Do Bed Bug Bombs Work?

Bed bug bombs are canisters or foggers filled with chemicals that get set off in a room. The chemical slowly leaks out and fills the room, killing the bed bugs and extinguishing the infestation. That’s the theory, anyway.

Do bed bug bombs work?

There is some controversy over how safe they are to use and if they are effective against bed bug problems. Here are the basics:

  • Bed bug bombs are not very effective because they cannot reach the places bugs hide.
  • These bombs are dangerous to humans and pets when inhaled.
  • The canisters do not destroy bed bug eggs.

Bed bug bombs might seem like a good idea to solve your bed bug problem, but there are several issues surrounding the use of these bombs.

We’ll explain below.

The Bed Bug Bomb: What Is It?

Aerosol propellants are used to release pesticides in bed bug bombs. This type of bed bug bomb is thought to work by eliminating bed bugs and forcing them to leave hiding spots.

Based on the information provided by the US Environmental Protection Agency, improper use of these bombs may lead to an explosion. Additionally, the bomb may cause illness, resulting from failure to leave the bomb site during release or returning too quickly.

How Do These Bombs Work?

  1. Place the canister in the room where you want to use it. It’s ideal for placing it near the bed bugs’ main breeding ground (under your mattress, for example).
  2. Leave the room once the canister is activated. The building may even need to be evacuated, according to the strength of the insecticide.
  3. Follow the instructions on the canister regarding how long you should wait. Each one will be different.
  4. Upon entering the room again, allow it to air out to remove any residual fumes.
  5. While outside the room, bed bugs exposed or in the open will have died. Foggers work best when they come into contact with something. Any bed bug that wanders around looking for you that night will receive a significant dose from the chemicals in the fogger. 

Do Bed Bug Bombs Work?

The presence of reasonably effective insecticides (pyrethrins) in bed bug bombs is proof enough that the bombs are capable of killing bed bugs. However, the devil’s in the details.

Even though these methods have been used to eradicate bed bugs, they do not eliminate the infestation.

This is because these poisons are not capable of killing eggs, and adults and juveniles can hide in places that are not affected by the poisons.

We don’t recommend using these bombs, they’re really not a solution to a bed bug infestation (or a flea infestation, which they’re also commonly sold for).

Are Bed Bug Bombs Safe?

By misusing foggers, you could end up in the hospital! Use only the recommended number of foggers.

Before turning on the fogger, make sure everyone has left the house. Pesticides are sprayed by using flammable gasses. The more foggers you use, the higher the level of vapors.

Explosions or fires can be caused by sparks from pilot lights, furnaces, thermostats, or water heaters. Read the label carefully.

It is a common question to ask if the bombs are safe. They aren’t. That’s the short answer.

It is a common question to ask if the bombs are safe. They aren’t. That’s the short answer.

There is no such thing as a “safe” pesticide. They can cause health problems for you, your pets, and your children if they are not handled properly. 

Bed Bug Bomb Side Effects

It’s no surprise that, just like with any other pesticide, bed bug bombs are not without alarming and scary side effects. A wide range of symptoms can result from them, from mild respiratory problems to fatal consequences. Among these effects are:

  • Problems related to breathing
  • Coughing
  • Upper respiratory tract irritation
  • Cramping muscles
  • Feeling nauseated
  • Eyes that burn and sting
  • A headache and dizziness

How Effective Are Bed Bug Bombs at Deterring Bed Bugs?

Long-term deterrence is one of the benefits of bed bug bombs. After a spray has been sprayed, permethrin remains on surfaces and in fabrics for a long time.

Bed bugs will die if they come into contact with permethrin during their nightly wanders. However, bed bugs are notorious for craftily avoiding harsh chemicals or potentially toxic substances.

While permethrin is less likely to kill the bed bug, it does repel them. People who have finally extinguished their infestation will be happy to hear it means they won’t have to deal with another infestation in the future.

Ultimately, bed bug bombs should be used alongside other treatment methods rather than relying solely on them. Or just not used at all.

Are Bed Bug Bombs Effective at Killing Bed Bug Eggs?

The fogger does not kill bed bug eggs, so understanding the life cycle is important. The new generation of insects will still need to be killed after hatching.

To definitively solve your bed bug issue, multiple treatments must be carried out. Those who get bed bugs again soon after treatment often do not understand that repeat treatments are necessary.

Bed bugs are known for laying their eggs in places far away from humans so they can survive. Usually, they will bury them under furnishings or your bed frame so that nothing can access them, not even the smoke in the air. 

Bed bugs are known for laying their eggs in places far away from humans.

Therefore, bed bugs are relatively easy to eliminate if you can locate them, despite infestations returning. Infestations are maintained by hatching eggs that turn into adults.

In contrast to other types of spray, you cannot spray bed bug bombs wherever you like. For the spray to be effective, you must let it sit for a while. Because of that, bed bug bombs won’t work against eggs.

Preparation for Using a Bug Bomb

If you want a bed bug bomb to be as effective as possible, you should start by exposing as many bed bugs as possible. You can accomplish this in several ways:

  • Remove all bedding from your bed and wash it. Place it in a bag in your room, and put it in the washing machine immediately. Turn the bag inside out and shake it vigorously to ensure all the contents are out. You’ll have to wash everything at a high temperature. Toss the bag in the garbage.
  • Make sure the room is completely sealed. It would be best if you used tape to cover cracks, fill gaps between baseboards and walls, and so on. As long as you seal up any potential entry and exit points, the bed bugs will not be able to get out of your house. When you finally start spraying them, more will die.
  • Spray something like tea tree oil on the mattress in your room to disperse the bugs. The same applies to furniture that you suspect has been infested. Bugs must be exposed to the open, allowing the fogger to reach them more easily.

After doing this preparation, you can move on to using the bomb. Make sure to get it going as quickly as possible to prevent the bed bugs from finding another hiding place for protection.

Bed Bug Bomb Alternatives

As we mentioned above, we’re not big fans of the bug bomb as a solution to bed bug infestation.

Bed bug infestation is an absolute nightmare. It is hard to live with bed bugs in your house. You don’t know where to sleep. You’re terrified you’ll infest your friends’ houses by visiting them. It can take a year to kill off an infestation.

It’s tough, and if possible, you should get some professional help involved.

Your best bet is to use a vacuum and steam cleaners to clean your home thoroughly. 

Wash all your clothes and linens and store them in sealed bags. 

Disassemble any furniture in the vicinity of your infestation as much as possible, and then thoroughly vacuum them. After that, you will have to go back and steam the same areas to ensure you didn’t miss any spots. 

Don’t just wash linens and clothes; wash and dry any fabric that bed bugs have touched on a high heat before storing it, including cushion covers, floor rugs, and curtains.

Regarding combating bed bugs, diatomaceous earth is an excellent choice. There are no harmful chemicals in this bed bug powder, so it shouldn’t be a problem for you to touch it or sit in an area treated with it. Diatomaceous earth powder is safe for both children and pets.

In fact, it’s widely used to treat chickens for fleas. 

Diatomaceous earth powder is safe for both children and pets.

Despite its appearance and feel, it contains hundreds of tiny shards if viewed under a microscope. These shards are insignificant to humans, but they are like glass shards to insects like bed bugs. By puncturing insects’ exoskeletons and absorbing their internal fluids, DE rapidly dehydrates them.

Due to its fine texture, the powder can be easily applied to furniture and placed in confined areas, allowing it to combat infestations that hide in places foggers cannot reach.


Aerosol foggers, such as “Bug bomb,” are an exception. It’s generally ineffective to use foggers to control bed bugs. These insecticides don’t penetrate the cracks and crevices where bed bugs hide, so they cannot reach them. It’s not recommended to use them in any way due to health concerns and the fact that they don’t work. 

Bed bug bombs are dangerous to inhale, and when used incorrectly, they can cause fires and explosions. There are plenty of alternatives to choose instead that are safer for your home and your family.