If you own a pet reptile, then one of your primary responsibilities and considerations is optimizing the environment so it is best for them. Perhaps the most important aspect of keeping a reptile in your own artificial enclosure is humidity. Moisture is required not only for hydration purposes but also for shedding, the incubation of eggs, and other reptilian behaviors.
So, what is the difference between a reptile fogger and a mister? Reptile Foggers and Misters use different systems to achieve optimal humidity in a reptile enclosure. A fogger creates a ‘fog’ of water vapor, whereas a mister creates a cloud-based water vapor – mimicking rain. Both have their own pros and cons and reptile owners typically have their own preferences for their setup.
One important caveat to remember is that a fogger should not be used to replace a mister, but instead can be used in conjunction with one.
Nevertheless, reptile foggers and misters are used by reptile owners to automate the process and to ensure their reptiles remain in an environment with optimal humidity.
Both a fogger and a mister are usually set up to activate on a timer; taking away any manual effort to ensure a consistent moisture in the enclosure at all times.
Let us now take a closer look at how each system works before turning to the reasons why you would need such a device and the pros and cons of each one!
What Is A Reptile Fogger?
A reptile fogger will release small amounts of water into the air, creating a fog, as the name of the device suggests.
Foggers are not reliant on pumps, but instead, use ultrasonic sound to vaporize liquid water.
They create a visible fog in the enclosure and can be integrated with a timer or humidity controller to regulate humidity levels.
What Is A Reptile Mister?
Misters spray small droplets of water into swirls and into a cloud-based vapour. The purpose is to mimic rain, as would appear in a natural environment.
You can generally get two varieties of misting systems; high pressure and low-pressure versions. Water from misters will ultimately settle on the ground until the next spray.
Misting systems are generally fully programmable; enabling you to set the amount of misting you require.
They typically leverage spray nozzles that can be pointed in any direction.
Why Would You Need A Reptile Fogger or Mister?
Most reptiles reside in humid environments. It comes as no surprise to discover that most reptiles are in fact composed of two-thirds water!
For reptiles, water is essential, and must be kept in an optimal range in order for them to go about their day to day life and bodily processes.
For owners, whom are taking reptiles out of their natural environment and are placing them in an artificial one, need a means of providing such a need.
Perhaps the best and easiest way to do so, is by setting up a specific system that optimizes the environment on your behalf.
We must consider how reptiles acquire the water they need. It is not just through drinking clean water, but it is also largely dependent on the environment.
It needs to be humid for your reptile to obtain the water they require.
The challenge is, keeping an optimal humidity is easier than it sounds; it often involves ongoing maintenance – regular misting or setting up specific plants in the enclosure that provide humidity.
Alternatively, some owners will even manually and physically spray water (using a spray bottle) into their reptiles enclosure.
The truth is, this is not necessary. It is why most, more experienced, reptile owners will use an automated system, along with a hygrometer (to measure the humidity), to ensure the conditions remain optimal without the need to constantly do the work.
Specific systems, like foggers and misters, enable a regular and routine water source; ensuring levels remain optimal which is of course, a challenge to obtain if you were to do so manually.
Ultimately, it is essential that when setting up a system, owners consider the unique needs and preferences of the reptile in which they are housing.
Logically, this makes sense. A reptile from a hotter, less-humid environment like a desert does not need as much access to water as a reptile from a water-rich environment like a rain-forest.
So, for some reptiles, a system may not be required at all. However, for most that need humidity in order to live, a system is a time-effective and efficient way to give your pet all that it needs from a humidity perspective.
Main Fogger vs Mister Differences
A reptile fogger is designed to mimic fog, that naturally occurs in nature. The water that is released is very fine and unless the humidity is very high (not desirable) visible droplets should not appear or be seen against the glass of the enclosure.
It’s important to note that a fogger should never be used without a mister; but instead, can be used together with one.
Alternatively, a reptile mister is designed to mimic rain; so it releases droplets of water into the atmosphere.
This effect increases humidity but additionally, can also provide a water source for certain types of reptiles whom consume water droplets from the air opposed to drink from a dish.
A reptile mister’s job is to mimic rain, so it disperses actual droplets of water into the environment. It is more commonly used when housing reptiles.
Some reptile owners decide to use a mister during the day and a fogger at night – the idea being that they can replicate a more natural, wild environment as fog generally occurs during the nighttime hours.
Fogger vs Mister – Pros and Cons
Let us now take a closer look at the pros and cons of a fogger and a mister side by side.
This way, you can start to get a better understanding as to how each one works and what is right for you and your reptile:
Fogger vs Mister Pros
|Fogger Pros||Mister Pros|
|Foggers replicate conditions seen in natural environments; with humidity/fog occurring during the night.||Misting systems enable you to control humidity a lot more closely than with a fogger.|
|Foggers are able to create a cool environment||Misting systems can be used on several enclosures at a time; regardless of their size, position and location in your home.|
You can even set different humidity levels in different enclosures by changing the amount of nozzles used.
|Foggers are known to be considerably quieter; whereas most mister systems are known to be loud||Misting systems enable you to better control the environment; you can direct nozzles to certain areas of the enclosure and build misting as and where you and your reptile require.|
|Foggers look great when running; making your enclosure look like a natural environment.||Misters enable you to add a lot more moisture to the enclosure than a fogger can.|
|Misters create a more refined moisture; which serves to remove reptile waste by washing it into the substrate where it will be cleaned and removed.|
|Misters can simultaneously water any plants in the enclosure; foggers are not known to be able to do so.|
|All in one system; fully automated.|
Fogger vs Mister Cons
|Fogger Cons||Mister Cons|
|Seen as more for ‘show’. Only being able to raise humidity.||Most beneficial to larger enclosures|
|They tend to raise and drop humidity quickly, creating spikes in humidity.||More expensive to purchase and to keep running|
|Can be quite challenging to control the humidity levels in the enclosure.|
|Not seen as effective when it comes to automating|
|Additional equipment may be required.|
If you are looking for the best fogger to get, then take a look at the recommendations below.
The following are some of the best-reviewed and highest-selling foggers that you can currently get today. But while their fog output is roughly the same, the devices do have their differences – mainly in size, durability, ease of use and setup requirements.
Benefits of These Fogging Systems
- Fog densities can be adjusted using the dials and fog output control systems.
- No-spill valves included
- Easy Set-up.
- Long and/or Adjustable Hoses.
- Safety shut-offs (stops fogger when tank is low on water).
- Manufacturer Warranties.
If you are looking for the best misting system, then take a look at the recommendations below.
The following are some of the best-reviewed and highest-selling misters that many reptile owners swear by. But again there are some differences between the models – mainly in size, durability, ease of use and setup requirements.
Benefits of These Misting Systems
- Programmed at various misting intervals you select,
- Flexible nozzles; enabling you to direct the flow of the mist,
- Low-sound without humming,
- Minimum to no dripping of water from the nozzles
How To Make Your Decision
All foggers and misters are known to work best if the water used has been distilled. This will reduce the build-up of minerals in the system and should keep the machine working optimally for longer.
Choosing the right fogger or mister for you and what to buy will depend on a number of factors including: your reptile, budget, requirements and preferences.
Here are just some things to consider when making a decision:
- Reservoir Size
- How many enclosures do you have and can the system attach to.
- How programmable, what level of control does the system have,
- Ability to adapt the humidity in response to your homes natural humidity as it changes over the course of the year.
A versatile machine is advised. It will ensure you can manipulate the system to meet the needs of your reptile year-round.
Be sure to consider that excess moisture is not ideal. It should never build up and you’ll need to consider the drainage system.
Excess moisture can cause illness in your reptile and mold/fungus to grow. Mesh siding is a good idea to help reduce the chances of this from happening.
Foggers and misters are quite different in terms of how they work and what they are able to do, although they are used for the same purpose – ensuring optimal humidity for your reptile.
Which one that you decide upon will depend not only on your requirements but your preferences, setup, and of course, your reptile.
Remember, how much humidity you will require is entirely dependent on the species of your reptile. You need to mimic their natural environment as best you can.
Foggers generally look great when they are running; mist inside the enclosure is excellent to observe.
Misters, on the other hand, provide the automation that takes away a lot of the complexities of optimizing the environment.
They enable you to control humidity much more closely.
If you can afford it and your reptile calls for it, get both.
Using the misting system earlier and during the day, and the fogger at night.
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.