Bug Zapper

Written by Greg Schwartz
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In 1934, the first bug zapper was patented. It has had many upgrades and safety improvements through the years, but has basically remained the same. They are typically in the shape of a lantern or a rectangular cube and are made of plastic or metal that is electrically grounded. The housing should have a grid of some type to keep animals and children from touching the grids that carry the current.

Light bulbs that attract insects are used. There are wire grids or screens that surround the bulb that are electrified to kill the bugs as they come into contact with it. High-voltage current vaporizes the insect. The bug zapper that is made to particularly attract mosquitoes has a scent that draws them to the area. Then there are devices that can either trap them or suck them in to their demise.

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Carbon dioxide and lactic acid are excreted when mammals and birds breathe. These, along with sweat, are the scents that draw mosquitoes and that is the scent that is copied to draw them to the bug zapper. Interestingly enough, people that do not sweat a lot get bit less than those that do sweat a lot. The mosquito attractant known as Octenol is an effective component added to electronic bug zappers.

The effectiveness of using a bug zapper is enhanced when the overall population is decreased by using preventive measures. Eliminating places where standing water is likely to occur is the first line of defense. This can be in bird baths that are not changed frequently, pet water supplies, potted plants, low places in the lawn, and many other locations.


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