Pest and Pesticides

Insect Foggers and Ignition Sources Make FIRE HAZARDS

Insect foggers, also called total release foggers or bug bombs, are cans of pesticides that kill roaches or fleas all at once. Foggers can be a serious health hazard. Too many foggers or foggers placed too close to an ignition source are dangerous!

Two employees and five bystanders were injured in a fire at a bakery/restaurant when 36 roach bombs were set off near a stove's open flame and pilot light. The vapors from the roach bomb exploded and caused a fire. One of the employees suffered second degree burns.

In another example, members of two families were injured when roach bombs were set off in a kitchen and the vapors exploded from the pilot light for the stove.

New York State Department of Health Pesticide Poisoning Registry

These examples come from doctor and hospital reports to the State Health Department. This information is used to learn more about how an accident or poisoning occurred so that similar incidents can be avoided in the future.

The confidential reports are maintained by the Pesticide Poisoning Registry, in the New York State Department of Health's Bureau of Occupational Health and Injury Prevention. If you would like more information about the Registry, using pesticides properly, or to learn more about IPM techniques, please call 518-402-7900 or 800-458-1158 or email us at

How Accidents Can Be Prevented

  • Read the product label first! Product labels provide information on how to use the product safely. Ask for help if you have trouble understanding the instructions.
  • Turn off all possible ignition sources when using bug bombs. This includes stoves, heaters, and water heaters that have pilot lights. Be sure to turn off all electrical appliances that may generate heat or sparks.
  • Use only the number of foggers you need for the area you want to treat. You will find that information in the directions. Using more than the recommended number does not eliminate pests faster.
  • Reduce the need for chemical pesticides. Follow Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices to keep pests away (cover garbage, keep food in plastic containers, keep house clean, etc.).
  • Contact a commercial applicator to control the presence of pests if you are experiencing a severe infestation.