Do Mosquito Foggers Work?

We may be paid a commission if you purchase through links on this page. This does not affect our opinion or editorial process. More info.

Spring is just around the corner, and do you know what that means? Pesky mosquitoes will be back too!  Good thing, there are a few ways to remove mosquitos from your backyard. One of which is using a mosquito fogger. 

A good quality mosquito fogger can keep the bloodsuckers away from you for days at a time, allowing for you to have a good time outdoors without getting bitten!

do_mosquito_foggers work

Disclosure: We may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. This does not impact our reviews and comparisons. All opinions are our own. We pride ourselves on keeping our articles fair and balanced. For more info see our disclosure statement.

How Mosquito Foggers Work

Mosquito foggers repel flying insects from your yard by emitting a fine mist of eco-friendly insecticide. When the mosquitos fly into the fog, they die. 

Using a mosquito fogger won’t disrupt your outdoor activities or block your vision. To make sure it is effective, you will need to place the fogger in an area where mosquitoes normally hide. Once you have it in place, you can turn it on and watch the bugs fly away.

Some of the best places to put foggers include areas around water and flowers. Mosquitoes typically gather around and breed in standing water, and also live in the tall grass around the home. If you have a birdbath, HVAC unit, drain, or garden, then that’s the best place to have a fogger

Related: The best way to kill mosquitoes

Which Type of Fogger to Use

Do mosquito foggers work

You can either use a handheld mosquito fogger or one that is stationary. The stationary foggers just need to be set up, turned on, and left alone for a while. They’ll spray around your yard like a sprinkler system, and the mist will move to coat your entire yard.

These foggers are best if you want to cover a wider area without spending too much effort – you can simply spray it and then forget about it. But the stationary fogger is often louder, heavier, and less portable than the handheld version.

Handheld foggers are much more portable. They either come in a handheld system or as a backpack-mounted unit. In either case, you simply point the nozzle and spray.

The handheld systems spray a more directed stream of mist, and they are perfect for spraying specific areas of your yard. If mosquitoes are breeding around your birdbath, then you can direct the spray towards that area to stamp them out. 

A handheld fogger is lighter and easier to use than a stationary one. But you do have to do more work if you aren’t targeting a specific area with it. Depending on your situation, either type can be effective.

How Long Do Fogger Effects Last?

Do mosquito foggers work

Most foggers keep mosquitos away for around 72 hours. If you are having a simple get together, such as a barbeque or a backyard wedding, then this is often enough time. You can focus on your fun without worrying about bugs dive-bombing your guests.

Some people say that the effects of foggers can last more than three days, and the longest reported time a lawn has been mosquito free has been two weeks! If you want the fogging effect to continue, then just use the fogger again once you start to see mosquitoes return.

Foggers are always temporary ways to remove a mosquito problem. The fog only affects adult mosquitos while not affecting larvae, eggs, or young mosquitos. If you want a more permanent solution , then you’ll need to target the nests with something stronger. 

Types Of Foggers

There are several types of foggers that you can buy and use, with the two most common being thermal and cold types. They aren’t named for the temperature of the fog but instead are named for what powers the foggers. 

Regardless of which one you use, the pesticide inside the fogger is turned into mist and is then sprayed out into the yard. That mist is made up of particles of chemicals that will repel mosquitos, and those particles come in different sizes.

Thermal Foggers

black flag thermal insect fogger

Thermal foggers are powered by propane tanks. The propane is what’s used to ignite the fogger and turn the insecticide into the fog. Propane works the best in larger areas, where you can just turn it on and forget it.

You’ll have to buy a steady supply of propane to keep it fueled and ready to spray, but since a fogger isn’t an everyday item it shouldn’t cause too much trouble for your wallet. 

With thermal foggers, the droplets in the fog remain in the air for longer and are larger. This makes the fogger work well in outdoor areas, where the chemicals can spread and do their work.

Additionally, you can take the propane fogger anywhere you want, without plugging it in or worrying about having to set it up. You can just press the button and have it start repelling bugs!

Electric Thermal Foggers

An Electric Thermal Fogger looks a lot like a thermal fogger. There’s a motor inside that pumps up the insecticide to the nozzle. The nozzle has a heated barrel that then heats up the insecticide, and that turns the chemicals into the fog.

Unlike a thermal fogger, electric thermal foggers require a power outlet to work. If you happen to be in an area without a power outlet, then it won’t work.

But you also won’t have to keep buying propane tanks as they run out. It’s up to you to see what type of machine suits you best.

Cold Foggers

do mosquito foggers work

Rather than turning the insecticide into mist using heat, cold foggers often use air pressure to push out the insecticide. The foggers are powered with electricity, either with a battery or a plug, and the motor pumps the insecticide out of the tank. The nozzle of the tank pressurizes the liquid and turns it into a mist.

The main advantage of a cold fogger is that you can control what size the particles are. This allows you to customize the bug-repelling power depending on where you need the fogger.

Different Particle Sizes

The particles that come out of a mosquito fogger make up the mist. Depending on their size, they can be useful for removing different mosquitos in different places. Each size has different advantages, mostly relating to how long they stay in the air, and how effective they are. 

Small vs Large

Smaller droplets are better for inside environments. They stay in the air a lot longer, and can reach smaller holes and areas where mosquitoes hide. These particles are the best at killing mosquitos outright, and the particles can get anywhere.

Larger particles are more durable for outdoor spraying. They remain in place longer, even during windy days, and can help cover the larger outdoor area.

Are Mosquito Foggers Safe?

do mosquito foggers work

The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated several times that mosquito foggers are generally safe for humans. The fog will not harm humans, and synthetic pyrethroids are the main ingredients in the pesticides. 

Synthetic Pyrethroids have a very low toxicity risk to humans and animals but are very toxic and fast-acting towards mosquitoes.  

Additionally, most foggers are odorless. The most you might see from the fogger is a fine mist, but it won’t impair your vision or get in the way. If you really don’t want to use insecticide, some foggers use natural ingredients and repellents. 

Safety for Pets and Kids

Mosquito foggers are safe for both pets and children, especially if the foggers use natural repellents. Most pesticides used on farms are much stronger, so foggers are pretty safe. When you are spraying, you’ll need to make sure your kids and pets stay inside.

They can go outside around ten minutes after the spraying is complete, and they won’t inhale any chemicals. If you do have pets, then you will want to keep an eye on them so they don’t eat any plants that are coated with the mist. If they ingest the chemicals from the foggers, then that can cause health problems.

Otherwise, there’s no trouble having time outside once the spraying process is complete. Kids, pets, and adults will be completely safe from the chemicals.  

Do Mosquito Foggers Kill Other Insects?

do mosquito foggers work

Mosquito foggers can kill other bugs and insects, which can be a problem if you have a garden. 

If all the pollinators are killed by the mosquito fogger, then that can cause trouble for the balance of your garden. Without bees to pollinate flowers, then your plants won’t reproduce and your garden will slowly start to die. 

Additionally, birds can be killed by the insecticides if they eat the bugs that have been sprayed. If you don’t want to harm wildlife, there are a few things you can do to make sure the fogger only kills mosquitoes.

Removing Risk to Other Insects

There are several ways you can remove the risk of foggers to other insects. One of the best ways that you can do is use the device at a specific time. Most pollinators don’t come out in the morning and evening, so spraying for mosquitoes at those times can be really helpful. 

To keep pollinators safe, you’ll also need to avoid spraying your garden directly. There’s a chance that bees or other bugs might be around, and some of them are very hard to spot. 

Finally, you can use repellents in your fogger. Natural bug repellents such as essential oils can keep mosquitos away from your yard, without hurting or killing them. This will repel most pollinators, but won’t kill them.


Whether you use an electric mosquito fogger or a cold fogger, using a good quality mosquito fogger can keep pesky mosquitoes out of your garden and make sure that the entire family is safe. 

If you have any questions about what type of fogger to buy, then leave a comment below. Mosquitoes foggers work and will keep your yard bug free, and who wouldn’t want a bug free summer?

Do you have any questions relating to this article? Email us at [email protected] or call us on +1 (310) 961-4908

This content may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links we may be compensated. More info.

Photo of author
Aaron is the founder of and Essential Home and Garden. With over 15 years of hands-on experience in home ownership, lawn care, and gardening, Aaron is a seasoned expert in areas like lawn care, DIY, HVAC, and pest control.