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Insect zappers or bug zappers are electrical devices used to kill insects. You can simply hang them up from the ceiling or place them on the floor. You can even place them on top of a table. You only have to switch the device on to attract the insects, and after a few moments, you’ll hear a zap. This tells you that it’s caught an insect, electrocuting and effectively killing it. In fact, it is that distinctive “zap” that gave this device its name of insect zapper.

But are insect zappers really effective? Will it be worth your money or not?

How Does Insect Zappers Work?

There are four major parts in an insect zapper. You have the housing which is, in a nutshell, the exterior casing of the device. It holds all the parts together. They’re usually made with plastic, and if the device makes use of metal, it’s electrically grounded to prevent accidental electrocution.

You also have the light bulbs. Fluorescent lights are usually used because these attract insects better. Some make use of neon lights, while there are also those that make use of mercury or ultraviolet lights, also called black light.

The part that kills the insects is the electrified wire grid or screens that surround the light bulbs. These wire meshes have electricity running through it, so to prevent accidental electrocution, there’s another wire mesh in place. This safety grid prevents animals and children from touching the electrified wire grid.

Finally, there’s the transformer. This powers the device and electrifies the wire grid.

Insects are attracted to the light coming off of the device. The safety grid allows them to enter the device, and when they touch the electrified wire grid, they’ll immediately be electrocuted, killing them instantly.

Benefits of Insect Zappers

The biggest benefit of an insect zapper is that it is very effective in killing insects. It’s also safe to use and is not harmful to the environment. You can place them in areas where insects commonly hide such as the garden, under the bed, in the kitchen, on the deck, etc. These devices are compact and small, so you can also take them with you when you’re out camping.

Drawbacks of Insect Zappers

While it’s very effective in killing insects, they don’t work for all type of insects though. For one, they’re only effective for flying insects. They won’t be as effective for the creepy crawlies. Two, insect zappers only attract those insects that are attracted to light, so they won’t work that well for mosquitoes, which are attracted to the carbon dioxide, not the light.

To compensate for this drawback, some insect zappers emit Octenol. This is a sort of pheromone that attracts mosquitoes into the device. Don’t worry because this is safe, pesticide-free, and completely non-toxic.

Mosquitoes are carriers of deadly pathogenic organisms, so if you truly want your home to be mosquito-free, then see to it that there is no standing water anywhere in your property. Make sure, too, that your home and garden are clean. If mosquito population is uncontrollable, then hire a pest control company that makes use of green pest control products.

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Jennifer Dallman is a freelance content provider for Preventive Pest. She is also a guest blogger for several pest control blogs.