Bug Zapper

Let’s face it, we are really trying to kill those pesky little insects that are out for our blood while we try to enjoy our outdoor patio time.  Never mind those Junebugs and fireflies, we’re after the mosquitoes, biting gnats and flies.  So, what options do you have if you want to sit beneath your patio cover and enjoy some relaxation with friends or family and all you’re doing is swatting your arms around?

Well, if you are like most people who enjoy their patio, you do something to get rid of the problem.  One step people take is to use bug spray or other bug repellent in attempts to keep them away from you.  Another thing you might try is to use a  bug zapper that will kill those little buggers before they get to you.  A third option is to kill them in other ways using special traps or misting systems.  The last resort is you just give up and go inside, vowing to never deal with them again.
Now, before you quit and go inside, let’s explore some of these options mentioned.  The first one is to spray on bug repellent.  This is a quick and dirty solution that might come back to bite you in the end itself.  These sprays often contain agents that you would never dream about ingesting or wanting your kids to breathe, yet you spray it all over you and your children’s bodies so they don’t get bit.  This is not a very environmentally friendly solution and it also isn’t good health-wise if you consider what pesticides can do.

Let’s skip the bug zapper plan and move to the mosquito traps.  These are basically ways to lure the mosquitoes into a trap where they will eventually rest in peace.  They work by emitting carbon dioxide, water vapor (in some cases), and possibly pheromones in some models.  These compounds are what mosquitoes are attracted to, so they will

Typical looking light of a bug zapper.

Typical looking light of a bug zapper.

follow the scent.  When they get close enough, they are sucked up into the unit via the vacuum mechanism and they are trapped inside where they will be dehydrated.  Another plan of attack, more common in commercial or industrial/agricultural settings are the mosquito misting systems.  These work just like your patio misting system except they are spraying insecticides at specific intervals.  These intervals can be turned on with a switch, remote or timer.  Again, if exposure to pesticides is of concern to you, better to stay away from these methods.

Are Bug Zappers Your Best Alternative?

All right, back to the bug zapper.   These basically work by having an electrified grid that kills the insects when they are attracted to light and then fly into the grid.  These seem to be effective at killing those pesky insects, but you might be surprised to learn some interesting facts.  Some research has been done that revealed that these bug zappers actually do little in the way of lowering the number of mosquitoes in the area.  In fact, they mostly disproportionately kill other flying insects with respect to the percentage of mosquitoes.  What does this mean?  It means, all those zaps you hear are not likely from the insects you are trying to eliminate.  But, since they are relatively inexpensive and have a bit of a following, they continue to stick around.

If you are really wanting to eliminate your problem, you should consider some integrative pest management practices, as they are called, to help rid yourself of the issues before they start.  This includes things like eliminating standing water, this is where mosquitoes breed and lay their eggs.  It could also mean things like keeping your yard clean and free of debris and other agents that attract these types of insects.  Ultimately, the ‘green solutions’ will keep you better off in the long run and these are the practices that we at Patio Covers Place really support.





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