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‘Bug bomb’ foggers can be tempting. Clear everyone out of an infested building for the day, and after the mist has subsided, boom, your issues are gone. Temporarily, that is. Sure, they are a cheap fix, but they do not do the job well, as the mist will only kill what it lands on, missing the more important cracks and crevices where the insects, including the source of the problem, are likely hiding. Even worse, they are linked to respiratory and gastrointestinal health issues across the nation. Ever since 2012, the EPA has required improved labels to reduce illness, but the problems persist. Between 2007 and 2015, there were 3,200 illnesses and 4 deaths related to bug bombs in 10 states. Five percent of these cases were in children under the age of 5, and fourteen percent of patients were 60 and older. The biggest culprits were early re-entry or failure to leave the building at all during the bombing. However, even those who followed the directions for the recommended ventilation period got sick. Excessive, repetitive use of these foggers also contributed to these numbers.

If using a bug bomb, it is vital to ensure the safety of all people and pets involved. Family members must be notified, children and pets must be removed from the area, and windows should be opened to promote ventilation after your return to the building. Labels should be followed exactly, but even more precaution is suggested.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is the truly the primary recommended strategy when handling insects and rodents, in which pest control professionals determine ways to combat your pest problem with the least possible danger to people, property, and the environment. This is how pest issues are treated in school systems, for example. So the next time you run to your local store to grab a bug bomb fogger, think twice and call your local exterminator for the safest, most effective treatment plan.

Source: “‘Bug bomb’ foggers still making people sick “by Margaret Steele, Healthday Reporter

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