Is Bug Spray Flammable: Can It Catch Fire?

Mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects can quickly disrupt outdoor enjoyment. While bug spray offers a convenient solution, critical questions often arise:

Is bug spray flammable? Can it catch fire?

Understanding the flammability of bug spray and proper handling practices is crucial for safe and effective pest control. This article delves into the science behind bug spray, analyzing its components and their flammability potential, to empower you with informed and safe summer evenings.

Is Bug Spray Flammable?

Many bug sprays are flammable because they contain propellants like butane, propane, or isobutane to expel the liquid insecticide from the bug spray can. These propellants are highly flammable hydrocarbons.

Can Bug Spray Catch Fire?

Bug spray can catch fire, and the risk of ignition depends on several factors, such as concentration of propellants, exposure to heat or open flame, and storage conditions.

  • Concentration of propellants: Higher concentrations of propellants increase the flammability of bug spray.
  • Exposure to heat or open flames: Direct contact with a spark, flame, or hot object can ignite the spray.
  • Storage conditions: Exposing bug spray to high temperatures can increase the risk of it catching on fire.
Can of bug spray

What Is Bug Spray Made Of?

Bug spray typically contains three main components:

  • Active ingredients: These kill or repel insects, such as DEET, picaridin, or permethrin.
  • Solvents: These dissolve the active ingredients, allowing them to be spread evenly.
  • Propellants: These create the pressure needed to expel the spray from the can, and are the primary source of flammability.

Common Bug Sprays and Their Flammability

Raid Flammability

Raid is flammable and classified as an NFPA 30 Level 1 Aerosol, which has a flash point <100°F.

DEET Flammability

DEET is flammable and classified as an NFPA 30 Level 1 Aerosol, which has a flash point <100°F.

OFF Flammability

OFF is flammable and classified as an NFPA 30 Level 3 Aerosol, which has a flash point of 140°F and higher.

Is Bug Spray Still Flammable After It Dries?

Bug spray is not flammable after it dries because the flammable propellants evaporate quickly after spraying. Once dry, the remaining residue of the chemical insecticide ingredients does not catch fire.

Is Bug Spray Explosive?

No, bug spray is not typically explosive when sprayed. While the propellants are flammable, they are not detonating agents. However, exposing a bug spray can to extreme heat or open flames might cause it to explode, which could be dangerous.

Safety Precautions for Using Bug Spray

To minimize the risk of fire:

  • Always read and follow the instructions on the label of your specific bug spray product.
  • Never spray near open flames, heat sources, or while smoking.
  • Avoid inhaling the spray directly.
  • Store bug spray in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Dispose of empty bug spray cans responsibly, following local regulations.

By following these precautions, you can minimize the risk of fire and safely use bug spray for pest control.


In conclusion, while bug spray is flammable due to its propellant content, it doesn’t stay ignitable for as long as other flammable liquids. However, the risk of bug spraying catching fire increases with exposure to heat or open flames.

To ensure safety, always follow the instructions, avoid spraying near flames, and store bug spray appropriately. Remember, always exercise caution while using this essential pest control tool.

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