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Mosquito zappers

I went to Bunnings for a mosquito zapper. All the ones I could see had the Mosquito as one of the pests zapped.

When I asked which was best in store the assistant said none of them actually does the job.

Unfortunately, many biting bugs are not attracted to the UV light coming from bug zappers , mosquitoes and biting gnats included. Traditional bug zappers will kill a large number of harmless insects. In fact, they may even kill a larger number of beneficial insects than harmful ones.

With summer here, and humidity (in WA seeming to be on the increase; Ross River Virus, etc, if they don’t work, they shouldn’t say they do.

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Hi @mcmap, what a great first post and welcome to the community.

It is good that the assistant gave correct advice. They won’t attract mozzies …and will only kill them if a mozzie accidentally flies into the zapper part.

Mozzies respond mainly to two things, carbon dioxide being exhaled and smell (such as pheromones)…and not UV light. Other insects which use light to find food, are attracted to zappers including flies, moths, butterflies, bees etc. They will also attract and kill native and exotic (e.g. Indonesian) geckos…as they have learnt it is a good place to wait for go for an easy feed.

The devices shouldn’t be called or nicknamed mozzie zappers but maybe insect/bug zappers…as they won’t attact and kill mozzies. To prevent mozzie bites, the US CDC gives some good advice…

or closer to home, Sydney University…

and note, the recommended methods doesn’t include zappers.

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I bought 2 of these UV light zappers on FB Marketplace (fortunately cheaply) - they did attract moths etc but zero mozzies… So they are now unplugged, gathering dust and I continue to suffer…
This may be useful:

Bugs n Slugs

12 February at 23:50 ·

Want to swat that mosquito in the dark (or the light) first time, every time? Here’s a hot tip from Kris at Bugs n Slugs; When you feel the ‘prick’ of the mozzie biting you… Take a long, slow, deep breath and hold it. This will expand your blood vessels and trap the mosquitoes proboscis in your skin long enough that you will be able to swat it before it can escape. You can thank the 10 years I spent working in a mangrove forest for this one. Try it. It works and its chemical free.
#trustmeimascientist

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I’ve found in recent years that aerogard, Off! And the rest are generally useless. A friend who goes camping a lot recommended Bushmans insect repellent, and I must say it has been a boon. Its 20%, 40% or 80% DEET and the mozzies stay well away. Zappers are useless, been there done that.

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I use repellents with Picaridin in them rather than DEET. Picaridin doesn’t have as much odour as DEET to my nose and doesn’t affect the plastic of my glasses like DEET does. Rated as having similar effectiveness to DEET it may appeal to some. I think it also works better against flies if they are a concern for a user.

There is ongoing research into Picaridin but a 20% solution is almost as effective as a 20% DEET solution and it won’t damage plastics or synthetic materials like DEET will.

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An example would be interesting, and useful. As wel as where to buy.

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If you do a internet search, it is possible to find sprays containing such as this one. Another readily available one is Skintastic Insect Repellent Spray which is available at most chemists and some supermarkets (such as Woollies) and Officeworks.

And this is a research paper looking into Picaridin effectiveness when compared to DEET.

This paper found that ‘Picaridin 20% performed equally well as DEET 20% and better than picaridin 10%’. It looks like, a bit like DEET, the higher the concentration (%), the more effective the repellent will be.

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Point taken

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