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HIP Home > Pest Control > Insects and Spiders >

To Zap or Not to Zap?

When it comes to creatures in your home that buzz and bite, bug zappers will help - but only with certain types of insect problems. These have been marketed largely as a "cure-all" for pest control, but according to a 1996 study conducted by the University of Delaware, zappers only "zap" certain types of insects, and leave others unscathed - like the female mosquito, which is the sex that bites. And while bug zappers often are effective in destroying the most troublesome insects, bug zappers frequently 'zap' too zealously - and get rid of some beneficial, helpful insects in the process. That's not to mention the constant, unpleasant noises they emit. Sometimes a bug zapper can make you a very unpopular neighbor!

Perhaps it's most important to consider the fact that bug zappers can only get rid of flying pests. This excludes cockroaches, ants, mice, rats, termites, and many other types of home invaders that scurry through your home, contaminating food, carrying disease, causing structural damage, and making themselves a general nuisance.

The False Security Blanket of Bug Zappers

Bug zappers often create a false sense of security. Because they are loud, people often make the mistake of thinking that if they can hear it, it must be working. But there is a difference between working and working well. While they do help destroy certain types of insects, they let some of the more destructive ones - like termites - wreak havoc on your house.

Bug zappers are attractive options for many people because of their low cost; models can be purchased for as low as $30. But when you consider the long term cost of ignoring other pest issues inside your house, it seems like the $30 might be better spent towards something like a professional home inspection.
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