Why Don’t the Flea Bombs that You Buy at the Store Work?

If you’ve ever had a flea infestation, you know it can quickly drive you to drastic measures. It doesn’t take many biting “hitchhikers” latching onto your ankles—or unwanted bed partners covering you with welts—to make you desperate. Pretty soon, you’re compulsively scratching parts of your body that don’t even have flea bites and saying crazy things, like, “Maybe I should flea bomb my house.” Please read this article before you decide to fill your living space with toxic gas. It’s a bad idea. The question is not even whether flea bombs work, but rather why don’t the flea bombs that you buy at the store work, because they almost never do.

Are Over-the-Counter Flea Bombs a Complete Waste of Money?

Flea bombs, also called foggers, seem to make sense at first glance. One would assume that the inside of the home being treated will be completely permeated with poison gas, leaving nothing alive. But like many less-than-stellar retail products, the reality falls far short of the promise. Furthermore, the decision to flood your home with airborne poison is a big one that may carry health consequences for you and your family. A very brief tour of flea bomb science will help you see why it’s not a great treatment option.

How Does a Flea Bomb Work?

Again, to be clear, they don’t work. But here’s how they’re supposed to work: you park the aerosol can in the middle of a room and push a button or flip a lever. Now run—that’s poison gas. The gas is slowly released into the air over the next couple of hours, filling the room and killing any fleas with which it makes direct contact. But here are the problems with flea bombs:

Do Flea Bombs Only Work in One Room?

A standard flea fogger can saturate the atmosphere of a small- to medium-sized room, but not a large room, and certainly not other rooms in the house. Its range is very limited, and it does not penetrate into floors, carpeting, furniture, or other places that fleas hide.

Black and white photo of a flea bomb (aka fogger) spraying chemical into the air

Do Foggers Frighten Away more Fleas than They Kill?

Fleas understandably don’t like the smell of flea bombs, so they hop away at the first whiff of one. Feeling threatened, their instincts usually drive them deeper into hiding, so the toxic gas that failed this time will fail even worse, next time.

Are Flea Bombs are Very Inconvenient to Use?

Plan on staying away from your home for at least two to four hours after using a flea bomb, and much longer if possible. This is very dangerous stuff.

Why Don't Flea Bombs Kill Baby Fleas?

The only fleas you can possibly kill with this treatment are currently active adults. The eggs and pupae will be unharmed, so at best, your flea problems will soon return.

Is it True That Flea Bombs Only Work for a Few Hours?

Flea bomb pesticide is designed to quickly lose toxicity, so the fleas you’ve frightened away can return in a matter of hours without harm. They can hop right back into bed with you as soon as you move back into the space.

But the toxicity of a flea bomb is not entirely dissipated, from a human health standpoint, so you should also consider the risks to you and your family.

Photo of a dog sitting in the grass and scratching himself. A cartoon though bubble over his head shows images of fleas and ticks.

Are Flea Bombs Safe to Use Around Family and Pets?

Even though they’re designed to lose toxicity faster than other pesticides, the residues left behind by foggers are far from harmless. They leave a coating on floors, furniture, toys, pet beds, and anything else within range of the poison, potentially causing serious health problems. If you’ve already deployed a flea bomb, you need to vacuum floors and furniture, then wash any exposed possessions that you or your family may touch.

As if this treatment wasn’t already inconvenient enough, you’ll also have a big clean-up job afterward, if you want to guarantee the safety of your family and pets.

Flea Treatments that Do Work

The surest and safest way to get rid of fleas is to call a professional. Over-the-counter powders can work when sprinkled onto furniture and carpeting, but they may make pets and children ill. Spot sprays can be effective if you catch an infestation early and spray very thoroughly, but in both these cases, you’re introducing poison into your living space, which opens the door to new risks.

green pest control professional can inspect your property for fleas, then dispense the right treatments in the safest possible manner. Learn more on the Go Green Pest Control website, or give us a call to chat with a professional: (316) 733-0687 in Wichita or (785) 377-0687 in Manhattan and Junction