Finding your home or apartment has a cockroach problem that may be enough to get you to take some serious action. No one likes to see bugs capturing their living space, and mists – or "bug bombs" if you prefer – are a popular choice for clearing pests from home.
The new study shows that these chemical cocktails are not as effective against cockroaches. In fact, bug bombs can cause more problems for people in the home than cockroaches that they try to get rid of, and the risks that chemicals pose are not worth it.
The report, published in the BMC Public Health, was conducted by researchers in the NC state. Scientists have studied the effectiveness of mists and found that they are not large in places where cockroaches, such as corner cabinets and under different household surfaces, are encountered.
"There was a general assumption that bug bombs work to remove cockroaches indoors, but nobody has officially assessed their efficacy and exposure risks," said the lead author Zakari DeVriss. "We did it at the same time in this study."
The team found that bug bombs did not seem very effective in pushing cockroaches, but chemicals in the mist could pose a serious risk to others in the home, including humans and pets. After studying the effects of bugs in 20 different homes, researchers have issued some rigorous warnings.
"The basic levels of insecticides in these homes make sense because residents with moderate to heavy cockroach attacks probably use insecticides to try to eliminate cockroaches," said DeVris. "The most disturbing, however, was that these pads were collected from the middle of the floors and the kitchen surfaces, the places where cockroaches are usually not collected."
Scientists have found that chemicals accumulate in areas where cockroaches will never travel, thus increasing the ability of a person or pet to come into contact with high residue levels.
The team also took another step by testing the effectiveness of gel-based insecticides that are strategically located around a home in areas where cockroaches are likely to pass. Researchers have found that gel lures are significantly more effective than chemical mists to eliminate cockroach contamination for weeks.