The bugs come out at night, the bugs come out at night. Yeah, I know, it's not a happy tune to be singing, especially when the mosquitos are feeling particularly hungry. Flying invaders can quickly turn a late afternoon cookout or friendly get-together into a cacophony of yelps and gesticulating arms. When the bloodsuckers come out, it's time to fight fire with good old fashioned electrical fire -- the bug zapper! But did you know that by positioning the bug zapper too close to the crowd, you can actually be causing more harm than good? Here is how to use an electric bug zapper safely and properly.
Things You'll Need
- Electric bug zapper
- Extension cord
- Shepard's hook
Recently, two Kansas State University researchers, Alberto Bruce and James Urban, discovered that when a flying insect is destroyed by an electric bug zapper, miniscule parts of the unfortunate bug can shower down on unsuspecting picnic attendees who are standing up to seven feet away from the zapper! Maybe that's the special ingredient in Aunt Petunia's potato salad!
Additionally, many people believe that keeping the bug zapper in close proximity to the party will kill the pests attacking the guests. This is a poor choice as the insects are ATTRACTED to the glowing light issued by the zapper. That is how it works. So basically, by using this approach, you are calling all insects to come TO your guests. Once there, the bugs would rather feast on fresh meat rather than explore the blue light.
To combat both of these problems simultaneously, you will want to position the electric bug zapper at least 12 feet away from any area where people will commonly be. This is especially important if you have a food preparation area outdoors or if there are children playing outside.
You can easily set up your electric bug zapper wherever you want by using a shepard's hook (the metallic hooked pole used for displaying hanging baskets). Just place the shepard's hook in an ideal location and hang the electric bug zapper on the hooked end. Run an outdoor extension cord to the zapper to power it up. Just be sure that all your partygoers and their children are informed about the cord and to watch out for it! You may have to get creative in order for the zapper to be truly out of the way.
Tips & Warnings
- If you want to combat flying bugs and make a game out of it, there are hand-held, tennis racket-style bug zappers available on the market. Now let's see who's boss!
- Be sure to plug your electric bug zapper into an outdoor GFCI receptacle
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