Raid (insecticide)

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Raid Logo 2015.png
Product typeInsecticide
OwnerS. C. Johnson & Son, Henkel
CountryUnited States
Introduced1956 (1956)
MarketsNorth America, UK, Australia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Russia, Argentina
Tagline"Kills bugs dead"
A frame of an ant from a US animated TV commercial for Raid Outdoor Ant Spikes

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, piperonyl butoxide, and permethrin;[1] other products contain tetramethrin, cypermethrin and imiprothrin as active ingredients[citation needed]. Raid Flying Insect Killer, a spray, uses prallethrin and D-phenothrin.[citation needed]

"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.[2]

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. 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.[3]

The slogan has been part of a successful, long-running advertising campaign. Conjuring up images of an Eliot Ness-style raid on an illegal bar during Prohibition, the television spots have featured the cartoon bugs (voiced by Mel Blanc and Paul Frees) plotting some silly scheme like invading a kitchen, only to be foiled by the magical appearance of the product which swiftly dispatched the bugs to various giddily horrible deaths. The bugs would scream the brand's name ("RAAAIIIID!!"), and then a huge cartoon-style explosion would occur, presumably precipitating their demise.

Similar campaigns have been run in other countries, either by dubbing the US cartoons or by producing local versions, including those for Baygon, another S.C. Johnson brand of insecticides.

Illicit Use[edit]

In recent years, reports of the use of heavy duty bug sprays as an illicit drug have emerged out of the U.S. South.[4][5] 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. U.S. residents should call the CDC emergency poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222[6] if they suspect someone has been using Raid illicitly, although it is advisable to call 911 if a suspected overdose has occurred.

Raid is extremely toxic to domestic cats and other felines due to their lack of glucuronidase[7] and should never be used near cats or areas where cats visit.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "NIH Household Products Database: Raid Ant & Roach Killer".
  2. ^ Saroyan, Aram. Genesis Angels: The Saga of Lew Welch and the Beat Generation. New York: William Morrow, 1979.
  3. ^ Minovitz, Ethan (6 January 2012). "Don Pegler, 82, created bugs in "Raid" campaign". Big Cartoon News. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Jim E. Riviere & Mark G. Papich Eds.: Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Iowa State University Press, 2009. ISBN 9780813820613, (p. 1194)

External links[edit]