Can You Bug Bomb a House With a Fish Tank Safely? Step-by-Step Guide

Your home is infested with pests and you’ve decided to use a bug bomb to get rid of them. But, you also have an aquarium and you don’t want to risk harming your fish....find out what you can do in this situation.
Can You Bug Bomb A House With A Fish Tank Top Image

Can You Bug Bomb a House With a Fish Tank?

Yes, you can bug bomb a house with a fish tank, but it requires a bit of preparation on your part to ensure the safety of your fish.

To keep your fish safe during the bug-bombing process, you’ll need to cover your fish tank properly to prevent the chemicals from seeping into the tank and affecting or even killing your fish.

How To Prepare a Fish Tank Before Bug Bombing Your Home

This is how I cover my fish tanks to keep them safe during bug bombing:

1. Turn Off The Tank’s Equipment

Before you start covering the fish tank, make sure to turn off all electrical equipment, such as heaters, filters, and lights. This will help prevent any potential accidents or fires.

You need to monitor the tank while the filter is switched off to ensure your fish have enough oxygen and there isn’t an ammonia spike. If it’s going to be off for more than a few hours I’ve linked to a guide that will help you make sure your fish stay healthy.

2. Secure The Air Intake

If your fish tank has an air pump or any other air intake system, turn them off and cover any openings to prevent any bug-bomb chemicals from entering the water.

3. Cover The Tank

Amazon Basics Tall Kitchen Drawstring Bags

Using plastic wrap or trash bags, tightly cover the entire top of the fish tank, and tape up where you overlap the trash bags to ensure there are no gaps or openings.

This will act as a barrier against the bug bomb chemicals. To provide an extra layer of protection, consider covering the entire tank with a water-tight tarp or a thick blanket.

4. Secure The Coverings

Scotch Shipping Tape

Make sure the coverings are well-secured to prevent them from falling off during the bug bombing process. Use tape to help keep the coverings in place.

5. Keep An Eye On The Temperature

Monitor the fish tank’s temperature during the bug bombing process, as the coverings may affect the water temperature.

If need be, make any necessary adjustments to maintain a safe and comfortable environment for your fish.

By following these steps, you can protect your fish tank and its inhabitants during a bug bombing.

Always exercise caution and consult with a professional if you’re unsure about the process or the safety of your fish.

Alternative Pest Control Methods

The good news is, that there are alternative ways of dealing with bugs in the home than a bug bomb or flea fogger, which includes using natural pesticides and essential oils.

Natural Pesticides

Natural pesticides can be a great option for controlling pests without harming your fish tank. Here are some suggestions:

Diatomaceous Earth

Safer Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a powder made from fossilized algae called diatoms.

Spread it around the area where you notice pests, and it will help control their population by dehydrating and killing them upon contact.

It’s a safe and non-toxic alternative to chemical insecticides.


Pyrethrin is a natural plant-based insecticide that’s derived from chrysanthemum flowers, although it is natural it is harmful to aquatic life, so use it with caution.

I have included it as an alternative to bug bombs as it allows you to target spray a specific area, rather than a bug bomb which fills the entire room with chemicals.  

Pyrethrin can help manage pests without harm to your fish if it does not come into direct contact with your fish. If you are spraying the area near your fish tank, make sure you cover it up to be safe.

Homemade Essential Oil Sprays

Majestic Pure Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil
Majestic Pure Clover Leaf Essential Oil
Majestic Pure Lavender Essential Oil

Certain essential oils, such as cinnamon, clove, or lavender, can act as natural repellents for some pests.

  • Cinnamon is good for repelling ants, cockroaches, spiders, and many more.
  • Clove will help get rid of mosquitoes, ants, wasps, moths (and their larvae), flies, and fleas.
  • Lavender is good for mozzies, moths, flies, fleas, and black beetles.

Mix a few drops of essential oil with water in a spray bottle and apply it to potential entry points for insects.

Professional Exterminators

Pest Exterminator

Another option to consider is hiring a professional exterminator to fumigate your house.

A professional exterminator will:

  1. Assess the situation in your home, identifying the types of pests and their entry points.
  2. Develop a customized plan to remove existing pests and prevent future infestations.
  3. Use specific pesticides and methods that are safe for your fish tank while effectively eliminating unwanted pests.

Although professional exterminators can come at a higher cost, the safety of your fish and the long-term effectiveness of their work is worth the investment.

What Effects Do Bug Bombs Have On Fish Tanks?

Before you start, it’s essential to understand that bug bombs, or total release foggers, contain aerosol propellants that release their contents at once, fumigating an area to eliminate pests like cockroaches, fleas, and more.

While these products can be quite effective, they also pose a risk to your fish and other non-target organisms.

Bug bombs release toxic chemicals like pyrethroids and pyrethrins, which can have adverse effects on your fish and other aquatic life when they come into direct contact.

Exposure to these chemicals could lead to stress, illness, or even death of your fish. Therefore, it is important to take preventive measures to minimize the risk.

Precautions and Safety Measures

Can You Bug Bomb A House With A Fish Tank Safety Precautions

  1. Ideally, relocate the fish tank to another safe location. This is the best way to ensure the safety of your fish, but, I understand that moving a large tank isn’t always possible.

  2. Turn off any air circulation devices in your home, such as air conditioner units or central air systems, to minimize the spread of bug bomb chemicals. Also, close all windows and doors.

  3. Switch off the fish tank equipment, including filters, air pumps, and heaters. This helps prevent the chemicals from entering the tank’s water.

  4. Seal the top of the tank with cling wrap or a plastic sheet, and secure it tightly around the edges using tape. Covering the top minimizes exposure to the chemicals released by the bug bomb.

  5. Create a barrier around the tank using plastic sheets or blankets. Ensure the material is thick enough to keep the chemicals from seeping through.

  6. Place the bug bomb away from the fish tank to minimize direct exposure to the chemicals. Follow the instructions on the bug bomb package thoroughly regarding the proper usage and ventilation after the treatment is complete.

Taking these precautions will allow you to address any pest infestations while keeping your fish safe successfully.

Will Fumigation Kill My Fish?

If you leave your fish tank unprotected, then yes, fumigation could kill your fish.

Either remove the fish tank from the house or if that’s not practical, seal off your aquarium as described above in this post.

Just be sure to mention your fish tank and any specific concerns you have when hiring a professional exterminator.

Closing Thoughts On Can You Bug Bomb a House With a Fish Tank Safely?

In conclusion, the answer is yes, but it’s essential to research and choose a pest control method that is safe for your fish tank when trying to remove pests from your home, or if you need to use chemicals make sure your fish tank is covered properly.

Both natural pesticides and professional exterminators offer a wealth of options to help you achieve your goal of a pest-free environment without putting your aquatic pets at risk.

Check out the aquarium health section for guides and tips to keep your aquarium in tip-top shape.

Picture of Paul


Hey, fellow fish enthusiast 👋! I'm Paul and I've been an aquarium addict since I won my first goldfish at the fair many years ago. Let me share with you the knowledge that I've gained along the way (and avoid the mistakes I've made!), so you too can create an underwater paradise for your aquatic friends.