Do Roach Bombs and Foggers Actually Work?

closeup of dead cockroaches on floor

Roach bombs and foggers can kill roaches, but they don’t reach their hiding places, eliminate the eggs, or tackle the root cause of the infestation. Plus, these chemicals are dangerous if misused and can harm people and pets. 

So, while roach bombs and foggers do work, they should be part of a broader strategy that includes treating roaches, regular cleaning, and monitoring, plus taking steps to prevent roaches from returning.

How Roach Foggers Work

Roach foggers and bombs release a mist of either insecticides, like pyrethrins or pyrethroids, or an insect growth regulator (IGR) into the air. This fog settles in the treated area, killing roaches on contact. However, as mentioned earlier, the sprays don’t penetrate crevices where roaches hide or kill their eggs, so they won’t eliminate an infestation.

Active Ingredients

  • Pyrethrins, pyrethroids like cypermethrin, or similar pesticides: These chemicals disrupt the nervous system of roaches, killing them on contact.
  • Insect growth regulators (IGRs): Work more slowly than insecticides and won’t affect adults. They disrupt the life cycle of roaches, hindering their growth and eventually killing them.

Best Foggers for Roaches

A fogger spraying to kill roaches
Photo Credit: Steven White’s Images / Canva Pro / License

When dealing with roaches, foggers can be effective as part of a broader pest management strategy. The cost of roach bombs varies based on the number of foggers you get in a pack, but, on average, starts around $14. Always follow label instructions and precautions when using insecticides. 

Below are some of the best roach foggers available on the market.

  • Hot Shot Fogger With Odor Neutralizer: This fogger creates a fine, penetrating mist to kill roaches and other insects. Hot Shot Fogger With Odor Neutralizer leaves no messy residue and doesn’t stain.
  • Raid Concentrated Deep Reach Fogger: Using a deep, penetrating fog, it eliminates roaches, ants, and other insects and is non-staining. Raid Concentrated Deep Reach Fogger continues to work for up to two months after treatment.
  • Black Flag Concentrated Fogger: This product kills roaches on contact, remains effective for up to 12 weeks, and leaves a pleasant scent without any residue. Black Flag Concentrated Fogger isn’t suitable for small spaces as each can treats an area up to 2,000 cubic feet.

How to Use Roach Bombs

cockroaches in a plastic tub
Photo Credit: smuay / Canva Pro / License

Roach bombs can be dangerous if not used properly. They contain chemicals that can harm people and pets if inhaled or if they come in contact with your skin. Also, cockroach bombs are highly flammable, and misuse can lead to potential fire hazards and can even cause an explosion. 

When using roach bombs or foggers, it’s crucial to take precautions to protect yourself, others, and your home. Here’s how to use your bug bomb safely.

  • Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use.
  • Before using, remove all people and pets from the treatment area.
  • Cover or remove any food, dishes, utensils, or food preparation tools. Unplug and cover aquariums as well.
  • Turn off all ignition sources, such as pilot lights; shut off gas valves; unplug electrical appliances; and extinguish open flames like candles. Also, turn off heat/air.
  • Wear protective clothing, such as gloves and a mask, when setting off the fogger.
  • Leave the room immediately after activating a roach bomb.
  • Keep the treated area closed off for the amount of time recommended on the product label.
  • Ventilate the area thoroughly before reentering by opening windows and doors for at least two hours. Use fans, if available, to clear out the space.
  • Clean floors and all surfaces where food is prepared, served, or stored after treatment. Combine 4 tablespoons of liquid dish soap per gallon of warm water and wash all exposed surfaces. 
  • Do not use more foggers than necessary. Using more than you need can lead to a buildup of flammable vapors.
  • Always store unused foggers in a secure place, out of reach of children and pets.

How Many Roach Bombs You Need

person killing a cockroach with spray
Photo Credit: arto_canon / Canva Pro / License

The number of roach bombs or foggers you need depends on the size of the treatment area. They come in various sizes, and the coverage area is found on the product label. 

Cockroach foggers and bombs are often sold in multi-can packs; however, small homes and apartments typically only require one to be effective. Not using more roach bombs than necessary can help you avoid health risks and property damage.

  • You only need one ounce of product for every 1,000 cubic feet.
  • Calculate the cubic feet of a room by multiplying its width, length, and height.
    • For example: A 10 feet by 10 feet by 8 feet room has a volume of 800 cubic feet.
  • Avoid using more than one fogger per room.
  • Do not place foggers in small, enclosed spaces like closets, cabinets, or under tables.
  • Do not use them in a room smaller than 5 feet by 5 feet. Instead, allow the mist to enter from other rooms.

Pros and Cons of Roach Bombs

Roach bombs and foggers offer a quick solution but can have limited results. They cover a lot of space, but they can’t reach all the hiding places. Even the best roach killers don’t address the root cause of the problem, leaving room for reinfestation. Mishandling these products can harm people, pets, and property.


✅ Easy to Use: Roach bombs are user-friendly and don’t require professional assistance.

✅ Wide coverage: One 6-ounce bomb can cover 6,000 cubic feet of space.

✅ Immediate impact: Roach foggers usually take two to four hours to treat a space and kill roaches on contact.

✅ Affordable: Pest foggers are inexpensive and easy to find.

✅ Multi-pest: General pest foggers can get rid of fleas, ants, and other pests.


❌ Limited effectiveness: Roach bombs won’t reach all the areas roaches are hiding and won’t affect the eggs.

❌ Temporary solution: They don’t address the reason for the infestation, so roaches often return or move to a new hiding spot.

❌ Safety risks: Roach foggers contain chemicals that are dangerous to your health and are a fire risk.

How to Get Rid of Roaches

collage  of images showing methods to treat cockroachs
Photo Credits:
Diatomaceous earth: marekuliasz / Canva Pro / License
Boric acid: John Kevin / Canva Pro / License
Baking soda: new look casting / Canva Pro / License
Roach Bait: Dmitriydanilov / Canva Pro / License

Roaches are highly adapted and hard to eliminate. To get rid of roaches, you need a multifaceted program or an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan. Taking steps to remove shelter, food, and water sources, along with treatments that kill roaches, is your best bet for solving a roach problem.

Here’s how to get rid of roaches in your home:

  • Keep it clean: Roaches invade in search of food and water. Avoid leaving dirty dishes out overnight, and quickly clean up spills. Keep food stored in sealed containers and regularly take out the trash to deter them.
  • Check for leaks: Roaches are drawn to damp environments in search of water. Look for leaks in your plumbing and water heaters. Repair dripping faucets and showerheads to cut off the roaches’ water supply.
  • Seal entry points: Roaches can enter your home through small cracks and holes in walls, floors, and doors. Seal these entry points with caulk or another appropriate material.

    Watch this video on how to roach- and pest-proof your home by sealing outdoor access points.

  • Setout traps: Roach traps are an effective way to catch roaches. The traps lure roaches in with bait and then trap them with a sticky substance.
  • Use roach baits: These baits contain poison, which roaches transport back to their nests, killing the other roaches. There are various roach baits on the market.
  • DIY treatments: There are a few home and garden products that will kill roaches.
    • Mix sugar and borax to kill roaches. Use it where roaches lurk, but be careful around pets and kids as borax is toxic if swallowed.
    • Use baking soda. Baking soda kills roaches by causing gas buildup in their digestive system and is safe to use around pets and children. It is best used with an attractant, like sugar or flour.
    • Diatomaceous earth: It may take a week or longer to see results, but diatomaceous earth (DE) will kill roaches by dehydrating them. While it is safe to use around people and pets, ensure it’s not inhaled to avoid issues.
  • Hire a pro: Professional pest control can eliminate roaches effectively. The average cost for roach exterminators ranges from $115 to $350, depending on the size of your home and the extent of the infestation

FAQ: Roach Bombs and Foggers

How Long Do Roach Bombs Last?

Roach bombs and foggers only kill roaches they can reach, so you may see more roaches soon after bombing. However, some products report they continue to work up to eight weeks after treatment. Roach bombs can be used as part of an overall control plan, but they are not a quick-fix solution and won’t eliminate an infestation on their own.

Can Roach Bombs Kill Mice?

Possibly, but it’s not recommended. The chemicals in roach bombs are harmful to many living things, but the spray may not reach them. Also, if the mice come in contact and slowly die, you’ll be stuck with dead mice in your walls and the smell that comes with it.

Can I Use Bleach to Kill Roaches?

Yes, bleach will kill roaches, but it’s not recommended. Bleach will only kill roaches that it comes in contact with, so it won’t help with an infestation. Plus, bleach can damage surfaces and irritate your skin and lungs. So, bleach is best used to disinfect surfaces after treating roaches.

When to Call a Pro

Bug bombs and foggers will kill roaches, but they are temporary fixes rather than long-term solutions. If you’re struggling to get rid of roaches on your own, it may be time to turn to professionals. The equipment and knowledge of a professional pest control service can help you eliminate roaches quickly and prevent future infestations.

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Main Photo Credit: Василий Авраменко / Canva Pro / License

Raven Wisdom

Raven Wisdom is a writer with a passion for pest control, gardening, sustainable living, and making a positive impact in the world. When she's not defending her garden from critters in the wilds of West Texas, Raven can be found writing, wrangling two kids in a neurodivergent family, and supporting her local animal rescues.