How much of a problem is the residue from a bug bomb?

We’ve pretty much eradicated the roach problem we got from the flophouse next door in the house with boric acid and baits, but a friend of my boyfriend’s just moved into the garage and there’s a much bigger problem out there. (Closer to said flophouse, never had any cats living there, etc.) We did put down the baits and boric acid, but she has to live there now, you know? And it’s a big problem.

So she’s going to be out of town for the weekend and we considered doing the bomb thing, since she hasn’t put out any of her kitchen stuff yet and there’s not a lot she’d have to worry about in the “things you eat off” arena. However, the garage is a huge mess - tons of my boyfriend’s clothes upstairs, a classic car and two motorcycles downstairs, etc. Is the residue a problem for paint jobs? What about clothing and such? How dangerous is it in general?

I’ve used bug bombs before, and never had any problems with residue, staining, or any other damage. In fact, one of my college roommates and I bug-bombed our flea-infested dorm room, and the third roommate, who was home that weekend, never found out about it. The real concern is making sure the gas has fully dissipated. You should be sure to ventilate the area thoroughly, ideally for longer than the product recommends.

When I was managing apartments, we’d occasionally use a bomb if a tenant left fleas behind. The container instructions are pretty clear about how to prepare before and after use. I recall that we wiped down any surfaces that might come into contact with food (kitchen counters, etc.), but that might have been us wanting to be extra careful, rather than a requirement of the product.

I’m pretty much with Heart of Darkness - follow the instructions, but go above and beyond whenever practical.

Bug bombed my sons room about 4 days ago, just his room. Didn’t cover anything as he usually sleeps on the couch. (He’s 11 and hates sleeping upstairs. Our room is down) he slept in his bed last night after putting clean sheets on his bed and today is queezy and has a major headache and dizzy. Coincidence? I think not. What do I do? Doctor? HELP!

It depends on the chemical in question.

Most of them don’t (read: can’t) leave a residue at all. In general, they try to manufacture them out of chemicals that don’t condense or bind to things - they remain a gas and dissipate into the atmosphere. Read the instructions carefully, though, because it all depends on the specific formulation in the bottle.

Since you have started a separate thread on this, and we prefer that old threads in GQ only be revived to post new factual information, I’m closing this.