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Homeowners warned to use indoor foggers with caution
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Summer often brings flea problems inside the home because of your pet dog or cat. Indoor foggers can be a tool to battle fleas but must be used wisely and safely:

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Indoor foggers, also known as “bug bombs”, can effectively kill fleas and other insect pests. But they have also been known to cause problems, according to Sunny Jones of the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s pesticides program:

JONES:  “Many people don’t use indoor foggers correctly and run into situations where they either cause health concerns by overusing the product or there are situations where house have actually blown apart because the contents are flammable and they don’t always turn off possible ignition sources in the home.”  :18

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Just this spring, a home in Brookings on the southern Oregon coast was destroyed by an explosion and fire caused by ignited bug bombs used improperly. Fortunately, nobody was hurt. Jones says there are steps you can take to address pest problems even before indoor foggers should be considered:

JONES:  “Vacuuming your carpets well can help pull up, for example, flea eggs, which is typically what somebody might be using an indoor fogger for– they have concerns about fleas. You might consider treating your pets so that you don’t have fleas on the animals to begin with.”  :14

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Illnesses associated with exposure to these bug bombs are far more common than the occurrence of an explosion. But following label instructions should minimize problems by providing information on usage and ventilation. In Salem, I’m Bruce Pokarney.

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JONES says some people make the mistake of using too many indoor foggers at once, thinking that more is better when it comes to killing fleas:

“Indoor foggers are designed to be effective at the rates indicated on the label. So if the label says use one can per, for example, 25 by 25 foot area, that’s what the manufacturer is intending. That’s what is going to prevent any problems for you.”  :17

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JONES says it’s important to turn off all ignition sources in a home when you are using an indoor fogger:

“These foggers are typically 90 percent propellant– some sort of gas or other type of chemical that gets it up into the air so that it can move around the room, i.e., they are highly flammable.”  :12

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