Bug Zapper Safety
A bug zapper is a relatively safe device and is as safe as any other kind of electrical appliance in the home. However, just as with other appliances there is an element of caution and common sense that should be taken when using any electrically powered device.
While zappers are built to prevent children and pets from making contact with the electrified grills, children can be persistent and may find a way to insert some object in order to make contact, which will result in an unpleasant shock.
Therefore, as with other appliances, they should be kept out of the reach of children and children should not be allowed to be near these units unsupervised.
Most zappers use an electrical current and will need to be plugged into an outlet to function. If the unit is to be used outdoors, it should be ensured that your property is fitted with electrical outlets that are made for outdoor use. If an electrical extension is needed, you should also make sure that the extension cord that you use is made to be used outdoors.
These cords tend to be more rugged and built to deal with varying weather without the risk of electrical shock. Nevertheless, it is never a good idea to handle appliances and electrical wires in wet weather, so wait until conditions improve before you handle outdoor electronics.
Keep Them Clean
After a few hours of use, the wire grid and the housing can begin to accumulate bug parts sticking to these surfaces. It is important that you keep these surfaces relatively free of bug debris because if the surfaces are covered, it will minimize the effectiveness of the unit, as fewer bugs will be able to make contact with the grid.
A clogged unit can lead to combustion and/or an electrical short circuit, so it’s best to keep the unit in a condition that will eliminate any sort of unwanted occurrence. Some manufacturers recommend cleaning at least once per year, but you should be guided by the appearance of the unit.
If it looks totally covered or clogged and is not working as it should then it should be cleaned, even if this happens a few months after ownership. The debris build up would be directly related to the number of insects that the unit is eliminating and some areas have far more insects than others.
Many manufacturers are clear about how far these units should be from human activity. This is because of the projectile effect of the insects that have made contact with the grid and have been zapped outwards. If the zapper is in close proximity, you will be hit by flying debris or the fine mist that results.
There is a major health concern with this as many bugs and mosquitoes carry viruses that will be dispersed in the surrounding air and can be breathed in, or if near food or water can contaminate them. For these reasons, be very careful of where you place these machines to minimize any ill effects from their operation.