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Bug-zappers & Mosquitoes

By Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Specialist in Entomology

Bug-zappers are almost worthless for mosquito control. Despite their continued wide-spread sale and popularity, study after study shows they have no value for control of mosquitoes in ordinary outdoor settings. People receive just as many bites when a bug-zapper is used as when it is not.

Bug-zappers, of course, do kill some insecs but kill very few of those that cause problems and bites.  A recent examination of what was killed in such traps found only 31 mosquitoes or other biting flies out of 13,789 insects (0.22%).  But 13.5% of the insects killed were predators or parasistes (beneficial insects) of other, undesirable, insects.

Photograph courtesy of John VanDyk, Iowa State University Department of Entomology.

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010