Zzzzt! Zzzzt! Zzzzt! Electric Bug Zappers? Am I Heartless?

Earlier this summer, we decided to go ahead and hang our Electric mosquito zapper or basically an electric bug zapper out on the back deck. I wasn’t sure just how I would feel about this Electronic Killer, but I didn’t want to have a lot of mosquitos out back when we are on the deck. And I thought perhaps it might help to keep harmful insects away from my plants.

The ones I worry about are all kinds of moths that may lay eggs on my plants and then those caterpillars each my plants. If I can keep the population down with this Electric bug zapper, won’t that help protect my plants?

Are these the best choice?

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We had this Flowtron BK-80D 80-Watt Electronic Insect Killer since last year and I decided to go ahead and try it for a while, hanging it just under the coverage of the porch overhang. The ceiling is about 9 feet above the deck so it will not be in anyone’s way.

image of a hanging electric bug zapper
A huge electric bug zapper on my back deck.

It certainly does kill a lot of insects overnight. Right now, we only have it on for about five hours each night. This outdoor bug zapper is on a timer and you know how much I like timers.

My Bug Zapper cycles on a timer

For this outdoor electrical use, I have a myTouchSmart 26898-P1 Indoor and Outdoor Digital Timer . I have it set to turn on about 9pm just as it is getting dusk outside and it seems to zap a lot of bugs during that dusk time period. Automatically I have it set to shut off at 2am. I really don’t see the need for it to run all night long.

image of a hand holding a timer for the electric bug zapper

I must admit that I do start to feel a little guilty when I see all the tiny creatures, fried up well done in a pile on the floor of the deck. ( I have it on deck for now because we haven’t gone to the trouble to install a pole or other arrangement so that it will be out in the yard or at least a little farther from the deck.)

image of electric bug zapper in the dark, sparking
Click this image to view video on YouTube

In the close-ups here or on the video, you may see a lot of tiny green insects and I am not sure what those are. Maybe they are the no-see-ums that annoy all the time. Maybe they might be midges that bite sometimes.

Does it kill good and bad insects both?

I sure know that when I went to sit outside the evening that I filmed the video, I was sure bitten by mosquitos or something out there. It itched when I came back inside too! The perils I go through to get some video for you to watch!

image of a pile of dead insects under an electric bug zapper

Some if these moths that are killed by my Electric Bug Zapper are a beneficial insects since they are pollinators. On the other hand, when they lay eggs in and on our plant’s leaves, buds and stems these hatch into caterpillars that then begin to munch on that plant. Some beetles are predatory and therefore beneficial to our garden, but they are killed too!

Even those little midges that annoy us so much provide food for other wildlife and fish. We are pretty close to water here living near a river (maybe a mile away) not to mention a small creek at the back of the property. Midges help keep the quality of the water high by scavenging organic debris from the water’s bottom.

cartoon image of flying insects that look like mosquitoes
Do we still need to worry about Zika or West Nile?

I am not good at identifying moths, but I took a photo of one on the brick wall and it seems to be a Ash Tip Borer Moth, and these attack trees. Our trees have enough enemies right now and don’t need more.

image of moth on brick wall, perhaps an Ash-tip Borer Moth
Maybe this is an Ash-tip Borer Moth

As for the safety of this Electric Bug Killing device, I am comfortable with it being on for 5 hours overnight. It is connected to a GFI outlet so that should not be a concern for dampness or a rain storm. It is under an overhang but some of those storms really blow the rain. The birds keep it clean for the most part, since they swoop in an clean any tasty carcasses stuck in the grid.

Do you use one of these? What are your thoughts? Be sure and watch the video and PIN to your Insect Pest Board or whichever board is best. Thanks for reading!


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