How Do Bug Sprays (Like Raid and Baygon) Kill Cockroaches? » Science ABC

How Do Bug Sprays (Like Raid and Baygon) Kill Cockroaches?

Contrary to popular belief, cockroaches cannot survive a nuclear explosion; however, it is true that cockroaches are more tolerant to certain ionizing radiation than humans. Even so, they cannot survive bug spray, as it consists of certain neurotoxic substances – chemicals that mess with their nervous system and subsequently cause death.

Cockroaches are pretty amazing creatures. People who cringe at the sight of these little insects or find them disgusting may not have the same opinion, but if you look at the feats that cockroaches are capable of achieving, you would agree too… probably.

A cockroach can hold its breath for almost 40 minutes, and can therefore survive being submerged in water. It can live without water for a few days, without food for a month, and can even survive without its head for a few weeks!

Furthermore, there’s a common belief in popular culture that cockroaches can survive a nuclear explosion (which, by the way, they can’t). However, one thing cockroaches seem unable to survive is bug spray. The likes of Raid, Hit etc. are often fatal to these roaches, but what’s so special about these insecticides that they are able to kill such tough and durable insects so quickly?

Before we get to that, let’s first examine the most popular belief pertaining to cockroaches.

Can cockroaches survive a nuclear explosion?

No, cockroaches can’t survive a nuclear explosion.

Sorry to burst the bubble of all those cockroach lovers out there, but the idea that they could survive a nuke isn’t true. The energy and heat generated as a result of a nuclear explosion are simply too much for any living thing to withstand, and cockroaches are no exception.

Cockroaches might not be able to survive a full-scale nuclear explosion, but they ‘can’ certainly tolerate ionizing radiation longer than we humans can do.

This is due to the way radiation harms things. Humans and other creatures are most vulnerable to DNA damage (caused by radiation poisoning) when their cells are dividing. Since cells all over our bodies are dividing throughout our lives at all times, we are always at a high risk for radiation poisoning.

Radiation therapy, a commonly employed and effective part of cancer treatment, actually works by damaging the DNA of cancerous tissue present in the patient’s body. (Photo Credit :

Roaches, on other hand, are anatomically different. Their cells only divide when they are molting – a process through which a critter routinely casts off a part of its body. The thing is that cockroaches only molt once every few weeks, so they are at a much lower risk of being harmed by radiation than humans. You can read more about cockroaches’ ability to tolerate radiation better than humans in this article: Can Cockroaches Really Survive A Nuclear Explosion?

If cockroaches can withstand harmful radiation, why can’t they tolerate bug spray?

Cockroaches can handle more radiation than humans, but they can’t survive even a little bug spray because radiation poisoning and chemical poisoning are two very different things, attacking the subject in significantly distinct ways.

Although the constituents of individual bug sprays may differ, most ‘roach killer’ sprays contain pyrethroids – fast-acting organic compounds found in the majority of household insecticides and insect repellants.

The reason behind their popularity as an ingredient in bug spray is that they are axonic toxins, which means that if used on roaches, pyrethroids paralyze them by preventing the function of voltage-gated sodium channels in roaches’ axonal membranes.

A bug spray. Notice the composition printed on its cover.

Another reason pyrethroids are a popular choice for bug sprays is that a very small dose of pyrethroids can kill roaches, which is why the sprays are generally harmless to humans (i.e., their concentration in bug sprays is quite low). However, they may harm sensitive individuals or aquatic creatures (like fish) if applied directly to water, as they dissolve very poorly.

Some commonly used pyrethroids include allethrin, tetramethrin, resmethrin, cyfluthrin, permethrin and esfenvalerate. Also known as ‘first-generation pyrethroids’, these were primarily developed in the 1960s.

The structural formula of Allethrin, a synthetic pyrethroid commonly found in bug sprays.

In a nutshell, a cockroach may be able to survive radiation, but it certainly can’t survive a nuclear explosion, nor a deadly shot from a pyrethroid-rich bug spray.

Bed Bug Products That Work: A Comprehensive Review of Raid Max Spray

A re you in a period of psychological turmoil due to a bed bug infestation? These tiny insects can make you want to try just about any solution. With the many bed bug products available today, you ought to do some homework to avoid spending your hard-earned money on something that doesn’t work.

One category of products that can help you deal with bed bugs is a spray. Raid Max Bed Bug & Flea Killer is a spray product that may capture your attention due to what the manufacturers claim it has to offer. But does it live up to the billing?

Here’s a review of this spray to help you find out if it’s worth purchasing.

Table of Contents

How Effective is Raid Max in Killing Bed Bugs?

This spray is designed to kill bed bugs as well as their eggs. It works to eliminate the whole population, helping you keep your business or home free of these unwelcome pests. The broad spectrum of activity assures a complete elimination of the bugs and hinders re-infestation.

This versatile spray also kills several other pests such as fleas, ticks, lice, and dust mites.

Unlike boric acid for bed bugs, this product assures the death of the bug upon contact. The vast coverage of your entire house achieves incredible bugs’ elimination success. Better still, the insect killer does not stain fabrics and surfaces thus making it safe to use on clothing and bedding. It forms a long-lasting barrier on surfaces that repels bed bugs and fleas for up to one year. It can be used for both indoor and outdoor use.

Raid Max is an effective bed bug killer that eliminates the bugs within a few hours and forms a protective barrier for up to 12 months. This guarantees better protection than the temporary anti-bed bug lotion that repels the bed bugs for only a short time.

A bed bug killer spray can come in the form of a pump or aerosol spray. To find the best bed bug spray, click on this link.

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How Does the Product Work?

Raid bed bug spray can be used as a spot treatment or surface spray. You can apply the product over a large area as a surface spray. You can also use it to treat tight spots such as cracks and crevices by lifting up its yellow precision wand.

Its active ingredients – cypermethrin and imiprothrin – kill bed bugs as well as their eggs on contact. Raid Max is effective against bed bugs and fleas in all their stages of development. It kills them through dermal contact and digestion. Once absorbed, the product begins a series of activities that render the bed bugs and the fleas helpless and eventually leads to death.

The events that lead to the bug’s death include:

  • Immediately after the absorption, the product paralyzes the insect’s nervous system which leads to a powerful knockdown effect. The interference with the Central Nervous System (CNS) makes the insects immobile, and you will observe them struggling to move after you spray your house with the pesticide. The effect of Raid Max on the CNS is irreversible which guarantees elimination certainty once the insects come into contact with the product. Flies and bed bugs are highly susceptible to the product before dawn.
  • Raid Max Bed Bug and Flea Killer is unique due to its ability to be absorbed both through the cuticle and direct oral intake. The diverse absorption mechanism increases the chances of absorption and consequently elimination of the bugs from your house. Once the bugs ingest the product, it interferes with the normal functioning of the digestive system. The interference hinders the absorption of nutrients which results in lethargy and death. The effects on the CNS and those on the digestive system creates a synergy that ensures total elimination of the bugs within the first hour of application.
  • The product is made from pyrethrins which have high activity against bed bugs and fleas. It has a quick onset of action since it paralyzes the insects in a brief time after the application. Raid Max also interferes with the synthesis of essential enzymes and hormones which impairs the normal functioning of the insects’ physiological system. It is packaged conveniently in an aerosol to ensure that you reach the cracks and crevices where these insects hide as well as use the required pressure when spraying.

Other ingredients that make up the product include:

  • Isopropanol: This helps the product spread over a surface.
  • Ammonium Benzoate: It inhibits corrosion of the container to keep the contents fresh.
  • Isobutane: This propellant helps in dispensing the product from the container.
  • Fragrance: It adds scent to the spray.
  • Propane: This propellant also assists in dispensing the product from the container.
  • Sorbitan Oleate: This helps in breaking down dirt and other deposits.
  • Petroleum Distillate: It promotes even distribution of the ingredients.
  • Water: This is the product’s liquid base.

How Should You Use It?

If you’re concerned about the spray staining or discoloring your items, test it by spraying on an inconspicuous place. Evaluate the area after it dries.

Before you apply this product, make sure you cover or remove drinking water. Cover fish aquariums and remove pets.

Follow these steps when spraying an area:

  1. Shake the container well.
  2. Hold it upright with its nozzle pointing away from you.
  3. Stand at a distance of 8-10 inches from the area to be sprayed.
  4. Depress the valve and spray every square foot for 5 seconds (13 seconds for bedbug eggs) or until the area is damp. When spraying, try to directly apply the product on as many bed bugs as you can. However, take care not to wet the area to the point there’s runoff or dripping.
  5. Vacate a room after treating it. Don’t allow any pet or person to enter treated areas until the spray has dried. Ventilate the areas before you reoccupy them. You should also use or replace your bedding only after allowing the sprayed surfaces and articles to dry completely.

Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after you’ve finished using the spray. You shouldn’t use the spray in the same area more than once a day.

Where to Use It?

The method used in the application of Raid Max determines the bedbugs and fleas elimination efficiency. It is essential that you ensure a proper application of the product to benefit maximally from its use.

You should always read and understand the manufacturer’s instructions after which you should follow them to the letter. This improves the elimination chances as well as assures safety during the application. The product is ideal for use both indoors and outdoors.

Indoor Use. The product is primarily used inside the house where the fleas and the bed bugs have infested. As a surface spray, you can apply the spray to:

  • box springs,
  • mattresses,
  • carpets,
  • floors,
  • furniture,
  • walls,
  • garments,
  • rugs,
  • luggage,
  • drapes, and
  • closets.

Most Effective Areas to Apply Kills Bedbugs Products

As a spot treatment, you can apply it to:

  • floorboards,
  • baseboards,
  • cracks,
  • crevices,
  • wall hangings,
  • bed frames,
  • door frames,
  • window frames, and
  • headboards.

This use, however, has some risks and you should be cautious.

Directions for the use of the product is as outlined below:

  • Raid Max is applied on non-porous surfaces. It eliminates the bed bugs and the fleas on these surfaces as well as provides a barrier that prevents re-infestation for up to 12 months. When using the product indoors, you should ensure that all the food is stored in sealed containers. Identify the infested areas and spray the product carefully. You should also spray in all the entry and exit points to form a barrier.
  • You should close all the windows and the doors to achieve the desired concentration of the product inside the room. Before the application, ensure that you switch off all the flames, air conditioner, as well as the pilot light. Ensure that you open the doors of the cabinets and the closet. You should also cover all the foods and remove your pets from the house. After the application, it is recommended that you leave the house for approximately four hours. On returning, open all the windows and doors to aerate the rooms.
  • When applying the product, ensure that you target the bedbugs and fleas hiding regions. You should spray deep into the bug’s hiding zones. When spraying, you should ensure that all foodstuffs in the house are covered. Spray the surfaces until they become wet and then allow them to dry to establish the protective barrier.

The spray is meant to be used indoors only. Some of the places it can be used include the home, non-food sections of restaurants, hotels, motels, nursing homes, schools, hospitals, offices, kennels, and warehouses.

Outdoor Use. This is a rare use of the product. Where there is a substantial infestation, the product can be sprayed around the house to prevent the re-entrance of the bedbugs and fleas into the house. Regions susceptible to flea infestation such as dog kennels should also be sprayed. You should, however, avoid spraying the gardens since the product is harmful and should not be consumed by human beings in any form.

See also:  10 Fascinating Facts About Stick Insects

The Benefits of Using Raid Max Bed Bug Spray

Getting rid of adult bed bugs won’t get rid of an infestation. The eggs they leave behind will hatch and produce a new population. The Raid Max Bed Bug & Flea Killer targets different life stages of the bug to help you eliminate the entire population.

This spray also kills fleas. But that’s not all. It’s also excellent at controlling ticks, dust mites, carpet beetles, lice, and clothes moths. It offers a cheap solution to your indoor pest problems.

The spray comes with an extender wand that’s very easy to use. The wand can fit into cracks, crevices and other confined areas where bugs hide, giving you more precision when applying the product.

By allowing you to direct the poison onto the insects more accurately, the wand can significantly reduce the amount of spray that gets into your home’s air. As a result, it helps prevent you and your family from inhaling fumes from the product.

The Pros and Cons

The Raid Max bed bug and flea killer has its own pros and cons. The pros, however, exceed the cons making it effective and reliable. This product has various features that make it more efficient than competitor products.

Every product has some disadvantages; Raid Max is not an exception. The product’s disadvantages can be reduced by closely following the manufacturer’s guidelines when using them.

Some of the unique features and the primary disadvantages of the product include:

  • It is a trusted brand. Raid Max has established a name due to its high-quality and effectiveness in the elimination of bugs. Numerous reviews indicate satisfaction among its user. As such, the product is a guaranteed method of eliminating the bugs where other products have failed.
  • It kills the insects at their different stages of development. The broad spectrum of activity increases the rate of elimination of the bugs. Additionally, Raid Max is formulated to destroy the insect’s eggs which give a guarantee of complete removal.
  • It offers a protective barrier for up to 12 months. Bed bugs and fleas can re-infest your home even after successful elimination. When this happens, it becomes paramount to establish a barrier that will reduce any chances of re-infestation. Raid Max forms this protective barrier with assured bugs repelling success.
  • Highly available at affordable prices. The Raid Max products are readily available in online stores and physical locations. Despite their high-level of effectiveness, the products are affordable.
  • Can be absorbed through both the cuticle and through direct ingestion. The feature is unique as it increases the chance of absorption of the molecules by the bugs. Other insecticides are absorbed primarily through the cuticle. Additionally, the CNS mechanism of action is irreversible and once absorbed, the bugs will have to die.
  • When used outdoors, Raid Max potentially eliminates even the beneficial insects such as the honey bees. While this is a sign of the strength of the product, it can be devastating when trying to protect the honeybees and other beneficial insects from the harm inflicted by the product.
  • Advanced care should be taken to avoid the product’s contact with food. Raid Max should be used very carefully especially when spraying the kitchen and other areas with foodstuffs. The foods should be covered to prevent instances of poisoning. The owner of the house may also be forced to evacuate the home for approximately four hours. Despite this inconvenience, the overall benefits are worth it.
  • The product cannot be used in a garden. It’s important to note that the product is harmful and should not be applied in a garden with crops that are to be utilized in the kitchen. It would be wrong to spray your kales and then use them to prepare supper for your family since it could lead to poisoning and possible deaths.

Final Review of the Product

The manufacturer’s description of this product would make most people want to buy it. The benefits that the product has to offer also make it stand out.

However, as with any other product, it’s always good to also hear from those that have used it. We’ve gone the extra mile for you and compiled what purchasers of this product have said about it.

Customer Feedback

Raid Max has received positive reviews from the homeowners who have used it to eliminate bed bugs and flea from their homes. Most of the reviewers gave a five-star rating on the efficacy of the product with only a small number of the homeowners giving four and three-star ratings. Those that have been impressed by it as well as those that didn’t like it seem to have had similar things to say. Most of the reviewers agree that Raid Max is the best pesticide for bed bugs.

Let’s take a look at the two categories of reviews separately:

  • Positive reviews
    The users that loved this product found it to be capable of killing pests on contact and reducing or eliminating infestations. The specific pests that most reviewers found the product to successfully work on are bed bugs, fleas, and carpet beetles. Customers also praised its affordability and ease of use.
    Most people also talked about having used other products such as traps, bombs and other sprays to no avail. On switching to Raid Max Bed Bug & Flea Killer, they found it to work better and quicker too. Its smell has also been described as being milder than that of a typical bug spray.
    One of the satisfied clients compared the product with other previously used products. He opined that Raid Max not only eliminated the bed bugs from the house but also placed a barrier that kept away bed bugs from home for six months. This was after he had consistently used a different product that killed the bugs but they kept coming back.
    A point to note with a significant number of customers is that they had to use the product for one or more weeks to fully eradicate the pests.
  • Negative reviews
    Most of the users who weren’t impressed by the product claimed that it didn’t work as expected. While it helped a little, it didn’t do much to eradicate the pests in their homes.

There are several other options that you can choose from to combat the bed bugs in your home. Go here to get more information on Hot Shot Bed Bug Spray.


Generally, this Raid Max bug spray has more positive reviews than negative ones and is worth considering. Although there are high chances of this product helping you deal with bed bugs, you’ll also have to be diligent in applying it.

Make sure you spray everywhere these unwelcomed guests may be such as the mattress seam and all the crevices around your bed. Remember these sneaky creatures also like to hide in other areas apart from your bed such as in chairs, couches, clothes, and behind dressers. Treat any area you find they’ve infested.

See also:  Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Ticks In Yard And House

You may also need several application treatments to send these pests packing. If you see them again after a couple of days or weeks, make sure you spray again. It’s also a good idea to try looking for them in areas you might not have checked the first time you sprayed.

Do not allow bed bugs and flea to subject you to pain and suffering. The bugs can be a menace when they develop resistance to certain insecticides leaving you with minimal options to explore in their elimination effort. Raid Max is an ideal product for you!

You can also increase the effectiveness of this Raid spray by combining it with other bed bug control methods such as trapping and vacuuming.

You can find further details of Bed Bugs Control here.

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Best Bed Bug Sprays

Certified USDA BioBased insecticide, eco-friendly product, the efficacy of which is backed by scientific research studies.

USDA IR4 PHP Program field-testing showed this product to be the only natural product that kills bed bugs with near 100% efficacy. Kills bed bug adults, nymphs, and eggs on contact. Dermatologically safe to use, child and pet friendly, and dried residue shown to be effective for up to 2 weeks after treatment.

Has a strong odor, and for intense infestation situations, use of this product becomes expensive.

Convenient aerosol spray, available in two sizes, effective in eliminating bed bugs, as well as fleas and brown dog ticks.

A fast-acting formula that gives long-lasting control of bed bugs and their eggs. Easy and safe to use on beds, furniture, and luggage. Formula designed to kill pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs, as well as fleas and brown dog ticks. Manufacturer is a long-trusted name in insect control products.

Depending on extent and location of infestation, may need repeated treatments or in conjunction with another type of insecticide.

Gallon-sized supply of bed bug insecticide that kills resistant bed bugs and their eggs.

Kills even toughest «pyrethroid resistant» bed bugs and eggs, best efficacy when sprayed directly on pests. Odorless and non-staining formula. EPA Registered as safe to use in homes and around children and pets. Provides up to 16 weeks of residual protection after treatment.

Effective, although may need re-treatment or use with other formulations to eliminate large infestations. Some purchasers had difficulties with included sprayer.

Broad-scope insecticide designed to control bed bugs and great number of other insect pests in multiple indoor/ outdoor settings.

Active ingredient 7.9% Bifenthrin provides long-lasting (up to 3 months) control of over 75 pests, including bed bugs. Approved for use in multiple sites — almost anywhere, inside or outside, commercial, industrial, residential. Odorless, dries clear, non-staining, doesn’t irritate skin.

Not eco-friendly with long residual poison after treatment. Does not appear to be fast-acting, so must allow time before evaluating its effect on infestation.

Gallon-sized container of bed bug killer formulated with active ingredient Permethrin, ideal for travelers.

Long-lasting insect control. Water-based formula reduces staining. Travelers can use this product to protect their luggage from picking up bed bugs at hotels, a common issue. Kills on contact, can also treat lice, fleas, ticks, clothes moths, carpet beetles, and pantry pests.

Unfortunately, some bed bug populations can develop a resistance to Permethrin.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best bed bug sprays

Nothing will ruin your good night’s sleep faster than an infestation of bed bugs. These insects may be small, but their bites are extremely itchy, and they’re surprisingly difficult to get rid of. You could call an exterminator for help. But if you want to avoid a big bill, you can try tackling the problem yourself with a bed bug spray.

Bed bug sprays are designed to kill bed bugs on contact and prevent new bugs from re-infesting your home. But bed bugs have proven themselves to be terribly resilient, and some populations have even become immune to some of the most common insecticides. That’s why it’s crucial to choose your formula carefully.

Here’s a guide to walk you through all of the important considerations when choosing a bed bug spray.

Key considerations

Before you can start comparing different bed bug sprays, you need to understand the type of spray that you need.

Pests killed

Bed bug sprays are typically designed to kill bed bugs at all stages of their life cycle. This should be plenty if your only problem is bed bugs, but if other insects are getting into your home as well, you may want to choose a spray that can combat other pests, such as ticks , spiders, fleas , or cockroaches . The manufacturer should clearly list all insects that the spray works on, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find one that suits your needs.

Contact vs. residual

The two types of bed bug sprays are contact and residual. Contact sprays are fast-acting, and they kill bed bugs almost immediately. But they degrade quickly and don’t offer much in the way of long-term protection. That’s where residual sprays come in. These take longer to begin working, but they remain effective for several weeks. If you have a bed bug outbreak, it may be wise to purchase a contact and a residual spray to help kill the bed bugs quickly and prevent new infestations. Or you could look for a spray that’s a combination of the two.


For years, the go-to bed bug killer was a pyrethrin- or pyrethroid-based spray. But recently some bed bugs have shown resistance to these products. For this reason, it’s not recommended that you use a bed bug spray that only has pyrethrin or pyrethroid as the active ingredient. Instead you should choose a formula that uses a different chemical like a neonicotinoid (imidacloprid, acetamiprid, etc.) in addition to or in place of pyrethrin or pyrethroid to ensure that you don’t run into any issues with bed bug resistance.

There are also some natural bed bug sprays if you don’t feel comfortable using chemical-based sprays around your home and family. These use geraniol, geranium oil, clove oil, and other compounds to kill and repel bed bugs. However, these sprays are typically not as effective as traditional bed bug sprays, so they’re not a wise choice for a serious infestation.

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