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Question DetailsAsked on 10/1/2015

Woke up to a strong raid bug spray chemical smell in the kitchen. What could it be?

1950's built home. Crawl space with later closed in concrete slab laundry room connected to the house. Rec'd alot of rain the last 2 wks + bad thunderstorm last night. City water/sewer. Lived here almost 3 year and never smelled this before. Home has new wiring, new roof, new hot water heater and new vinyl in kitchen all installed a year + ago. hardwood floors throughout. Smell burns your throat and nose after long exposure. opened windows left and came back after several hrs and smell still radiating. Checked fridge for leaks, none. Stove is gas and smell isn't a gas smell. no dishwasher, no garbage disposal. Haven't cleaned recently with harsh chemicals. Just regular cleaners, fabuloso, clorox cleanup, mr. clean 4 days ago. no recent spray for bugs. checked open containers and aerosol cans, no leaks of any kind. Puzzled by this bug spray chemical smell. Primarily in Kitchen but smells throughout house, not outside. Help Please.

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3 Answers


IF it is causing burning nose and throat, I would be out of there in a FLASH ! And call the fire department (probably the non-emergency number if not feeling serious ill health effects and needing ambulance) - they will come and sniff around and use their gas sniffer to check for combustible or hydrogen sulfide gas.

Possible sources - I would NOT go in there to check this is smell is at all strong:

1) if in a unit with neighbors, check if neighbors (or building manager) did a treatment for bugs (personally or by a pest treatment contractor) which might have come through the wall, ceiling, floor - especially if your kitchens might share service piping so there is likely a gap around the pipes through the wall under the sink.

2) check laundry tub or downstairs shower/tub or floor drain (whatever your lowest drain point is) to see if maybe you got a backup of sewage, which someone had dumped chemicals into

3) I would put any pressurized can that smells remotely like that outside ASAP - you cannot tell if maybe one of them is leaking a bit through a leaking nozzle seal.

4) check your floor drains/lowest drain point if any have not been used in a long time - could be the seal went dry - REAL common with floor drains/ Add about 1 gallon water with lemon MR Clean or similar good-smelling dish soap; or mixture of baking soda followed by vinegar then flushed with water after a minute or so to refill the trap and stop the smell - could be you got a shot of hydrogen sulfide gas from the sewers if your trap went dry.

5) if on septic, perhaps similar thing - leach field filled with water, backed up into septic tank that does not have a vent (older ones commonly do not, or people cap them because they stink), and it pushed septic tank gases (which can include hydrogen sulfide and other nitrous and sulferous compounds) backk into your house piping and it gurgled up through the lowest elevation drain - usually floor drain or basement/ground floor tub, shower, or laundry tub - whichever if lowest.

6) spillage (under sink - yours or neighbor's ?) of bleach or bleach-containing items like bleach or dishwasher tablets mixing with certain cleaning fluids can cause phosgene gas (same stuff as used in WW I in the trenches) - causes burning of mucous membranes and dissolved lung tissue - NASTY stuff ! Under your sink, in cabinets, or in neighbor's cabinets, or outside storage cabinet or such ?

7) sniff around house for possible burnt electrical insulation or appliance that got fried - that sort of symptom and smelll can come from buring electrical/electronics, including chargers for devices and fried laptop/cell phone batteries.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD


This just happened to me this morning! Did you get any answer to what was causing it?

Answered 3 months ago by Guest_9846005


Same thing happen to me, with the smell by faint smell by garage door then stronger by the front door. A sweet bug spray smell. I removed the old bulbs from the hallway by the door, still strong smell. Then, I removed the PLUG'ins by the door which did the trick. The plugins was the cause of the smel which we have had these for 10+ years and guess they became burnt out. Hopefully this helps anyone looking to resolve this issue.

Answered 1 month ago by Lboogie

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