I share my house with three adorable senior dogs (one age 19, one 14, one close to 13), and while that means there’s always something cute or hilarious going on, they love to mindlessly stand right in the doorway, unsure of which scenario (air-conditioned inside or shaded, grassy outside) suits their current mood. Their lollygagging ensures that there is always at least one nosy housefly buzzing around my head.
At first I thought old-fashioned fly swatters were the answer, but after cleaning up a few sets of crunchy fly legs (and sneaking, standing still, and waiting — only to miss the fly), I decided to invest in what my pal owns and swears by for her horse corral: this nifty electric bug zapper that is shaped like a small tennis racket, complete with metal strings that zap flies and other flying critters instantly. Now, instead of being annoyed, I get excited when a random fly makes its way inside, for I am a nonstop fly-zapping machine. (For the more humane fly haters, you can also take measures to prevent flies from entering your home in the first place.)
There are two ways to use the electric racket: Either wave it around the area where the fly is buzzing until you make contact (the faster method, which I prefer), or wait until the fly lands on a wall or windowsill, then hold the racket over it while pressing the button. The fly will eventually fly up into the strings, get electrocuted, and be dead in a painless jiffy. It’s a one-way ticket to housefly heaven.
This clever gadget isn’t just good for zapping houseflies, though — it also electrocutes gnats, wasps, fruit flies, spiders, and even cockroaches. If you live in the South, take special heed: This thing beats your current method of yellow-jacket-killing by a mile. And if you have a lot of plants in your house (which can tend to attract irritating insects like mad), it’s a godsend. You have to press a button on the side to activate the electric current, so there’s no way to accidentally leave it on. And while I wouldn’t keep it within reach of small children, the strings won’t hurt if you accidentally zap yourself — it’s more surprising than anything else.
“This is not my first fly zapper, but it is the last. The racket is very well constructed. If you swipe through the air and make contact with a flying insect … It is dead. Other products are not always this powerful, so the fly is just stunned. When the housefly recovers, it goes back to laying about 150 eggs a day that fully mature in about four days in warm weather. Just think about that. On day four, you have 22,650 adult flies laying 150 eggs per day. It is exponentially terrifying. I do not like flies, so this is unacceptable. I do not want to have to wait for a fly to land to eliminate it. I just as soon ZAP it the second I find it in my house.”
“I carry this thing on hikes during the summer months when the woods are full of deer flies, mosquitoes, and black flies. It zaps everything into oblivion, so I can enjoy the outdoors without a cloud of relentless insects swarming around my head. I just wish my dog wasn’t startled by the POP sound each time a bug gets vaporized! This is my second zapper; the first one worked for two years and was ‘adopted’ by a friend who moved away!”
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