Are Mosquito Foggers Safe? What are the risks and dangers?


Guide to Mosquito Fogger Safety

Mosquitoes are some of the most dangerous pests in the world due to their ability to carry a range of diseases that can prove to be deadly to humans. But are the chemicals used in mosquito foggers to kill them just as dangerous? The answer, thankfully, is no. Mosquito fogging in and of itself is a safe practice and the chemicals used to kill mosquitoes inside of the fog are low in toxicity to both humans and pets.

Are mosquito foggers safe? Mosquito fogging offers one of the best methods to kill mosquitoes and the chemicals used are mainly of the pyrethroid family, which are generally safe. Mosquito fogging chemicals are well-tolerated by humans and animals.

It must be understood that there are very few, if any, insecticides that are completely safe with no possible side effects to humans and animals. Pesticides need to be strong to adequately kill pests and this usually means that even in the safest of all insecticides, they could be minor irritations associated with them if they are deeply inhaled or ingested.

According to Citizens Environmental Research Institute (2002), “All pesticides are associated with some risk of harm to human health and the environment,†therefore it is important to know the specifics of how mosquito fogging chemicals need to be encountered to even remotely contribute to adverse reactions.

All pesticides are associated with some risk of harm to human health and the environment.

are thermal electric mosquito foggers safe

Are the Chemicals in Mosquito Foggers Harmful?

For the most part, the answer to this question is no, but it must be understood that any insecticide that is deeply inhaled into the respiratory tract, or worse, ingested for whatever reason, can impose side effects dependent upon the potency of the chemical. In mosquito fogging, pyrethroid insecticides are the main line of defense in killing mosquitoes and these chemicals are low in direct toxicity to humans.

Pyrethroids make up nearly the entire inventory of mosquito fogging chemicals and these chemicals can produce mild irritations in the respiratory and nervous systems of humans and animals, but the chemicals would need to be deeply inhaled to cause this effect.

According to Dr. Edward H. Livingston, an entomologist specializing in pesticide toxicity, “Humans and most animals have enzymes that break down the chemicals used in these sprays. Even if humans have some exposure to the chemicals, they are relatively safe because of these enzymes.†It would take a direct part on your own accord to expose yourself to these chemicals to become sick from them.

If the thought of mosquito fogger chemicals having even a small amount of toxicity to humans alarms you, you do have some options to use in your mosquito fogger.

All-natural mosquito repellents can be applied to foggers, such as Nature Shield by American Hydro, which uses a scientifically tested mixture of natural repellents to create a barrier around your home and lawn when you fog. This product has substantially positive reviews for its effectiveness and is one-hundred percent all-natural.

Humans and most animals have enzymes that break down the chemicals used in these sprays. Even if humans have some exposure to the chemicals, they are relatively safe because of these enzymes.

Are Thermal and Electric Mosquito Foggers Safe?

The equipment and internal components of mosquito foggers in and of themselves are not dangerous, although it is important to read the instructions carefully when using one for the first time and to use caution when lighting propane foggers.

There should be a certain degree of caution utilized when using thermal foggers to avoid potential burns that could occur from touching the heating elements, or, with electric foggers, touching the motor during operation. With electric foggers, always make sure you avoid getting the cord or any of the electrical parts of the fogger wet to avoid a possible electrical shock.

Although the chemicals in mosquito foggers are generally safe, you will not want to fog over structures that your household members or pets will be using to eat or drink off of. Always administer the fog to structures and foliage that mosquitoes flock to as well as the surrounding air that you will be spending time in.

After five to ten minutes, the fog will be dormant and safe to be around and you can avoid directly breathing in the chemical during the fogging process by wearing a respirator mask.

Related Mosquito Fogger Safety Questions

Is Mosquito Fogging Dangerous to Animals and the Environment?

Much like humans, mosquito foggers are generally safe around animals and are well-tolerated within the environment. The chemicals in mosquito foggers are certainly lethal to insects, which also includes any organism that is equal in size to insects, such as bees and wasps.

Pyrethroids are lethal to aquatic animals such as fish and other invertebrates, which can be minimized by always avoiding administering mosquito fog directly into bodies of water or drainage canals.

See also: Do mosquito foggers actually work?

Is it Bad to Breath In Mosquito Spray?

As previously mentioned, directly breathing in mosquito chemicals can cause irritations within the respiratory and nervous systems of both humans and animals. Pyrethroids, in particular, can cause difficulty in breathing, dizziness, nausea, headaches, and confusion in humans and pets that deeply breath them in.

It is always a good idea to avoid breathing in any insecticide whatsoever, which can be prevented by wearing a quality respirator mask that removes both solids and aerosols from the airways during mosquito fogging.

truck spraying fog to kill mosquitos

Is Mosquito Truck Spray Dangerous?

During the summer months, you have probably seen or heard the steady hum of industrial-grade foggers on the backs of city trucks at dusk. The spray used in these trucks is also almost always of the pyrethroid family and is generally well-tolerated in humans and animals.

Mosquito trucks use ULV fogging, which disburses the chemicals at a much higher pressure at a lower, steady volume to increase the potency of the chemical. You can rest assured that if these chemicals were dangerous to the human population, cities, and counties would not take the risk of administering them.

Mosquito truck foggers work by coating the atmosphere and the surrounding foliage and structures of the area in tiny particles of a mosquito insecticide. By heating up the chemical in a fogger, the chemical becomes atomized and broken into thousands of particles that are then able to cling to structures where they are administered due to the heating process.

Mosquito truck foggers can also keep the chemical particles floating in the air for hours at a time. This makes the area where the fog was administered a mosquito death zone as well as a strong repellent against mosquitoes who venture into your yard in search of human blood.

Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks of Using Mosquito Foggers?

Using a mosquito fogger is one of the best methods you can take since mosquitoes are attracted to moisture and areas where humans and animals frequently congregate. Since this usually means your yard, the low-toxicity of mosquito fogger chemicals is certainly worth the benefit brought by not being bitten by mosquitoes. The benefit of using a mosquito insecticide as fog is that the particles become dispersed into numerous amounts which act as a residual once they stick to surrounding areas.

Once administered, mosquito fogger chemicals will keep the mosquitoes away for up to six hours with each application. It is important to remember that mosquitoes continuously breed, and measures should be taken to eliminate all mosquito breeding grounds of collected water around your home. Taking precautions will help to reduce the need of continuously having to use your fogger.

In Summary

It is natural to be concerned about the potential health effects of mosquito fogger chemicals. You can rest assured that although there are possible negative interactions from prolonged and direct exposure to mosquito fogger chemicals, the results are never lethal and always mild to slightly uncomfortable at best. There is more danger in actually being bitten by mosquitoes then there is by inhaling the chemicals used to kill them.

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