Toxic ‘bug bombs’ won’t remove cockroaches from your home: study

Total release foggers, or as home owners fighting the good fight against cockroaches know them as, ‘bug bombs’, aren’t effective at eliminating cockroach infestations from homes.

A new study published in BMC Public Health in late January suggests bug bombs do little to kill cockroaches indoors. According to the report, the released chemicals don’t breach the areas in homes where cockroaches are abundant and thrive, such as inside cabinets and underneath surfaces.

Not only do they fail to address cockroach control problems, but bug bombs leave a toxic residue in common areas like countertops and floors – or, where the people are but the bugs aren’t.

The study involved testing four different commercial bug bombs with various insecticides in 20 homes with varying levels of German cockroach infestation. Following up weeks after the cockroach treatment, they found there were no declines in the estimated cockroach population numbers before the bug bombing.

“The bug-bomb products did absolutely nothing to control cockroach populations in these homes,” study researcher Zachary DeVries said.

The research also investigated insecticide exposure in homes and its risks after a bug bombing. A month after treatments, they found 34 per cent of floors and surfaces still had insecticide residue present.

“Bug bombs are not killing cockroaches; they’re putting pesticides in places where the cockroaches aren’t; they’re not putting pesticides in places where cockroaches are and they’re increasing pesticide levels in the home,” DeVries said.

What about gel baits for cockroach control?

DeVries and team tested the other popular DIY cockroach removal tactic home owners employ as well. Treating another 10 homes with gel baits in areas where cockroaches hide, they found the gel baits to be more effective than bug bombs. Still, this simple tactic leaves a lot to be desired when battling large infestations; taking a risk with gel baits for small colonies is ill-advised, too, as there’s a lot at stake if it’s ineffective.

Cockroach Removal from the Pros

The best way to effectively kill roaches is consulting with a pest control company with certified pest exterminators.

Cockroaches are simply too resilient to the average home owners attempts at extermination – these guys can withstand nuclear warfare, after all. Residential pest control services can manage cockroach infestations with green-friendly solutions such as integrated pest management (IPM) which is a complete plan to get rid of cockroaches for good. With the proper procedures – including inspection, monitoring, elimination, and exclusion – taken in organic IPM, you can rest assured those cockroach problems are gone, and won’t come back.


Why risk your family’s health or the integrity of your home with bug bombs or gel baits? Know the pest control job is done right the first time and contact Terminix Canada for a free consultation on your cockroach infestation.