Can You Put A Bug Bomb In A Crawl Space? (Find Out Now!)

Matthew Mountain
by Matthew Mountain

Insect infestations can happen in numerous locations in a home, and one space where insects mass is the crawl space. Crawl spaces are often cramped and hard to reach, which means addressing an insect infestation in this location can be a difficult task.

An easy fix—or so some think—is to put a total release fogger, or “bug bomb”, in the crawl space and let the device do the rest. But can a bug bomb be used in a crawl space? Such is the question this article answers.

Yes, a bug bomb can be used in a crawl space, but using this device in this location may not achieve desired results. If the bug bomb is not placed correctly, it won’t be able to dispense its aerosolized pesticide properly. And if the device is not able to dispense properly, such could lead to negative consequences like unintended pesticide exposure and structure damage.

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What Is a Bug Bomb?

When activated, a bug bomb will release an aerosolized pesticide to fumigate the space around it. According to the EPA, bug bombs can kill cockroaches, fleas, ants, termites, and other pests.

One must be careful when using a bug bomb, as its aerosol propellant is flammable, which means improper use could result in a fire or explosion. Also, one must ensure the space being fumigated by the bug bomb is completely sealed off, as prolonged exposure to aerosolized pesticides can cause illness.

Can You Put a Bug Bomb in a Crawl Space?

In short, a bug bomb can be put in a crawl space, but placement will determine whether or not the bug bomb is a complete success or an utter failure. For this reason, it’s best to get help from a professional exterminator.

When you hire a professional, it’s quite likely they’ll deem the bug bomb unnecessary, as they’ll have the heavy-duty tools, machines, and products necessary to ensure a proper crawl space insect treatment.

If using a bug bomb is the course of action your heart is set on, then you’ll need to make sure this device is placed properly in the crawl space. If the bug bomb isn’t placed correctly, such can lead to the space above the device being soaked with aerosolized pesticide.

In other words, the aerosolized pesticide won’t be able to spread as it’s supposed to. To achieve the desired spreading effect, you must angle the bug bomb so it’s not shooting directly into the floor above. It shouldn’t be horizontal, as then most of the aerosolized pesticide would just go into the ground/floor below

Using a Bug Bomb: What Not to Do

Bug bombs are efficient, cost-effective devices when used properly. Using a bug bomb in a way it’s not intended for, on the other hand, can lead to negative consequences. The following are things you should not do when using a bug bomb.

Keep the Bug Bomb Away From Open Flames

Putting a bug bomb near an open flame can turn this insect-eliminator into a hand grenade. The flame would ignite the aerosol propellant and the device would explode.

When using a bug bomb in a crawl space, this danger is likely one you won’t have to worry about. After all, most crawl spaces are damp, cool spaces that couldn’t maintain a flame anyway.

If, however, the bug bomb is in an attic or another space that can get quite hot, you may want to make sure it’s not so hot that the bug bomb is at risk of bursting.

On this point, using a bug bomb in a garage could also be dangerous, as garages often contain many machines which utilize ignition in some way, i.e. lawnmowers, cars, and snowblowers.

Never Use Too Many Bug Bombs

Using too many bug bombs in a single location can be dangerous for several reasons. Mainly, you’ll be filling the air with too much aerosolized pesticide, and in this instance, it may take several days for the area to be thoroughly aired out.

Additionally, the aerosolized pesticide may soak into floors, walls, and other parts of the home’s structure. While aerosolized pesticide is for the most part undetectable once it’s released, a concentrated amount can soak into a surface, causing discoloration and other unwanted effects.

Don’t Use a Bug Bomb in an Extremely Small Space

Using a bug bomb in a small space, like under a sink or in a closet, may rid the space of unwanted insects, but at the cost of causing a huge mess.

Moreover, if there’s a heavy concentration of aerosolized pesticide in the air, eventually this gaseous substance will find points of exit. When it escapes, it can enter areas where home occupants are not expecting this presence, leading to unanticipated pesticide exposure.

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Don’t Use Without Reading Instructions and Safety Precautions First

Before you use a bug bomb, you must look over the instructions and safety precautions to ensure you’re using the device correctly. Bug bombs can look harmless on the outside, featuring bright colors and innocuous pictures of insects. But don’t let these aspects of product marketing distract you from the fact that bug bombs can be dangerous devices if not used properly.

If using a bug bomb seems like a task that’s too risky for you, get help from a professional exterminator. They’ll be able to show you how to use a bug bomb properly, and they’ll also tell you which spaces are ideal for bug bombs and which aren’t.

Don’t Carelessly Place a Bug Bomb

Never carelessly toss a bug bomb into a space and expect that it’s going to do what it’s supposed to. Placement is quite important when using a bug bomb, and placing a bug bomb willy-nilly is a surefire way to ensure negative results.

The above practice is not only dangerous and destructive but a waste of money as well. Sure, most bug bombs aren’t expensive, costing less than $10. But why purchase a product if you’re not going to do what’s necessary to achieve the desired result?

Matthew Mountain
Matthew Mountain

Matt loves everything DIY. He has been learning and practicing different trades since he was a kid, and he's often the first one called when a friend or family member needs a helping hand at home. Matt loves to work with wood and stone, and landscaping is by far his most favorite pastime.

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