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Safety Precautions for Total Release Foggers

Current as of May 2012

EPA has prepared this fact sheet to help users reduce potential hazards associated with total release foggers. Total release foggers, also known as "bug bombs," are pesticide products containing aerosol propellants that release their contents at once to fumigate an area. These products are often used around the home to kill cockroaches, fleas, and other pests. Because the aerosol propellants in these foggers typically are flammable, improper use may cause a fire or explosion. In addition to this hazard, failure to vacate premises during fogging or reentering without airing out may result in illness.

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Vacate the treated residence after application
Do not use more foggers than necessary
Keep foggers away from ignition sources

Pest Prevention First

Foggers and bug bombs should not be used as the only method to attempt to control bed bugs.

The most effective way to reduce or eliminate pest problems and risks posed by pesticides is to first prevent these pests from entering your home. Around the home, such measures include removing sources of food and water (such as leaky pipes) and destroying pest shelters and breeding sites (such as litter and plant debris). For additional information about preventing pests around the home, please review EPA's Web page on Controlling Pests, and for additional advice on pest issues and pesticide safety see the "Citizen's Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety" (PDF) (54 pp, 2.4 MB, About PDF)

Safety Precautions

When nonchemical pesticide prevention measures are not effective to control pests, you may choose to use a chemical pesticide. One type of product is the total release fogger. While these products can be effective under the proper circumstances, they can pose real risks to your home and family if used improperly. Before using a total release fogger in your home or building, please read and follow the safety tips and common-sense precautions below.

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Take Other Common-Sense Precautions

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EPA Labeling Actions to Reduce Risk of Fire

In 1998, EPA revised flammability label warnings to reduce the risk of fires and explosions. These labeling requirements also provide specific directions for proper use of these products with minimal effects to industry or consumers. Specifically, the 1998 label requirements mandated the following label changes to total release foggers that contain highly flammable propellants:

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For More Information

For additional information about pesticides and poisoning prevention, please contact the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) Exit EPA disclaimer at 800-858-7378.

For information about Federal programs to regulate pesticides, please contact:

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