How to Troubleshoot an Insect Fogger

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The one thing more annoying than mosquitoes at an outdoor event is an inoperable insect fogger. Insect foggers kill mosquitoes, gnats and a variety of other insects, keeping the area clear of bugs for a number of hours. Occasionally, foggers do not operate the way they should. Due to their simplistic design, however, many problems can diagnosed and fixed at home.

Let the insect fogger cool.

Replace the empty propane cylinder and ensure that it is attached properly. Without fuel, the unit cannot work.

Inspect and remove debris from the threaded outlet of the propane tank and fogger before attaching the propane cylinder.

Fill the insecticide compartment--being careful not to overfill--with the recommended insecticide for your fogger. Using the improper product can clog the vapor coil and reduce or prevent fog output.

Remove the spray tip and check for blockages. Blockages prevent the unit from creating a fog. Use a pipe cleaner to clean out carbon buildup and other blockages from the nozzle and the burner coil.

Reattach the tip securely. Loose fittings cause the insecticide to drip from the nozzle.

Unclog obstructions found in the pump. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to dismantle your fogger so you can clean the pump assembly. Obstructions prevent fog from being emitted even if the burner is working.

Test that the ignitor sparks properly. Remove the propane cylinder from the fogger. Take the fogger into a dark area and push the ignitor; if there is no spark the ignitor needs to be replaced.

Preheat fogger 1 to 2 minutes before using. If the temperature is too low, the insecticide will drip from the nozzle.

Operate the fogger level with the ground. Foggers pointed toward the ground can flare up, especially if the propane bottle is new.

Adjust your pumping rate to achieve a dry white fog. If the fog tip is wet or dripping, decrease the pumping rate. If the fog is thin, yellow or brown, increase the pumping rate.

Stop pumping immediately if the insecticide ignites. Shut the propane valve off and set it on a non-flammable surface. Leave the fogger undisturbed for 10 minutes and the flame will stop when it has consumed the excess insecticide.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never work on your fogger until it has cooled down.
  • When using the fogger do not touch the coil wire basket; it gets very hot.

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