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No Bug Bombs

July 26, 2019

Trying to get rid of roaches? Why 'bug bombs' don't work


Raleigh, N.C. — Got roaches? Researchers at North Carolina State University say a new study shows a popular way people try to get rid of them does not work.

"A lot of people are using these foggers, and what we found with the bug bombs is nothing happened," said Dr. Zachary DeVries.

DeVries said the bug bombs do not work to help get rid of the roaches in our homes. In an effort to study them, he and his team raise the bugs in their lab.

For the study, DeVries used Triangle homes with known roach problems. In some, they used pesticide gel baits, and in others, they used bug bombs.

"We came back two weeks later, after we set off the bombs, and there were still just as many roaches as there were at the beginning," he said. "Two weeks later, and then a month later ... so, nothing had happened to the roach population."

The researchers give two reasons, first, the pesticide lands on many surfaces but not where roaches typically hide, including underneath ledges and in cabinets and crevices. The other problem they say, is that roaches are almost immune to that pesticide.

"These cockroaches are so resistant to these products you could put out a hundred foggers in a home and you're never going to control the cockroaches," said DeVries

So, what does work?

"The number one thing when we're talking about cockroaches are gel baits," he said. "We put those in, and the cockroach numbers plummeted. They dropped very quickly and, even within one month, we were down to 10 percent of what we were at the beginning."

Multiple retailers sell them. They look like a syringe and you can dab the gel in the areas where the roaches run most.

Devries says roaches eat it, and that it spreads to others through their feces. And, he says, that will rid your home of more roaches than a bomb ever will.

Another big part in battling roaches - we have to make our homes less comfortable for them. Don't leave out any food, including pet food.

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