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PestiBytes Episode 15: Can Bug Bombs Really Explode?

headphones Introduction/Conclusion: Dr. Dave Stone, Director of the National Pesticide Information Center
Host: Sandra Uesugi, EHSC Outreach Program Coordinator
Guest: Jennifer, NPIC Pesticide Specialist

DR. STONE: Welcome to PestiBytes, a podcast series from the National Pesticide Information Center. These are based on common pesticide questions from people just like you.


SANDRA: This is Sandra, and I'm here with Jennifer to talk about foggers, also known as bug bombs. Jennifer, I've heard stories about bug bombs exploding. Is that true?

JENNIFER: People really have blown up their homes with these products. You need to be sure you read the entire label carefully before you start, so you know if you need to turn off pilot lights or take any other steps first.

SANDRA: How do bug bombs work?

JENNIFER: Foggers create a cloud of pesticide droplets that then settle on all exposed surfaces and leave a residue. And it's the residue that kills the insects.

SANDRA: How would I prepare my home for fogging?

JENNIFER: Make sure that all dishes, toys, food items, or personal care products in the area are put away or covered before you start the bug bomb so they don't get coated with that residue.

SANDRA: What could happen if I use too many foggers?

JENNIFER: If you use more than you need, you may end up with too much residue in your home. And that might make you or someone else in your household sick.

SANDRA: Are there other precautions I should take before using a fogger?

JENNIFER: Before you start any fogger, make sure all people and pets are out of your home, and cover fish tanks and turn off the pumps. Know your exit route, and make sure the pathway through it is clear. And set off the fogger farthest from the door first. The foggers will keep spraying until they're empty. So, wait until all the fog has settled and the residue has dried before you go back inside. You might consider ventilating your home afterwards, too.

SANDRA: Thanks, Jennifer!

JENNIFER: You're welcome!


DR. STONE: If you have questions about pesticides, please call us at 1-800-858-7378 or visit us on the web at http://npic.orst.edu. PestiBytes is brought to you by the National Pesticide Information Center, a cooperative agreement between Oregon State University and the Environmental Protection Agency. These are produced in collaboration with OSU's Environmental Health Sciences Center, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

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If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email at npic@ace.orst.edu.

Last updated May 10, 2011

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