Why Bug Zappers Are a Terrible Idea

Posted by on Aug 11, 2020 in Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

In a world filled with terrible ideas, bug zappers are among the worst. Because they zap the wrong bugs. They don’t work on mosquitoes. They attract things that are attracted to light, like moths. They kill insects that are beautiful and harmless and important pollinators and food for birds, and they actually attract more mosquitoes to bite you. Surely the very definition of a terrible idea.

Mosquitoes are initially attracted to the weird glowing ultraviolet light, but then, as they’re drawn closer to your patio, the irresistible (to a mosquito) smell of human breath lures them away. Mosquitoes find us by detecting the carbon dioxide that we emit with every breath. Mosquitoes turn away from bug zapper lights and head instead for the humans. “When the mosquitoes get closer,” University of Florida entomologist Jonathan Day said, “the humans sitting on the patio are going to be much more attractive.” Mosquitoes will “come for the light, but stay for the blood.”

Here are some of the things bug zappers kill instead of mosquitoes:

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