Insect Killers in Kenya
Insect killers are devices that attract and kill flying insects that are attracted by light. These insects include wasps, flies, and mosquitoes. Insect killers are also called bug zappers.
A light source attracts insects to an electrical grid, where the insects are electrocuted by touching two wires with a high voltage between them. They are usually housed in a protective cage of plastic or grounded metal bars to prevent people or animals from touching the high voltage grid.
A light source is fitted inside, often a fluorescent lamp designed to emit both visible and ultraviolet light, that is visible to insects and attracts them. Types of insect killers include; Fly Zapper, Glue board, luminous sapphire insect killer, luminous 1 insect killer, luminous 3, and luminous 3 plus insect killer.
Some insect killers are equipped with collection trays where the insects fall. The trays are easy to empty without having to touch the vermin. Such insect killers are therefore suitable for use in a caravan or during camping. Insect killers are available in several space-saving models, providing different power outputs to cover various spaces.
Insect killer spare parts include; starters and transformer and ballast assembly while its accessories include octanol which is an attractant and mounting brackets and poles to provide a secure way for hanging the bug zapper.
How do insect killers work?
Most flying insects are attracted to ultraviolet light as they find it easier to detect than visible light. As the insect flies towards the light, it reaches a small gap between two electrically charged wire mesh grinds and completes the circuit. Then, you’ll hear a ‘zap’ as electric current flows through the insect and vaporizes it. The insect husks can then be disposed of hygienically through a catchment tray. In the case of an electric glue board insect killer, instead of zapping the insect, it is caught and immobilized by the sticky surface.
Factors to consider when installing insect killers
Before deciding where to install your electric insect killer, there are factors to consider that will help improve their performance. These include:
- Avoid entry points
The insect killer should not be placed directly facing doors or windows because it is designed to attract insects that are already inside the premises. Therefore, it is best not to attract them from outside.
- Keep it away from other electronic sources
Try not to install your insect killer near other powerful sources of light. This is because it will become less effective with other lights to distract the insects.
- Consider height
The average flight of insects is around 5 to 8 feet high, so the device is likely to be more effective at this range.
- Find the perfect placement.
The ideal position for the insect killer should be between the most likely point of entry and the food. Therefore, just inside and above the main door is mostly the ideal place as it will tend to catch insects as they enter.
For best food safety practice, do not place an electric insect killer on a wall above a food preparation surface in case of a fly dropping down and potentially dropping into the food.
- Glue board insect killers should be used for sensitive applications such as production areas or food preparation.
- Consider access for installation and future servicing of the equipment.
- Use enough units to cover the area to be protected.
Cleaning of insect killers
Have an effective cleaning schedule for the equipment. While cleaning it, pay attention to the spaces underneath and behind. Whether insects are trapped on a glue board or zapped and fall into a tray. An insect blight trap should be cleaned regularly.
If the trap is indoors, the equipment should be cleaned on a weekly basis. If dead insects are allowed to build up, they can attract secondary, scavenger insects leading to a new infestation.
With glue boards or glue strip traps, the board or strip should be changed regularly to remove dead insects and maintain efficacy as dust can gather on the glue and reduce the adhesion.
When cleaning you need the following materials: a mask, a pair hand gloves, small soft brush, vacuum cleaner, eye protective glass and a portable garbage collector.
It’s important to keep in mind the following two things about the equipment;
- Do not use soap and water to clean it since it’s an electric unit. The last thing you want is to have any sort of electrocution. Even if you plan on drying it, you risk destroying the unit.
- Do not keep the insect killer connected to current when you are not using it. Each unit like this has a particular lifetime, and you may end up shortening it for this particular unit.
Steps for cleaning the equipment
- Unplug the device
This is to ensure that everything is safe and you don’t have to deal with any dangerous situations such as electrocution.
- Use a soft bristle brush to brush all the debris from the cage. Do not brush it too hard, as this would lead to various types of damage on the unit. When you use a softer brush, they will be no damages to the insect killer.
- Get the vacuum cleaner so you can eliminate debris from the cage. Canned air can also be used to blow the debris away so as to have the device ready for use again.
How to maintain insect cleaners
- Replace the fuse immediately if needed. Any type of damage can be problematic to the unit. Change the bulbs wherever necessary and always check the fuse often.
- Be keen to see if there are sparks between the grid bars. In case that happens, adjust the grids so they don’t touch each other. This is a very important aspect to put into consideration. Check for indicators of electrical problems like damaged wires, cracked insulators and loose electrical connections.
- Use insect killer models that include self-cleaning grids. Although not all insect killers have such a thing, if your unit has one, then use that to your advantage.
- Study the manual to see if there are any kind of issues that are important to know about. The more you know about the unit, the better the results will be in the end.
- Regularly clean the insect killer to ensure that it lasts.
If the equipment is dirty, it will not work effectively and efficiently.
Advantages of insect killers
- Have a unique and discreet design.
This allows them to be used in any public areas. They are also designed in an attractive way. Most of them are also designed to look like lanterns and can blend with the décor of a home.
- They are highly effective.
Insect killers kill in an instant thus decreasing the insect population in an area. When placed and used correctly, they are an effective form of eliminating the nuisance of occasionally invading mosquitoes, houseflies, small flies and moths.
- Easy to maintain.
Apart from the occasional bulb change and cleaning, electric insect killers require very little maintenance.
- They reduce the risk of contamination from flying insects and fragmentation of dead insects.
- They are adaptable.
The devices can be wall mounted or sited on a flat surface, using an additional bracket.
- Insect killers leave minimal mess unlike other types of insect elimination.
Indoor insect killers and some outdoor ones have a collection container where the dead bugs fall once they have been zapped.
- They are reusable.
These devices don’t have to be replaced frequently unlike sprays and strips.
- Safety of use.
Insect killers allow one to eliminate insects with few chemicals and little [personal involvement. There is no health risk or necessarily facing an insect that you fear.
- Insect killers contain a special removable liner that can be emptied and refilled as needed.
- Require simple and flexible installation.
The insect killers are supplied ready for use and suitable for wall mounting or table top.
- They are environmental friendly.
The device contains all natural ingredients and is nontoxic to children and animals. It is therefore free from any pollutants that may be harmful to the environment.
Disadvantages of insect killers
- They may not lure all kinds of insects.
This is because not all bug zappers attract insects such as mosquitoes. The reason is because mosquitoes are not usually attracted to light like other flying insects. However, there are models of bug zappers that emit a substance called Octanol which attracts mosquitoes.
- Outdoor insect killers can create an imbalance in the surrounding environment.
This is because they tend to lure certain insects. In the process, helpful insects that are good for the environment and rarely cause diseases and fears may be eliminated. Outdoor bug zappers are used for patio parties and other social gatherings outdoors.
- Insect killers tend to attract the very insects they are trying to kill from other yards when they may not otherwise have been attracted to your property.
- They easily break down and require to be repaired once they do so.
- Dangerous results of the electrocution of the insects.
At the moment of electrocution, pieces and body fluids of the insects are sprayed into the distance and can spread within a radius of up to 2 meters depending on the size of the device, insect type, location of zapper and electric intensity. Therefore, they can land on food and people nearby. These insect traces can cause various diseases.
- Insect killers are not recommended in enclosed spaces because one will end up with a splattering of insect intestinal liquid and bacteria on your walls and surface.
Frequently asked questions
- What is the most effective insect killer?
All the models of insect killers are highly effective. Weigh up the advantages of the different models and decide which type suits you best.
- How much electricity does an insect killer use?
Depending on the size, electric insect killers use between 20-45 watts to power the bulbs and electrified grid. Glue boards use around 11 watts.
- Do insect zappers kill bees?
Although designed to kill flies, wasps and mosquitoes, other flying insects such as beetles, bees and moths can find their way onto the electric grids too.
- Why do insect killer bulbs flicker?
As with all fluorescent bulbs, a small starter sends electricity through the gas inside the tube to provide light. If the starter fails, or is not fitted correctly, the bulb might not illuminate fully. In such circumstances, simply re-seat the starter or replace it if it is faulty.
- Can one use insect spray in commercial kitchens?
No. insect sprays may contain insecticide which leads to chemical contamination. Do not use insect sprays in any dining area or food preparation.
- Can fly paper be used in commercial kitchens?
Fly paper may be useful at home but not in a restaurant. Whilst effective at catching flies, fly paper often contains insecticide which should not be in any kitchen.
- Are insect zappers safe?
Yes. They are perfectly safe if positioned correctly and used according to the instruction manual.
- Why do insects ignore an insect killer?
Infra-red bulbs can deteriorate over time. If one hasn’t changed bulbs in a while, it’s possible that swapping them out will get the insects interested again. It’s recommended to replace bulbs at least once in every year. If a new insect killer doesn’t seem to enticing insects in, ensure there are no other bright light sources nearby that could be interfering with the device.
Insect killers are an intriguing option for those who have a lot of insects on their property. They may not eliminate all the insects you are struggling with, but if your goal is to simply eliminate insects, it should work. Generally, they are a solid investment for those who have a persistent insect problem, whether inside the home or outside. When placed and used appropriately, they can be a very form of control of occasionally invading insects.