Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Yes I am armed and dangerous  so any enemies in my sights should head for the hills. Beat it, begone, scram or feel my wrath. I have been pushed over the edge and my eyes glow with surging power. A serial killer has been born.

The target of my ire?? Insects.  Not all insects indiscriminately mind you but specific ones. A lot of insects are beneficial and many that aren't serve to keep the bird's tummies full. My targets are those that eat my veggies right in the garden before I can get them to my table.  

 My immediate target, the squash beetle.

Not my picture. Origin unknown. 
While reading my favorite magazine, "The Mother Earth News", I saw a cool idea. Some one had used a hand held bug zapper to rid their garden of pests and wrote about it in a letter to the editor. Hum,I wasn't aware that such an instrument even existed.   I don't use pesticides in my garden so if it worked, it would be organic and eliminate that icky hands on method of killing bugs, so I went a hunting. Besides, I am weak for gadgets.

This  weapon is about he size of a small tennis racket. It is very light, easy to wield but quite deadly on insects. It was easy to find, cheap to buy and had decent reviews. I found one on line at Walmart and had it shipped to my closest store all for under $8.00 including tax.

A Zap Master bug zapper. 

I was quite skeptical that it would work. How could something so inexpensive and only takes 2 AA batteries be effective?  I loaded the gadget and went hunting.  There were a few insects about, but nothing that deserved frying. 

Then a new born fly hit my radar.  Once a year for a brief period, I am inundated with hordes of flies. I walk around my porch swatting continuously for a few days, decorating the sides of my house with the remains, then they are gone.  This looked like a preseason scout so I pursued it in earnest.

Unfortunately he was near my holly bush when I swung my racket.  The small fly became instant ash but I was almost afraid I had set the bush on fire. Gracious, did the sparks fly.  Whoa!!  Not sure how this would affect my poor plants so I will have to be careful not to zap them also. 

However the lively spark display made me suddenly quite cautious handling the weapon. I was not anxious to zap myself accidentally. It obviously had some kick. 

I am now also envisioning using this weapon when the three cornered flies become a nuisance. Don't know what you call them in your area (maybe deer flies?) but these suckers hurt and can make taking a walk during their season a nightmare as they relentlessly buzz your head. I am ready for you now you flying beastie boys.   

How long this device  will this last, I have no idea. Eight dollars does not scream longevity. I intend to enjoy it as long as possible and may replace if it satisfies. 

I do have a word of caution. It should be kept under lock and key if there are youngsters about. Young children would delight in chasing each other with this. 

Pretty sure it will not kill them or even leave a mark but the screeching would be awful and would do nothing to promote sibling closeness and  could actually encourage bullying. 

Also it might be tempting for them to zap anything that moves including the family cat just to see how high he will jump. Not worth the chance. 

My work here is done. Hope this was helpful.  I am off now to  work on my back hand. 


  1. Might I recommend keeping it away from inebriated folks, also? I saw this years ago at a party and one stupid drunk was dared to stick his tongue on it. He did.

    I have no idea what the long lasting results were but he yelped pretty loud.

  2. Patti, We sell a fly zapper...looks like a gun with this round thingie on the end of it. It works! But the fact that it actually looks like a little gun makes it hot item for little boys of all ages.

  3. I'm sure I would hurt myself with this thing...but it would be nice to zap a few flies with it. LOL

  4. I have seen these for sale and always thought they were another good idea, but a goof in reality. Now that black fly season is over we don't have much trouble with bugs but it sure would be nice to zap a few potato beetles!

  5. Leave it to you, Patti! You do come up with the gadgets. I still marvel at the fact that you hunted down that shirt folding thingie as seen on Big Bang Theory.

  6. It sounds handy to have around to zap those pesky flies and little stinging insects that love to bite!

    I'm pretty sure that I won't need one for my garden this year after the torrential rains we had over the weekend on top of the one before this round. The water just ran through the garden like a river.

    I can certainly see that kids wouldn't have any business with one of those in their hands!

  7. Never heard of this thing. I wonder if it would be suitable for slugs, since they are crawling around on the ground. I would sure love to find something to use on them! They have already eaten several tender squash plants right to the ground. :-(

  8. One of these could be fun ... especially when Flying Ant season arrives here...I could zap them with no problem ...but I agree that it would need to be put away safely.xx

  9. Never heard of such a thing. I wish I had something that would just target ticks. By the time I find them, they are on my skin and oh so tiny right now.

  10. Patti - I am with you - I can't stand bugs. I don't know if we have those here = probably - but we have huge wood roaches that fly! sandie

  11. Forget the bugs! This is a weapon of infinite fun purposes here.

  12. Zap the bugs and get exercise all at the same time! I love it.

  13. Wow, there's a device I would have never guessed even existed!

  14. Oh I gotta get me one of those. My back porch is like the team trials for dancing with the flies. I think they like the shade too. I'd love to be able to send them on their way. But then I would have to lock it away because I can just imagine what the inside, outside, upside down thinker might conjure up with a zapping apparatus like that. I shudder to ponder that. Oma Linda

  15. Wow---have never heard of this gadget... I may have to have one of those. Wonder if it works on critters (like squirrels and chipmunks)... HA HA --just kidding....

    Hope you can keep those darn beetles off of your veggies.


  16. Well, this is a new one on me. I sure would be willing to get one if I knew it would get rid of masquitos we have more of them than any other pesky critter. Hugs

  17. Should make for an interesting game of tennis!!

  18. Thanks for the heads up, I just sent Salt Guns to my AnySoldier.com guys in the 'stan. They say the flies are terrible. Sounds like your bug zapper would be a great addition to their bug weapons.

  19. Boy would I have enjoyed one of those when I was a kid. My mother used to send me out to look for those nasty green horned worms on the tomato vines. If you run across one of those this summer think of me when you zap it.

  20. Be careful, your neighbors may label you the 'Mad Swatter". Your post cracked me up!!

  21. Peruby,
    Oh good grief, I forgot about what drunks think is fun:)) Guess he wasn't to the"feel no pain" stage.

    I saw those and wondered how they worked. I can see where it would interest boys. If this doesn't work, I'll check yours out.

    I really respect it and am quite careful. Hope I don't get excited and forget. I hate even static shock.

    I guess black flies are the ones that bite in you in your neck of the woods. Our season is not here yet. I am hoping it is useful in the garden.

    Ha,If anyone opens a Gadgets Are Us store, I am in deep trouble and will probably have to go back to work to support my habit:)

    Wow, you really have had the rain. We have had some but so far it has only made everything grow wonderfully.

    Pretty sure it would choke on a slug. Have you tried beer in a dish? They are supposed to be attracted to it and drown.

    Ooh yes, I forgot about them. It should be great for flying ants.

    It was new to me also. I guess if you could spot them on a bush it would take them out. I never see them till they are on me. Yuck.

    Don't think it is strong enough to kill a roach but it should stun them long enough so you could smush them.

    Get one and let us know the alternative uses. Should make a fun post.

    Just a win win isn't it. Fresh air, exercise and bug funerals.

    I know. Until a week ago, it wasn't even in my vocabulary.

    Linda Wildenstein,
    Now you could have great fun with the flies but you are right that maybe Ry isn't ready. How fast can GK run?

    I guess if you could catch them, it would at least make them feel unwelcome:) Getting close enough would be the hard part.

    It will get mosquitoes but if you have a lot of them it would take a lot of swinging and you know one would still sneak through.

    Ha, don't think anyone would argue a point.

    I had to look up the salt gun. What a neat thing to send the soldiers. I am sure they will have fun with it while it takes care of a problem. I will check that site. Sounds like a great idea. Thanks.

    I think one of those rascals might short it out with its big, plump body. It should stun it however.

    Good point. I need to let them know what I have before they call the funny farm on me as I wave it around in my yard.

  22. That sounds deadly to bugs. Bugs bug me. Lucky you for finding this little gadget. I'll have to keep this in mind. Thanks.

  23. Wow! You are the gadget queen! I am afraid I would zap myself, especially since post-stroke I am not always sure where my left arm and hand are!

    Looking forward to an update on your new role as scourge of the insect world.

  24. Boy, this sounds like a WONDERFUL Gadget! I get lots of Flies in the Summer---I think I am going to get me one of these....!!b I hope one can use it indoors, too! Thanks Patti...!!!

  25. Well, that sounds like quite a toy - er, tool! It sounds like it would only work on flying insects. Could you pick the beetles off your plants and drop them on the zapper? At least you wouldn't have to squish them.

  26. I've never heard of such a thing. I think we will need to get one of these for our annual infestation of the miller moth.

  27. I haven't heard of this. Please keep us posted as to whether you consider it worthwhile.

  28. Manzi,
    It does turn a nasty chore into kind of a fun one.

    Don't feel badly, I kind of worry about my own coordination. A misstep would really smart.

    As long as you are careful swinging it and don't take out a lamp, it should be great indoors as it leaves no bodies.

    Linda Reeder,
    I haven't worked out yet how I will get the beetles. It is primarily for flying insects but the contributor to the magazine said it worked in the garden. I will find out.

    Moths might be too big to evaporate but it should stun them so you can dispose of them the old fashioned way.

    I did use it on an attacking wasp that didn't want me near my hammock yesterday. It stunned him so that I could step on him. There is a learning curve here.

  29. I can deal with almost any critter with the exception of roaches!!!

  30. You always have the most interesting post. I have never heard of one of these and I can just picture you with a cool back swing.
    I needed it today because something bite me three times on my arm before I could get out of my blouse. Never had such pain from a bite and don't know what it was.
    I am anxious to hear if this thing works for you.
    Thanks for your concern about my health. I do have some bad things going on right now and I am trying my best to eat better.

  31. The dollar store in AZ had those for a buck. I laughed when I saw it now I wish I had bought one.

  32. Haha Patti I am with you. I love your humour in this. I recently had ants rushing to my pantry but like a mass murderess I put them to their death with drops, traps and foam filing at their entry way!

  33. Now that sounds pretty awesome. I bet it would really do a number on termites and mosquitoes here in Hawaii. I need something for aphids and little white flies too.

  34. I didn't know that such a device existed. Interesting!! I hope you have a great weekend Patti :)

  35. We have 2 of these bug zappers and they are excellent at getting rid of wasps, flies, well any bug, but yes you do get a bit or an electric shock if you touch the wire. I managed to zap my own ear once, it wasn't fun! :D

  36. Wow. A weapon of mass destruction in Patty's hand. I don't know about this....

  37. The good news is that it seems (according to USDA) that these Asian stink bugs are finally finding their way into our native bird's diets. The birds have been eating the local variant of stink bug for some years, so this is good news. Dianne

  38. I've just sent of a couple of these to my Marine care package contact (http://anysoldier.com) in Afghanistan. Can hardly wait to hear back. Got one for one of the grand kids as well, but it required field testing by granny, and was so much fun!

  39. Introverted Art,
    You know it took me a while when I moved here from Florida to realize, there are no roaches in the Ozarks. YES!!!!!!!!!!!

    We are pretty much in control of our health. I know most all of my ails are self inflicted. Could that have been a spider bite? I get those every Spring. UGGG.

    4th Sister,
    Well there you are, I have missed you and for a while at least, you shut down your blog. Hope you are back. If I saw any in a dollar store, I'd stock up.

    So glad. It makes bug killing a sport.

    Heidrun Khokhar,
    Ha, I know what your mean. I hate killing the little varmints but they don't like to share.

    Yes it would, especially when the termites swarm.

    It was new to me also. Hope your weekend was special.

    LLCool Joe,
    I have a horror of that very thing, especially when critters buzz my head. I really like how with flies, there is no carcass. They are just gone.

    I know, scary isn't it. I will try to use it for good.

    Great news but also makes me want to scratch bird off my list of what I want to come back as. Good to hear from you again.

    Please let me know if the guys can use them. I think that is such a great idea and will add a PS about the program on my next post.

  40. Do NOT, under any circumstances, tell my Grandsons about this gadget.