Several years ago, merely as a novelty, I bought an electric fly zapper for camping.
I didn’t think it would really work, or that it would last, but damned if it didn’t on both counts. I brought it along, showed it off to my siblings that we were camping with, and my brother asked to use it. Zap, ZAP, it worked. The kids all had to try it. My brother even touched it with his finger only to prove that two AA batteries really make a difference and are strong enough to zap your bare fingers too. He teased and was teased to try it with his tongue, gross (bug guts). The thing with an electric fly zapper is that the object of your annoyance, a flying insect just has to touch those wires while you are pressing down on the button that activates it and ZAP, they are fried! The thing people don’t realize is that you don’t have to swat it like the old-fashioned ones, merely wave it and hope to hit the bug, even marginally will put it down and then you can swat it, ZAP and actually put it out of its misery. You don’t have to bang it on the table or whatever is in the way, you can (and they have) broken the handle because of the things they hit instead of the bugs. After a while I had to replace the batteries, but it took years to have to replace the first and then the second fly zapper from over-zealous children.
Last year I was in a store and saw one, these are relatively cheap, for $5. Since they are usually around $7 or various prices (my research shows) I bought one. I’d thrown out the last one, god knows when. I didn’t open it for months from its plastic packaging. It just sat there, looking all shiny.
Well, recently I was invaded. I don’t know if they are gnats or fruit flies and I don’t know why except it’s that time of year. I don’t leave out fruit or food, and my garbage is covered so why were they so prevalent? I don’t have pets or a cat pan to attract them either. It was just annoying when they would buzz around my head or straight at me and up my nose. Especially when I’m writing! I knew they had to go! They seemed attracted to my screen on my laptop but I wasn’t swatting at that! So, I unpackaged the shiny new fly zapper and put in two AA batteries.
Now, I’m not saying I’m obsessive or anything but, that night, I went hunting. Hitting one of those buggers (pun intended) mid-flight is so satisfying. The ZAP, ZAP really does something for you when you hear it. The sight of an electric charge crackling out like lightening is pretty cool too. Occasionally I got two with one swipe! I swear, that night, I got at least eighteen of them. I knew there had to be more and carried that swatter around even after the hunt. I set up a trap by putting a bucket in the middle of the room that seemed to have the most (for reasons unknown) and they were not in my plants either (for those of you that would suggest they were laying eggs or something-gross). In this bucket I put a banana peel. It worked. Those little guys flocked to it and I must have gotten five of them by holding the zapper over the bucket and shaking it back and forth as they flew out of the bucket and directly into my screen.
When my girlfriend phoned the next morning, after a night of very little sleep between hunting and work, I said in an Elmer Fudd voice, “Be berry berry qwiet, we are huntin’ bugs!” I don’t think she was awake enough to appreciate my sense of humor.
One day while I was typing away on the computer, out of the corner of my eye I kept seeing one land on my Christmas cactus. Did you know that those fronds will set off the charge too, it was neat! Also, it will kill the ends of plants like spider plants if you zap them into the screen.
I’m not proud that I had bugs (gross), but I got rid of them in a funny way. Occasionally I’ll still see one fly by, I think they get through the mosquito screens and are looking for food or something this time of year, but when I do, I bring out my bug zapper! Btw, purely for educational purposes, I researched this and there is a rechargeable version!