Hot Shot Bedbug and Flea Spray Review
A Deeper Look at Hot Shot DIY Bedbug & Flea Spray
Bed Bugs or Fleas?
Got bed bugs? Call an expert. Got fleas? This might be a good product for you. Using pesticides can be dangerous to the health, complicated to use, against the law in some places or situations; and, if you make someone sick because you misused a pesticide, it can land you in serious legal trouble. Think wisely before you choose to spray for bugs yourself.
Hot Shot Bed Bug & Flea Home Insect Killer will work for some, and not for others. There is a good reason for that, though. I first reviewed Hot Shot Bed Bug & Flea spray in 2012. I gave it an honest review, complaining mostly that consumers were not educated about how to use this product as a part of a full bed bug removal plan.
To get rid of fleas and bed bugs, you need to fully understand how these products work, and what the possible dangers are. In my opinion, this product is more effective at killing fleas than bed bugs. That isn't to say it doesn't kill bed bugs; it just takes a lot more work to eradicate them than it does with fleas. When you do what the instructions say, it does not take long to kill fleas. It takes much longer to kill bed bugs.
Through this review, I hope to illuminate when this is a good spray to use, and when it is not. Spectrum Brand Holdings, Inc. has worked diligently to improve their product and to be responsible for helping customers become educated about their infestations. After writing my reviews and contacting their helpline, I feel good about this brand.
I continue to update this review so that it continues to provide the latest and most relevant information about this product and the company behind the product.
I will go into full detail on what I found to be the best way to use the product, as well as include information on how I increased effectiveness by using Hot Shot products together.
Hot Shot Money-Back Guarantee
The Pros and Cons
The EPA reports that they have registered over 300 products registered for use against bed bugs. Of those, only a very small portion is available for the average consumer. Products like these are highly regulated and for a good reason.
The active ingredient in this spray is permethrin. According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, permethrin is an approved, active ingredient in the United States. Cypermethrin, a pyrethroid, a synthetic cousin to deltamethrin, another common active ingredient in bed bug sprays.
The good news is that a bed bug resistant to deltamethrin is not necessarily resistant to permethrin. If a product with deltamethrin is not working for you, this might work (and the reverse is true).
As you can see in the pictures, Hot Shot Bedbug & Flea spray kills on contact and leaves no oily residue or film. This product is a pre-mixed insecticide sold in 32-ounce bottles and in one-gallon containers.
This spray may be a good choice for someone who doesn't want to mix their own spray. This product also offers a money back guarantee; the instructions on how to get your money back is on the back label.
Hot Shot is a well-known brand, so their customer service is outstanding. On Hot Shot’s review page for this product, you can see they appreciate, and are responsive to, feedback.
The back label contains the product usage instructions, which are in English and Spanish. The label on the back opens, revealing two additional pages of instructions.
This bed bug spray has fewer instructions than some other products because you are not mixing anything. Hot Shot is the only company that currently has a full line of bed bug products.
The spray, fogger, and travel spray are all important parts of eradicating bed bugs.
The fact that all three are the same brand is beneficial because it is safer to use all in one kind of spray. Using different combinations of sprays may not be safe.
Only a licensed professional can tell you which pesticides are safe to use together. Since Hot Shot has a full line of bed bug products, the consumer does not have to worry.
Hot Shot Bedbug Spray Back Label
Hot Shot Spray Handle
This wouldn't be an honest, fair review without talking about the cons. When I wrote this review in 2012, I complained about the instructions. Since then, they listened to the complaints and created better instructions. They also provide a full guide on their website. Now, I have one less con to tell you about!
Hot Shot Bedbug spray's biggest flaw is the spray nozzle. It works much like any spray bottle. By the time your done spraying, expect a cramp in your hand.
You might be thinking, "Why not put this in my own one-gallon sprayer?" The type of sprayer where you just hold the lever down.
I investigated the matter, but the product clearly states to use the product as intended. The lid is sealed for a reason. Do not try to pour the product into a different container.
Maybe other people have stronger hands that won’t cramp; but for me, this was a big turn off. When spraying for bed bugs, you need to cover a lot of areas. The sprayer is just not made for that.
This is when it all began to make sense. I read the instructions again and realized that it would be better to use the spray in tandem with the bed bug fogger.
I just wish the product would have said that right on the label. You don't need to spray every inch of your house. You need to spray cracks and corners and then fog the rest of the house!
It was not until I looked more carefully in the instructions that I realize it actually says it is just a spot treatment. Through my mistake, hopefully, readers will understand why the need to read ALL of the instructions.
How Did It Work?
When I was only using the spray, I was bored and exasperated. Then, after I made my realization, I used the spray and then the fogger. This method worked very well.
If you are shopping for prevention, having something like this around could be handy. Say you go to a friend's house and find out they have bed bugs.
You can throw your clothes in the washer and dryer, but you might want to spot-spray your bed, just in case a stowaway made it back to your house.
You might want to spray the bottom of your bag so bed bugs in infested places will be less likely to choose you as their target.
Using this spray on some items you travel with is not a bad idea. Plus, Hot Shot has developed a travel spray (picture on the right).
I have only seen it sold at Amazon and Home Depot and Walmart, but I think this product will be hugely popular.
I keep a bottle of the travel spray in my purse at all times, and even if you do not use Hot Shot's Bedbug spray and fogger, I recommend people keep a bottle of the bed bug travel spray near.
I think the issue with Hot Shot Bedbug spray is that it is that the instructions are not clear enough. It is a spot treatment and needs to be used in tandem with the fogger.
This is written in the label, but not emphasized enough. Someone dealing with bed bugs may not comprehend everything they read, just because of their stress levels.
Customers should know they need to buy both products for this to work.
Once you understand this is a spot spray, and that you need to purchase their fogger, you are on the right track. One word of warning: do not mix other brands of fogger with this spot spray.
You do not want to risk creating a dangerous chemical reaction between the sprays. If you have any questions about this product comment below, follow the link to Hot Shot's website or call their customer service number.
As stated on the Hot Shot Bedbug spray label:
Telephone number: 1-800-917-5431
P.S. The bottle also states that the buyer is responsible for safety and use in accordance with the directions on the bottle. So don't just read this and get spraying, READ the entire label.
Hot Shot Instructions Choice 1
Spray cracks with Hot Shot spray
Seal and launder all cloth items before fogger
Apply Hot Shot fogger
Allow time to dry, and for the room to air out.
Seal cracks and crevices
Use Hot Shot Spray behind beds, to box springs and any surface the fogger could not reach.
Use spray were logical, and where DE is not appropriate
Repeat steps 2 and 4 as needed 2 weeks later
Apply Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Under beds, carpet and dressers
Hot Shot Instructions Choice 2
Seal, remove and launder all clothing and cloth items. Even clothing from closet and drawers. Pull furniture away from walls.
Spray any perimiter the fogger missed and any bed bugs you can see
.Only enter once foger is dry, and the time limit for returning to the room, as stated on instructions, has passed.
Apply food-grade DE
Once fogger is dry and it is safe to go in the room, Use duster to get DE in to cracks and crevices. Place under furniture.
Seal cracks and crevices
Use spray and DE as needed
How to Use Hot Shot Bedbug & Flea Products
Let's talk about how to use Hot Shot Bedbug & Flea spray. In my fogger and insect bed bug article I include suggested instructions about how to use Hot Shot spray with the fogger. However, It is probably a good idea to cover that here, as well.
There are various ways to use the spray and fogger in tandem. You do use the spray deep inside cracks and crevices. After this, you follow up with the insect-killing bug bomb.
Using the product with other measures, such as sealing up cracks and crevices improves how effective Hot Shot is to kill bed bugs. For fleas, you do not need to seal.
Alternatively, you can combine using Hot Shot products, both the spray and fogger, with diatomaceous earth. Or, you can try the new Hot Shot powder instead of DE. The powder and DE works on both fleas and bed bugs.
This actually might be the most cost-effective way to go. If you choose this method, you would not use Hot Shot spray in cracks. Instead, you would use diatomaceous earth and a duster in the cracks.
Long story short, DE does kill bed bugs, but very slowly. DE does not dissipate.
This means you will not have to reapply it as often. You still want to seal the cracks up after you use the duster to line the cracks with DE.
For both fleas and bed bugs, consider using mattress covers on all beds. You can treat your mattress with Hot Shot Mattress and Luggage Treatment, and then place a mattress cover over it to prevent further problems.
- Best Brands of Mattress Covers:
- Jieshiling Protector Cover
- LINESPA Waterproof Protector
- SureGuard Bed Bug & Flea Zippered Cover
- Sleep Defense System
- Tru Mattress Cover
These products are cheapest and easy to find Amazon Prime or Domyownpestcontrol.com, and they are readily found at Wal-Mart, Home Depot, or your local hardware store.
- United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2017). Pesticides to Control Bed Bugs. Washington D.C. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/bedbugs/pesticides-control-bed-bugs
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
- Helpful 55
Will Hot Shot bug spray kill roaches?
Hot Shot has a specific line dedicated to killing roaches. This product is recommended for bed bugs. Because this product contains different ingredients I can not recommend it for roaches, and I do not know if it is effective against them.Helpful 7
Can Hot Shot bug spray hurt a person who is pregnant?
Hot Shot is a pesticide and should be considered potentially dangerous for a person who is pregnant. I am not personally aware of the research done on this specific product. There is a lot of documented information that links pesticides to birth defects. The American Pregnancy Association states that the worst risk is between 3 to 8 weeks. There is still some level of risk during the other weeks. The APA recommends pregnant women to avoid pesticide exposure.Helpful 6
The company I work for has been using the hotshot bug bomb canisters inside there cars for over a year. They have, in some cases, used them 3 to 7 times in one week. What do you think the long-term effects of exposure to bed bug and flea spray could be to the people that use these cars?
This is a great question. I hate to be a naysayer, but these products are not meant for regular use. By now most people have heard of the medical issues with Round Up. We have not seen this with Hot Shot, but there is always the risk of the unknown. Hot Shot has a team that works to maintain safety of their product, but remember it's still chemicals.
This is my personal opinion, but using them 3 to 7 times a week seems excessive, and even outside of the general use instructions. If it were me, I would worry about exposure. The general rule with pesticides is that the longer you are exposed the greater chance of illness.
According to The California Department of Pesticide Regulation risk = Toxicity + Exposure. So at the rate your company is using the pesticides I would say exposure is high, putting drivers at high risk.
Quite honestly, your company should hire a professional pest control company to treat the cars. That would be the safest route for everyone.Helpful 4
If the "bug bomb" type is used inside a car what are the possible heath concerns to the driver of the car?
The problem with using a fogger in a car is that it is not designed with that purpose in mind. If you found a brand that was specifically designed for that it would be much safer. I wouldn't use this in my car or tell you to do so.
Some health concerns may be excessive exposure to pesticides through skin contact. Also, since it is winter, the chemicals may be continually cycled through the cabin of the car which could be hazardous to the respiratory tract.Helpful 4
© 2012 Melody Collins