Do you too hate bugs with a passion? When mosquito season starts many of us are ready declare war to the infuriating gits. With all the mayhem mosquitoes cause, the analogy of war isn’t that far fetched.
Others liken the battle against the bugs to sports. The bug-a-salt is a typical example of making a sport out of killing the pesky insects. Better have some fun while you’re at it right?
In a similar fashion many of us take up our ‘tennis racket-like’ handheld zappers.
You may have wondered, do handheld mosquito zappers (aka mosquito bats) work?
How do electric mosquito rackets work?
They may look like kids toy tennis rackets but then in a version that employs a voltage of between 500 and 1500 Volt.
In fact, for various situations they proof invaluable parts of effective mosquito control. Wielding such a battery powered gadget gives you an advantage over being without one (more in a bit).
The paddle that consists of metal mesh that conducts an electric current. On contact it delivers an electric shock (when you press the button(s) on the handle) electrocuting mosquitoes and other pests.
All you need to do is swing the racket, and hit the bug with it, and it will be dead. There are models available in a lot of designs spread over a large range of prices.
The main question,
Do they work?
You bet ‘cha.
It has been estimated that US citizens purchase over 17.5 million of these devices annually. Just think about it, they wouldn’t if these things were useless.
These ‘skeeter beaters’ are so popular because they are easy to operate due to their highly uncomplicated designs.
But there are more reasons why they are so popular.
Electric bug zapper benefits
All natural. One of the major benefits is that bugs can be killed without having to use any toxic chemicals. Synthetic repellents and other harsh substances are damaging to the skin and are also poisonous to breathe in (Aerosol sprays can trigger asthma attacks )
Shockingly easy to use. Using a zapper is less tedious as you don’t have to sit and wait for the bug to land on you giving it a chance to bite or suck blood. Instead you can zap the racket around, killing the bugs in flight.
“I love my bug swatter because I can easily kill mosquitoes near my ear and gnats hovering in front of my nose.”
Versatile. Another, major benefit of these rackets is that they are not limited to mosquitoes only, but take care of any bug that comes in contact with it.
You can get rid of any bug that might be annoying you.
- What about those ultra-pesky no see ums, these swatters work wonders in killing them off. Gnats aren’t safe anymore either.
- Fruit flies too better keep away from your summer beer or red wine because they will get zapped.
- Suffer from wasp phobia? These tools will give you a stick to beat those little devils with. The stinging bugs may take a second to zap. Just keep the button pressed andonce they make contact with the metal mesh the electric current will make them stick, zapping them seconds afterwards.
So, when you get a racket with substantial charge to give a good, strong shock, and treat it like a pest control device, instead of just an average swatter, it can be a highly efficient way to get rid of any flying insects that you may find irritating.
Safe for indoor and outdoor use. As long as used according to directions and common sense. (We all have that one family member..)
Fun factor. At night they’re like fireworks, frying tiny bugs like crazy. Sparks jumping over to your flying foes, dazing them into their path to their maker. Electrified flies, dropped on the floor, a satisfying plume of smoke rising from their carcasses.
Portable. Because these bug zappers are inexpensive, light-weight (about 10 ounces) and portable, they’re perfectly suitable for outdoor trips such as camping, hiking, fishing, sports events and road trips.
Batteries last a long time. They practically all run on 2 AA batteries or 2 C batteries that will last for months and months on end. If not longer.
Cheap as chips. A few bucks will get you a swatter. A few more for a more robust and powerful model.
Downsides of mosquito zappers
Not flexible. Over-enthusiastic use may result in broken zappers. These swatters are mostly made up of hard and brittle plastic, instead of flexible plastics, and therefore whacking against hard surfaces can break or crack them. (Don’t be ashamed, we all have the urge to smack those skeeters real hard from time to time)
Really small insects can’t be hit when on a wall. Of course there’s a solution to this minor holdback. Instead of hitting the bug resting on hard surfaces, just try to scare it into the air first, or let it fly towards the racket.
You may occasionally shock yourself. Even though these zappers are considered safe, some precautions need to be taken.
Some zappers have dead screens on one side of the zapper, while others don’t; however you can experience heavy electric shocks if your skin comes in direct contact with the charged surfaces, which isn’t too hard if you’re aimlessly swatting the racket around.
Especially if you’re having co-ordination problems, are overly curious, or have had one beer too much).
FAQ: Good to know about mosquito zappers
Most zappers come with switches and buttons, so that when turned off, they do not give out electric shocks, but due to the installation of capacitors in some zappers, the charge is held longer, which at times might result in electric shocks.
Q: Are portable bug zappers dangerous?
A: Most electric handheld bug zappers conform to electrical safety standards for humans. The charge they emit is very limited. For the same reason, the initial shock these swatters is give off is usually inadequate to kill flies.
- These bug zappers need to be kept away from children and pets; those little fingers and wet noses are not as immune to electric shocks as adult humans are, and even when these shocks might not actually kill people, they can be highly painful.
- The electrical sparks generated by these bug zappers can also, sometimes ignite flammable fumes and start fires. Therefore, it must be made certain that nothing flammable is used around them, such as lighter fluids, hair spray, gas for the lawnmower, or any other place where an open flame might be undesirable.
All in all, these hand-held, sporty bug zapping gadgets do serve the purpose of getting rid of most annoying bugs flying around you.
Just like skewers and turners, mosquito rackets are essential barbecue tools.
Lets face it, having an effective swatter at hand at barbecues is a whole lot more pleasant than spraying harsh fogs of insecticide near your family and the food.
Don’t pop bugs over food though, they will drop right down in your coleslaw.
Reviews: which zapper to get?
- Sturdy material, not likely to break.
- High quality electronics
- Powerful. Even hornets and wasps pop immediately on contact.
- Runs on two long-lasting AA batteries.
- The Pro version is more powerful than many other zappers because it uses two C batteries
- The larger ‘Pro’ version is relatively long and large surface for a better reach and easier contact
“Emits a satisfying electric blue flash when it effortlessly electrifies mosquitos and other bugs.”
Get the Executioner on Amazon. $19,99
Update: The more powerful Executioner PRO has been discontinued on Amazon. It’s still available on other sites but at very steep (read: outrageous) prices ($40 to $80).
Zap Master RMBZ300P
- Powerful with 2750 volts of electricity it has a 100% kill rate.
- Its fine mesh makes it ideal if you suffer from fruit fly infestations.
- features a red LED that lights up when you push the button (if it doesn’t you know it’s time to replace batteries)
- The mesh grid stays charged for about a minute after releasing the button
“We had a sudden fruit flies outbreak and our other zappers did not have a fine enough mesh so some fruit flies escaped through the wires. The Zap Master doesn´t let them get away.”
Get the Zap Master on Amazon. $20.99
Wrapping it up
Bugging insects are annoying as hell. Mosquitoes and the diseases they bring are causing serious public health concerns so controlling the pests is crucial.
One note though.
Please don’t kill honey bees or bumble bees.
We really need them. That aside, they don’t do harm and even if you’re allergic, generally, the smartest thing to do is not react, accept they are close and they will go off. It’s like they can feel aggression or acceptance and act accordingly.
Even though they’re not toys, using a mosquito swatter can be a thrill (no need to be holier than the pope). For effortless bug zapping, check out these popular bug zappers.
Want to have a true blast? Set your sights on slaughter with the Bug-A-Salt 2.0 bug salt shooter definitely the most fun way to kill ’em dead.
Whether you use your backhand swing, employ your forehand and knock their lights out, mosquitoes and other bugs are killed fast without the use of chemicals.