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Will UV light in bug zapper hurt your eyes?

The UV light's intensity used in bug zappers cannot cause any issues. UV light from bug zappers will not harm you or your family as they are not hazardous.

March 1, 2022

25 min read time

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Bug zappers are a one-stop solution to getting rid of insect pests.

Pesky flying insects can be so annoying and bring a lot of discomfort around the home. Deciding on the best device to eliminate these insects can be overwhelming – but bug zappers are here to make things easier for you.

There are so many reasons you should choose bug zappers over other bug killer devices. However, we are often too grateful for their insect killer properties that we ignore the potential side effects on humans.

Do your eyes feel some way after exposure to the bug zapper?

Well, read on to find what effects it may have.

If you look directly into the bug zapper for a long time, it starts to feel like someone dumped a bucket of sand under your eyelids. This can progress to an intense migraine that will leave you feeling like someone put a bullet through your head. That being said, it is true that prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light in bug zappers will result in vision problems.

Bug zappers attract insects by emitting high-intensity UV light.

The irresistible lure of this light brings the insect pests to the center of the device – usually between two metal grids – where they are electrocuted to death.

As entertaining as it can be to watch night-flying insects get zapped and killed, you should not stare directly into the bug zapper for several reasons.

First, let us have a look at what ultraviolet light is and the different types of UV light bulbs;

What is ultraviolet light?

Uv light is a type of electromagnetic radiation with shorter wavelengths than normal light and longer wavelengths than Xrays.

Electromagnetic waves are typically measured in meters, but the UV light is so small that it is measured in nanometers (nm). They are on the shortest end of the visible spectrum, making them invisible to the eyes.

Types of UV light

As we have mentioned, there are three types of UV light depending on their wavelengths;

UV-A light

UV-A has the highest wavelengths of about 350nm to 400nm. It accounts for nearly 95% of the UV radiation that reaches the earth’s surface.

UV-A light comes in blacklight blue (BLB) and Blacklight (BL350/BL 368). Blacklight Blue is typical y used in nightclub lighting, anti-theft protection, detecting forged bank cheques, scorpion detections, and UV nail lamps.

Blacklight UV light has the shortest wavelength hence safe to be used in Bug zappers, polymerization, and sun tanning.

UV-B radiation

UV-B radiation is the medium wavelength of ultraviolet light.

Most UV-B rays are filtered by the atmosphere. It enhances sunburn in tanning beds and for vitamin D3 synthesis and calcium absorption in some pets. Additionally, it accelerates skin aging and also the development of skin cancer. Exposure to UV-B radiation results from the ozone layer becoming thin or depleted.

UV-C light

This has the shortest wavelength making it the most damaging type of UV light. They are also known as germicidal UV lights. It mainly targets the DNA of microorganisms, causing cell death. It inactivates or kills microbes. One should exercise extreme caution when handling germicidal UV lamps.

They are perfect for sterilizing medical equipment, treating wastewater, sanitizing food preparation surfaces, and air disinfection in hospitals and operating rooms.

Overall, each of these UV lights have their specific use, and when mixed, the results could be disastrous to your health, especially your eyes.

An internal investigation with the health physics society has given out a conclusive report that the UV lights used in bug zappers are not intense enough to cause damage to your eyeballs.

The only way damage can occur is when the wrong UV bulbs are used or mixed, which seldom happens with the right manufacturers. Your eyes should be safe.

Is the UV light from bug zappers harmful?

UV lights have several useful qualities, but prolonged UV exposure can be detrimental to one’s health. The Uv light emitted by the bug zapper would not be significantly harmful unless one stays too close to it, looks into it directly, or has prolonged exposure to the light.

UV-A has longer wavelengths meaning it has better penetration and uses less energy. This light can penetrate the skin and has been known to enhance the development of skin cancer.

Uv-A radiation has also been proven to cause sunburn. Initially, most sunscreens were made to protect the skin against UV-B radiation. Sunscreen manufacturers have since realized how dangerous UV-A rays can be and now add ingredients to sunscreen to protect you from both UV-A and UV-B.

While UV-A rays are slightly less intense than the other types of UV light, prolonged exposure to this light can penetrate your skin more deeply. This can cause damage to the cells on the innermost part of your skin layer, where skin cancer occurs typically.

As this continues, the skin tries to prevent further damage by darkening. This brings about the tanning effect. This is why UV-A is used in most tanning beds, but continuous use of tanning beds is not suitable for your skin in the long run.

UV-A is responsible for a ton of other skin issues. It accelerates aging, collagen depletion, discoloration of the skin, loss of elasticity, and development of deep facial wrinkles. This cellular damage to the skin can lead t carcinoma.

In summary, despite all these side effects associated with UV-A, the UV light’s intensity used in bug zappers cannot cause any of these issues. UV light from bug zappers will not harm you or your family as they are not hazardous.

Like all types of energy, the UV- A light strength decreases as the distance from the bulb increases. That is why bug zappers are placed high up in homes to catch more insects and present absolutely no harm to humans.

How to protect yourself from UV light

UV light exposure is sometimes inevitable.

Children, in particular, are vulnerable to UV radiation since their skin is much thinner than that of adults. A severe case of sunburn can cause one to go to the hospital.

Therefore, it is essential to protect oneself and children should you find yourself in an environment where UV rays are being used, like in bug zappers.

Here are some safety tips to protect yourself from UV lights;

  • Wear protective clothing when exposed to UV rays. Do not put on clothes that expose most parts of your skin. Wear long-sleeved shirts, long skirts, and long pants—the darker the clothing, the better the protection from light. Also, ensure that the fabric of the clothes is dry; dry fabric offers more protection. There are usual protective clothing labeled UPF – Ultraviolet protection factor – these provide maximum protection.
  • If you have to look directly at bug zappers when they are on, wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection to guard your eyes.
  • Apply sunscreen liberally at least 15 minutes before going into an environment with UV light exposure. Pick a sunscreen with a sunscreen protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more. Go for a broad-spectrum sunscreen. These have been tested and proved to protect against UV-A and UV-B rays.
  • Apply a lip balm of an SPF of 30 or higher to protect the sensitive skin of y our lips.
  • Fabrics that are better at protecting one from UV light exposure include; wool, polyester, nylon, and silk.

Are bug zappers dangerous to humans?

Bug zappers were made for humans to be used against pesky flying insects. Their design makes them dangerous to insects and quite friendly to humans.

They are also known as electrical discharge insect control systems, electric insect killers, or electrocution traps. They have been used at home and around humans for a long time. Many people have wondered whether they pose any danger to humans too, read on to find out.

First, let us look at the composition of bug zappers and how they work.

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Composition of bug zappers

Bug zappers comprise four major parts; the light bulbs, the housing wire grids, and the transformer.

The lightbulb provides ultraviolet light that attracts insects to the bug zapper. The transformer provides the voltage that powers t e wire grids surrounding the light bulb. This is the energy used to electrocute and kill the insects. The transformer can supply up to 2000 volts- sufficient to electrocute the insects.

The housing Provides an exterior protective cover to the bulb and wire grids. The housing also minimizes your exposure to the high voltage grids. Often bug zappers contain trays and fans to collect the killed insects.

Can a bug zapper hurt a human?

For safety purposes, most homeowners are concerned about the potential harm that bug zappers pose to humans.

Zappers use a high voltage to electrocute and kill insects. The voltage can range between 2000 volts and as high as 4000 volts.

Suppose you touch the bug zapper when it is turned on, and the electric current is flowing; you will receive some shock coursing through your body. But this shock does not cause severe hurt or permanent damage.

For humans who have heart issues or a cardiac pacemaker, one should altogether avoid touching a bug zapper when it’s on. This is because the current from the bug zapper can disrupt the pacemaker, and one could go into atrial defibrillation.

One of the significant benefits of bug zappers is that they come with no health risks to humans.

They do not use any chemicals or dangerous material to eliminate insects in your home. The housing on the bug zapper helps to minimize the effects of the electric current flowing through the wire grids. So as much as you may feel a little shock when you touch it it is nothing you can’t shake off in a few seconds.

The food and drug administration has reported that bug zappers do not offer much of a threat to humans.

However, more powerful UV lamps like those that use UVB and UVC light can cause eye injuries and skin reactions. Bug zappers are safe for humans.

Are bug zappers safe to use indoors?

More often, we find the need for bug zappers to be used indoors than outdoors. One of the primary uses of bug zappers is that they were designed to be used indoors.

When you decide to place a bug zapper inside your home, you should pick a fire hazard, water, and child-free location.

Choosing the perfect location for a bug zapper inside your home is extremely important.

They should not be placed near soft furnishings like drapes. Bug zappers can be a fire hazard risk – placing them near a non-metallic object may cause electric charges from your zapper to travel from the metal grids to the object leading to a fire.

Where is the ideal place to put a bug zapper indoors?

The ideal place to put a bug zapper is somewhere a little high above the ground.

Bug zappers should be hung high up where the target insect pests congregate to increase their effectiveness. This also makes it a lot safer for children and pets as they will not reach it easily.

Bug zappers use UV light bulbs to attract insects. UV light is more conspicuous in a dark place; hence it would be best to place the zappers in a dark room or location.

Ensure the room is not too well lit so that the UV light can shine much brighter. Minimize the distractions around the zapper to ensure that the insects are easily lured in.

For maximum coverage, place the zappers on every entrance of the room.

Will bug zappers cause a fire at home?

There is a minimal fire hazard risk to using bug zappers like every other electrical device. The explosive elements in a bug zapper are exposed, and sometimes large insects burst into flames when electrocuted.

When placing a bug zapper in your home, choose the location wisely. Do not place it near light materials or loose fittings that could blow into it. Ensure there is no combustible material near the placement area.

Additionally, install adequate safety fuses in case of any emergency.

Overall, When used and placed correctly, the chances of zappers causing a fire are very low. Please do not leave them unattended for a prolonged period or leave them near children and pets.

Are bug zappers good for your home environment?

Bug zappers are great for your home environment. There are numerous benefits that come with using bug zappers; here are some of the ways one can benefit from using bug zappers at home;

Benefits of using bug zappers

Bug zappers are beneficial to the home environment in the following ways;

Eliminate bugs

Zappers help to get rid of bugs and pesky flying insects around your home. This helps to reduce the annoyance and disturbance that these insects cause. Additionally, it helps to keep your food and items in storage safe as these bugs can contaminate your food.

No health risks

Unlike other bug killer devices that use chemicals or harmful products to kill insects, zappers only kill insects using electricity. Devices that use chemicals can release these substances to the environment causing harm to people in the surrounding.

Conserve energy and economical

Bug zappers use very little energy to kill bugs and insects.

You do not have to be concerned about them using too much electricity when you leave them on all night. Zappers can use around 25 watts to 30 watts of electricity. This amounts to 10 to 12 cents worth of electricity daily if you leave it on all night.

Therefore, zappers not only conserve energy but are also very economical.

Easy installation and cleaning

These devices will not take much of your time to put up. Bug zappers are portable and can easily be put up in any place of your choice. The metallic grid inside the zappers rarely gets dirty, and even when it does, it is quite easy to clean.

Makes the environment comfortable to stay in

One thing about bugs, flies, mosquitoes, and insects is that they can make an environment pretty difficult to live in. These small creatures provide so much discomfort and one cannot have peace.

Bug zappers help to make your environment livable and peaceful. Once you place a bug zapper near you, you can go about doing your things without worrying about these insects.

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Is Insect Killer light harmful to humans?

There are so many different types of insect killers, each designed in its own way to achieve the same purpose. Busy insect killers are often also referred to as insect repellents.

Ultraviolet insect light traps were invented to be used around agriculture and the food service industry.

Today insect light traps are used indoors and in outdoor settings to control the insect population. As their popularity increases, the safety standards have been measured to assess the potentially hazardous ultraviolet emissions.

For centuries, people have used candles and lamps to trap insects that fly around at night. This has since advanced, and electric insect light traps developed to attract insect pests and house flies.

In food processing plants, low-voltage lights have been used to help manage pests. The current insect light usually traps use UV-A blacklight to attract insects.

Insect light traps are placed based on the preferred movements and responses of the flies and flying insects. They should not be placed in areas where humans are continually exposed to them. Workers in food processing plants are more exposed to this light and are more susceptible to side effects.

Outdoor environmental exposure to the light is less than indoor exposure. There is a potential risk of eye damage or vision problems and skin injuries due to this continuous exposure. Retinal hazards are not considered very severe because only trace levels of the UVA can reach the retina.

People are advised to reduce exposure to the insect killer light as much as possible. Should one have to be exposed to this light, it is only safe to put on some protective clothing and apply sunscreen to the exposed parts of your skin.

The damage occurs slowly and gets worse with time; it is best not to let things advance to a critical stage.

Wrap up

Bug zappers come in handy in helping users control insect populations and manage pests. They have been proven to work better than any other insect-killing device.

Ultraviolet light has numerous uses, and when used correctly, it can be quite helpful to humans. But, UV light can equally be harmful to humans; hence one should not leave their families exposed to this light over a long period.

Like all electric devices, one should exercise caution when using bug zappers. Do not leave this bug killer unattended in your home or near children and pets.

Please place it in a suitable location, preferably high above the ground, away from flammable objects and away from foods in the house.

Take advantage of all the beneficial properties of bug zappers to make your home peaceful, comfortable, and above all bug-free.

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