Few things are as irritating and potentially harmful as a mosquito bite.
Besides the pain and irritation that might occur, a mosquito bite can transmit mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, and West Nile virus and the Zika virus responsible for the death of millions of people across the globe.
No thanks to climate change and its effect, there will be more mosquitoes, more sick people, and more deaths. Except something is done about it.
Bug zappers are another addition to a variety of bug fighting devices, ranging from Citronella candles to elaborate insect traps to pesticides. Also known as electronic insect-control systems or electrical-discharge insect-control system, bug zappers have been around for quite a while, and as the name suggests, they are used in the elimination of insects.
Interestingly, there are claims that bug zappers are ineffective against mosquitoes. But before we get into that,it is important to know a thing or two about mosquito behavior.
So let’s take a quick look at mosquitoes and how they get into your home in the first place.
How Do Mosquitoes Get Into My House?
Mosquitoes are very small insects that can easily enter your house.
One of the most common ways is via open doors and windows.They generally seek shelter from unfavorable conditions and would seek shelter inside your house if they can gain access.
But shelter is not the only reason that mosquitoes enter a house. Depending on the species, they are drawn by carbon dioxide, heat, and the light inside the house.
When Are Mosquitoes the Most Prevalent Around The House?
It all depends on the season and conditions.
Mosquito species are often present in the early spring, summer, and the late summer. In the course of the season, some species have multiple generations which multiply the number of mosquitoes. Especially during the late summer to early fall.
So yes, you are more likely to find mosquitoes around the house about this time.
Do Pets Bring in Mosquitoes?
Yes, they do.
Say for instance that your dog or cat is outside and has some mosquitoes feeding on it, some of the mosquitoes can be transferred into the house. If the mosquito is an indoor breeding species, it is more likely to lay its eggs somewhere convenient inside the house. And that could be bad for your health.
Places in a Home That Are Attractive to Mosquitoes
There are lots of places that mosquitoes find attractive within a house.
Some of their favorite haunting spots include in and around potted plants, unused waterfalls, water features, and koi ponds, among others. Anything that contains standing water will attract mosquitoes. The water allows mosquito larva to thrive and breed.
What Attracts Mosquitoes to A House?
Besides the carbon dioxide, heat, and light, one other condition that might attract them is a shaded area.
If your house is completely shaded with a canopy and has shrubs around the house, you will likely have mosquitoes lurking in those areas waiting to feed on some unsuspecting victim.
Besides the feeding, mosquitoes prefer to rest in such spots around the house. You are also likely to have mosquitoes swarming around your house if you live close to a salt marsh, a stagnant swimming pool or even in coastal areas.
So when you walk into your house, you just might let some in when you open the door or windows.
You could use repellents like citronella candles as a means of controlling mosquitoes but you’d need more than spatial repellent. Insect repellents are not even remotely a substitute for mosquito problems because there is little you can do when you have more mosquitoes.
Bug zappers are just what you need for killing bugs when it becomes difficult to repel bugs.
What Are Bug Zappers
A bug zapper is an electrical discharge insect control system, electric insect killer, or insect electrocution trap, is a simple device that is effective against only flying insects.
Unlike ultrasonic devices that use sound , electric bug zappers use electric to destroy bugs. The mode of operation of bug zappers is simple; attract bugs with UV light and electrocute them.
Bug zappers come with an ultraviolet light source that attracts bugs to an inbuilt electrical grid. The insects are then electrocuted when they touch two wires the a high voltage. When this happens you hear a zapping sound from which the device gets its name.
Bug zappers have been around for years.
Its origins can be traced to the fly traps when it was used circa 1911. This fly trap came with electric light and an electrified grid. However, it was deemed too costly for mass production.
Sometime around 1932,a certain William M. Frost patented the first bug zapper and by 1934 William Brodbeck Herms introduced the prototype electronic insect killer that inspired the modern electric bug zappers that we have today.
Here is a description of a modern bug zapper:
An exterior casing:
This holds the parts of the device together and is built from electrically grounded metal or plastic and often takes the shape of a cylinder, rectangular cube or lantern.
This is the UV light bulb.
Most bug zapper come with a grid design that keeps people or animals from touching the electrified grids inside the device.The grid covers the light bulb and has high voltage running through it.
This is the element of the device which electrifies the wire mesh by changing the 120-volt (V) electrical-line voltage to at least 2,000 V.
How Do Bug Zappers Work
The average bug zapper is built with an increased voltage that is supplied by its transformer.
This way, not less than 2,000 V powers the wire-mesh grids that cover a light bulb and are parted by a tiny(a few millimetres) .The ultraviolet light which is produced by the bulb within the wire grid draws insects to the device since most insects see ultraviolet light a lot more than “normal light”.
Plus the electric grid is often designed with flower patterns that attract bugs and other insect pests. Interestingly, mosquito traps work so well as a means of mosquito control because the patterns on the electric grid are clearer to the insects in ultraviolet light.
So when the bugs fly towards what they believe is a flower, they move through the gap between the wire-grids and completes the electric circuit. As a result, high-voltage electric current flows through the body of the insect and vaporizes it. The next thing that you hear is a “zap” sound and the insect is gone.
Some electric bug zappers have fan-based systems that create a suction that drags the insects close enough to be trapped in the device where they die off after a while.
Some people take things further by using insect bait to draw insects in. One of such baits is a chemical octenol which gives off a smell that is similar to human sweat. So when mosquitoes smell the octenol, they mistake the bug zapper for food and zoom in for the kill. Only to be killed themselves.
With this kind of insect zappers you can kill more than male mosquitoes.
Depending on the type, bug zappers can be placed inside or outside a building. Strategically placed bug zappers have been known to kill thousands of insects in an evening. The thing with bug zappers is that they kill other insects drawn to the light they radiate. That might be one of the drawbacks of using bug zappers. Since bug zappers do not discriminate, beneficial insects like parasitic wasps moths and beetles are killed by them.
Then there is the scattering effect where electrocuted insects are vaporized into the air. What happens is that any pathogens resident in the insect that is introduced into the air and can cause serious health and environmental issues.
Are Bug Zappers Harmful To Humans and Pets
It all depends.
Although bug zappers kill insects using high voltage, the voltage produced by the wire-grids is often not enough to kill a human or a large pet. The reason is that bug zappers don’t have sustained voltage that could electrocute anything larger than an insect.
If a human or pet touches a wire grid, they will definitely feel some electric shock. If the electric shock continues for a while, the victim might experience paralysis though. So by and large, anyone in good health will not be harmed by the voltage from the bug zapper.
However, people and pets risk contacting pathogens that are released when the insects are vaporized inside the bug zapper.
Do Bug Zappers Work Against Mosquitoes?
Although this issue has caused a lot of controversy in recent times, bug zappers do kill mosquitoes.
There are claims that bug zappers are not effective against mosquitoes. According to a study done at the University of Delaware, these devices killed more beneficial insects than mosquitoes.
The argument was that, unlike other biting insects, mosquitoes are not drawn to ultraviolet light, there was no way that they could kill mosquitoes. Rather bug zappers are seen to cause more harm than good by killing the wrong bugs that maintained the balance of the ecosystem as prey to certain animals while being predators to other insects.
According to these studies, mosquitoes constitute only a fraction of the insects killed by a bug zapper.The vast majority of the dead bugs are harmless insects. And even at that, most of these dead mosquitoes are male mosquitoes that do not suck our blood. So in other words,bug zappers cannot be used to control mosquitoes.
Yet, bug zappers are being purchased in their millions every year in the United States alone. There would not be such high demand if they didn’t work, especially with the new bug zappers technology that releases carbon dioxide or even uses octenol pads as baits that draw mosquitoes into the bug zappers.
The principle behind this technology is that mosquitoes are drawn to the water vapor and carbon dioxide emitted by the breath of humans and certain animals. So the bait deceives them into thinking they are engaging mammals instead of an electronic device.The mosquitoes attracted are then destroyed when they contact the electrified grid.
Does Electric Insect Killer Kill Mosquitoes?
Yes, it does.
Depending on the brand, you could use it indoors and outdoors. It is a lot more effective than most insect traps and is non-toxic. It is also user-friendly with wide coverage and durability for all weather conditions. The electric insect killer operates on the same principle regardless of the brand, design,size, and capacity.
We recommend the Thanos electronic insect killer.
What Really Works To Kill Mosquitoes?
A range of methods can kill mosquitoes. Here are some of them:
Certain aerosols get rid of mosquitoes. One of the active ingredients of these aerosols is Allethrin which attacks the nervous systems of mosquitoes. It is effective when applied correctly.
The main downside is that Allethrin is harmful to cats and fish, so you might want to be careful when using it.
Use Mosquito Dunks
Mosquito donks are often chemical substances that contain a bacterium that kills mosquito larvae. Some dunks are known to work for up to 30 days. All you need to do is apply it to any stagnant water sources like unused swimming pools, uncirculated bird baths, and puddles around the house, among others.
Use Electronic Bug Zappers/Killers
These devices are designed to kill mosquitoes by attracting them with fans, UV lights, and octenol lures.
When mosquitoes fly into the device, they get electrocuted by wire grids with high voltage. Electronic bug killers can serve areas as large as an acre and a half acres. They work best when plugged in 25 feet away from areas of high human activity.
Get Some Bird and Bat Houses
This is a natural method of getting rid of mosquitoes. Birds and bats are some of the natural
predators of mosquitoes, so when you have some bird and bat houses around, you attract them to your vicinity. Once you have achieved this, they will feed on any mosquitoes around and ultimately
help you handle your mosquito problems.
Mosquitoes are nasty insects that suck your blood, leave you with itchy bumps, and might transmit some diseases to you for your trouble. Sound medical advice will reveal mosquito bites are bad for human skin. The good news is that a device can help you handle this situation.
It is called a bug zapper, and contrary to opinions from certain quarters, it is a non-toxic method of getting rid of mosquitoes. They come in different sizes, designs, and prices and so you can always find one that suits your needs.