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What Happens If You Touch an Electric Fly Swatter?

Yes, it Is absolutely safe to use bug zappers around your kids since they will not get a shock even if they touch them.

July 22, 2024

4 min read time

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This information is reviewed by an independent pest control expert.

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Electric fly swatters can be a handy tool to have around the house, particularly during the summer months when flies and other pesky insects seem to multiply.

But have you ever wondered what would happen if you accidentally (or intentionally) touch one?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the nitty-gritty of what happens when you come into contact with an electric fly swatter.

We’ll cover the mechanics behind these gadgets, possible effects, safety tips, and much more.

Understanding How Electric Fly Swatters Work

Before we get into what happens when you touch an electric fly swatter, it’s important to understand how these devices operate.

The Mechanics

Most electric fly swatters are battery-operated devices that look similar to a tennis racket. The “strings” of the racket are actually wires that carry an electrical current.

  1. Power Source: Electric fly swatters typically run on AA or AAA batteries.
  2. Button Activation: Users press and hold a button to activate the electric current in the wires.
  3. Zapping Mechanism: When an insect comes into contact with the electrified wires, it completes the circuit and gets zapped.

Voltage and Amperage

  • Voltage: Electric fly swatters usually operate at a high voltage, often around 500-2000 volts.
  • Amperage: Despite the high voltage, the amperage of these devices is quite low, typically less than 0.1 amps.

The high voltage and low amperage work together to kill insects without posing a significant threat to humans.

What Happens When You Touch It?

Now that we understand how they work, let’s discuss what happens when you inadvertently touch an electric fly swatter.

Immediate Sensations

If you touch an active electric fly swatter, you’re likely to experience one or more of the following sensations:

  • Electric Shock: The most noticeable effect is a quick, sharp electric shock. This can be startling but is usually not dangerous.
  • Tingling: Some people describe a tingling sensation that can last a few seconds after the initial shock.
  • Minor Burns: In rare cases, touching an electric fly swatter could cause a small burn at the point of contact.

Factors Influencing the Effects

Several factors can influence the severity of the shock you receive:

  1. Duration of Contact: The longer you’re in contact with the swatter, the more intense the sensation.
  2. Point of Contact: Sensitive areas like fingertips can feel more pain compared to less sensitive areas.
  3. Current Flow Path: If the electric current passes through a more sensitive part of your body, it could feel more painful.

Safety Tips For Using Electric Fly Swatters

To ensure you’re using your electric fly swatter safely, consider these useful tips:

General Precautions

  • Read the Manual: Always read the user manual thoroughly before using the device.
  • Keep Away from Children: Store the swatter out of reach of children to prevent accidental shocks.
  • Avoid Water: Never use the electric fly swatter near water or with wet hands.

Safe Usage Practices

  • Use Only as Directed: Electric fly swatters are designed to kill small insects, not for human contact.
  • Inspect Regularly: Periodically check your device for any signs of damage or wear and tear.
  • Store Safely: When not in use, keep the swatter in a safe place, ideally with the batteries removed.

What To Do If You Get Shocked

If you do happen to touch an electric fly swatter and get a shock, here’s what you should do:

  1. Stay Calm: Remember, the shock is usually harmless.
  2. Assess for Injuries: Check for any burns or other injuries. Treat minor burns with cool water and a sterile bandage.
  3. Seek Medical Help: If you experience severe pain, persistent tingling, or burns that don’t improve, seek medical advice.

Alternatives to Electric Fly Swatters

If the idea of getting shocked still unnerves you, there are other methods for dealing with pesky insects.

Manual Fly Swatters

These require no electricity and pose no risk of electric shock. They are, however, less effective at killing insects instantly.

Fly Traps

There are various fly traps available, including sticky traps and bait traps, which can be effective without requiring direct contact.

Natural Repellents

Using essential oils like citronella or eucalyptus can help keep flies and other insects at bay without having to touch them at all.


Touching an electric fly swatter can be an eye-opener (or finger-tingler) experience, but rest assured that it’s generally not dangerous.

Understanding how these devices work and following basic safety guidelines can help you use them effectively and safely.

Whether you choose to stick with your electric swatter or explore other pest control methods, the choice ultimately depends on your comfort level and preferences.

By being informed and cautious, you can enjoy a pest-free home without any unwanted shocks. Happy swatting!

Latest Comments

  1. What should I do if someone gets shocked by an electric fly swatter?

  2. If someone is shocked, assess their condition immediately. Minor shocks typically do not require medical attention, but if the person is in discomfort, is experiencing abnormal symptoms, or has a pre-existing health condition, seek medical assistance as a precaution.

  3. Can touching an electric fly swatter be fatal?

  4. While the voltage produced by an electric fly swatter is typically not high enough to be fatal, it poses a greater risk to individuals with specific health issues such as heart conditions. These individuals should be particularly cautious.

  5. How should I use an electric fly swatter to ensure safety?

  6. To ensure safety, only activate the electric fly swatter when you intend to use it, and avoid touching the metal grid. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for operation and safety, and store it in a secure place away from children and pets.

  7. Are electric fly swatters safe around children and pets?

  8. Electric fly swatters should be kept out of reach of children and pets to avoid any risk of accidental shock. Supervision is recommended when in use around them.

  9. Can an electric fly swatter cause serious injury?

  10. Serious injury from an electric fly swatter is unlikely due to its low power output, designed for killing small insects. However, it could potentially exacerbate certain health conditions, so caution is advised.

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