Raid (insecticide)

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Raid Logo 2015.png
Product typeInsecticide
OwnerS. C. Johnson & Son
CountryUnited States
Introduced1956; 65 years ago (1956)
MarketsNorth America, United Kingdom, European Union, Israel, Australia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Russia, Argentina, Chile
Tagline"Kills bugs dead"

Raid is the brand name of a line of insecticide products produced by S. C. Johnson & Son, first launched in 1956.

The initial active ingredient was the first synthetic pyrethroid, allethrin.[citation needed] Raid derivatives aimed at particular invertebrate species can contain other active agents such as the more toxic cyfluthrin, another synthetic pyrethroid.[citation needed] Currently Raid Ant & Roach Killer contains pyrethroids, imiprothrin, and cypermethrin;[1] other products contain tetramethrin, prallethrin and permethrin as active ingredients.[citation needed] Raid Flying Insect Killer, a spray, uses piperonyl butoxide and D-phenothrin.[2]

"Raid Kills Bugs Dead" slogan[edit]

The product's advertising tagline, "Raid Kills Bugs Dead", was created by the advertising agency Foote, Cone & Belding. The phrase itself is often attributed to the poet Lew Welch, who worked for the agency at the time.[3]

The line was first used in commerce in 1966 and was trademarked in 1986. Noted animation director Tex Avery was the producer of the first "Kills Bugs Dead" commercials. Artist Don Pegler developed the bug characters used in the US and continued animating them for forty years.[4] Pegler "codified the look, feel and animation" of the weird insects that run in fear of Raid, according to Steve Schildwachter, executive vice-president at Draftfcb.[5]

Illicit use[edit]

In recent years, reports of the use of heavy duty bug sprays as an illicit drug have emerged from the United States.[6] Although products such as Raid are advertised as relatively safe to humans (when used as intended), the act of huffing, smoking, or injecting Raid or other bug sprays can cause irreversible neurological damage, or even death.

In July 2019, it was announced that three people had died in West Virginia after overdosing on an unidentified wasp spray. Authorities have warned of a growing trend of ingesting bug spray in the southern United States, supposedly as a substitute for methamphetamine. Possible symptoms of ingesting bug poison include, but are not limited to: erratic behavior, nausea, headache, sore throat, extreme inflammation, redness of the hands and feet, convulsions, coma, and death.[7][8][9]


Raid's main competitor in the insecticide market is Black Flag.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "US EPA, Pesticide Product Label, RAID ANT & ROACH 26, 08/01/2019" (PDF).
  2. ^ "US EPA, Pesticide Product Label, RAID FORMULA 5 FLYING INSECT KILLER, 07/22/2011" (PDF).
  3. ^ Saroyan, Aram. Genesis Angels: The Saga of Lew Welch and the Beat Generation. New York: William Morrow, 1979.
  4. ^ Dotz, Warren; Morton, Jim (1996). What a Character! 20th Century American Advertising Icons. Chronicle Books. p. 118. ISBN 0-8118-0936-6.
  5. ^ Minovitz, Ethan (6 January 2012). "Don Pegler, 82, created bugs in "Raid" campaign". Big Cartoon News. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  6. ^ "People Are Using Heavy Duty Bug Sprays to Get High". ABC Action News.
  7. ^ "Wasp spray used as alternative meth, contributed to three overdoses". WISH-TV.
  8. ^ "People Are Overdosing on Wasp Spray in West Virginia". Livescience.
  9. ^ Bradberry, SM (2005). "Poisoning due to pyrethroids". Toxicol Review. 2 (24): 93–106. PMID 16180929.

External links[edit]