected bed bugs are resistant to pyrethroids, and they are not affected by brief exposure to low concentrations of pyrethrins and/or pyrethroids provided by foggers; and 2) there is minimal, if any, insecticide penetration into typical bed bug harborage sites. This study provides strong evidence that Hotshot Bedbug and Flea Fogger, Spectracide Bug Stop Indoor Fogger, and Eliminator Indoor Fogger were ineffective as bed bug control agents.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bedbugs*
  • Fumigation*
  • Insecticides*
  • Pyrethrins*


  • Insecticides
  • Pyrethrins