Thursday, September 09, 2010

Identification of Insects, Spiders and Relatives

How to identify an unknown insect or spider

I've just posted a revised page on 'Bugs with our suggestions for Insect Identification field guides. If you are mainly concerned with critters that you find indoors, or things that bite and sting, check out our new (2009) book - Living With Bugs form OSU Press (see below). For general Insect Identification questions see Insect Identification Field Guides at our 'Bugs site.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Do Foggers Work For Bed Bugs?

bed bug
Bed bug control with foggers

I am occasionally asked whether or not aerosol foggers ("flea bombs") can be used to control bed bugs. The answer is actually pretty simple - there are better ways to control these pests! In fact they don't work well at all. The only really effective way to control bed bugs is to locate and treat their hiding places (see links below).

What are foggers?
Foggers are cans of pressurized insecticide that release all of their contents as an aerosol mist when the trigger is pressed. They are sometimes called "total-release aerosol insecticides" and are often used to treat indoor spaces for pests like fleas and sometimes flying insects.

Do foggers work?
In general foggers do not work well, even for their targeted pests. The reason is pretty simple - they don't provide the level of coverage that a carefully applied spray insecticide can achieve. Foggers produce a fine mist (aerosol) that is sprayed into the air. The small spray droplets then fall back to earth but don't disperse very well throughout the room and don't contact surfaces that are blocked from above, for example under furniture.

Do foggers work for bed bugs?
Foggers are especially ill-suited for use against bed bugs because these insects hide for most of their lives, protected from the falling droplets of insecticide. This is why it is important to locate their hiding places first then clean and treat these areas directly. See How To Locate and Identify Bed Bugs for more effective ways of dealing with these insects. Also follow the links to finding bed bug hiding places as well as ways to Clean Personal Items such as backpacks if you believe you've been exposed to an infestation.

Questions? Post a comment below.