Bug-a-salt: Gadget gun takes aim at flies, with a pinch of salt


66 Responses to “Bug-a-salt: Gadget gun takes aim at flies, with a pinch of salt”

  1. grimc says:

    I’ll be honest: When I first heard about this I thought it was stupid. I watched the video to assure myself of my superiority…and found myself really, really wanting one.

  2. MaximumOvertroll says:

    Fun on a bun! Love to have this with me on my deck.

  3. Jardine says:

    Non-toxic and chemical free? Huh? Sodium Chloride isn’t a chemical now? I like the idea, though I think I’d prefer a smaller pistol-sized version.

  4. Gekko_Gecko says:

    Chemical free my ass!

    This gun uses Sodium Chloride as its projectile, a well known CHEMICAL. 

  5. eyetropy says:

    I would have a ball using one but…. I can’t help but feel it would be clutter 99.99% of the time, and eventually more plastic landfill

  6. Gyrofrog says:

    How long before someone points one of these in his eye? Or urethra?

  7. fight4paece says:

    I want to shoot a slug with this!

  8. Can I use pepper? or sand?

  9. SomeGuyNamedMark says:

    Wow, this guy really has invested in this idea.  Wonder how he felt able to talk mechanics with Chinese engineers, put his life’s savings on the line, etc.

  10. Hanglyman says:

    I watched the video and I still don’t get how it works. Is salt somehow poisonous to flies, or does it propel a tiny pinch of salt with such force that it can penetrate the fly’s body, and salt just happens to be the cheapest and easiest ammunition?

  11. Why do I get the feeling Dick Cheney is one of Lorenzo’s main investors?

  12. twianto says:

    I have never ever had a fly harm me in any way. Beats me why I’d want to kill them.

      • twianto says:

        Okay, so who here has ever contracted a disease from a housefly?

        Seriously, this is a non-problem in first-world countries.

        • squeeziecat says:

          really? I live in the first world and get house-fly borne disease every year in the form of pinworms. my neighbour is a cattle farmer, my other neighbour keeps goats and horses. the flies that walk on the manure at my neighbours’ houses can easily come into our kitchen and walk across the counter-tops, depositing eggs (and other pathogens) as they go. you have obviously never lived in the country. 
          we have horse-flies, deer-flies and several other biting flies where we live. I also lost a house cat to “fly-strike”, which is the polite term for what happens when flies lay eggs on an animal (most often sheep) and then the larvae hatch and eat the animal alive. 

          I’d be happy to have one of these. 

          • twianto says:

            That would be the most inefficient way ever to kill a fraction of one percent of the flies around you though.

            Better invest in window screens.

            (And yes, I’ve had nasty encounters with horse-flies. I was talking about houseflies specifically since that is what this BB post is about.)

            I guess what I’m saying is: your cat is one hell of a walking pathogen delivery vehicle that you’re in very close contact with. Your cat doesn’t wash its feet either after having a stroll on your neighbor’s meadow.

          • Mister44 says:

             re: “and then the larvae hatch and eat the animal alive. ”

            I thought maggots only ate rotting meat – which is why they are sometimes used to clean infected wounds. I guess I learned something new today.

          • Seth Gallmeyer says:

            @Mister44:disqus ,  Screw Flies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cochliomyia_hominivorax

    • Ipo says:

      I envy you. 
      Unless it means you have never left your air conditioned underground bunker. 

      Almost every place I have been has a season with biting flies.  
      Or worse. 
      My dog hatched a botfly in South Carolina. 
      It left a hole the size of my index fingers first phalange, which then healed quickly.   

      Oh, and I’m ticklish.

    • Norm Tedford says:

      I guess Norman Bates won’t be buying one, either.

  13. chaopoiesis says:


    - Easier to aim
    - Leaves no trace of crystals or small corpses
    - Useful for things other than snuffing charismatic microfauna

    - Effective only at close range
    - Requires batteries (though rechargeable)
    - Lacks assault esthetic (may be a “pro” for some)

  14. spejic says:

    The only flies I get here are fruit flies when I leave the nectarines out too long.  But those are slow enough that you can get your Kwai Chang Caine on and catch them by hand.

  15. PrettyBoyTim says:

    I wonder if it would kill a wasp, or whether it would just piss her off?

    • cdh1971 says:

      It wouldn’t kill her, and it probably wouldn’t sting her either. However, it would likely piss her off if she doesn’t know you well and/or if she perceives you to be in a lower stratum. 

      In which case, if she is bigger than you, she might kick your arse, if she is armed, she might shoot you. If she is neither bigger than you nor armed, she might call a male wasp with whom she is ‘friendly’ or related to do it for her.  Of course depending on the region, ‘friendly’ & related may not be mutually exclusive.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        If she is neither bigger than you nor armed, she might call a male wasp with whom she is ‘friendly’ or related to do it for her.

        And then they’d have martinis and refuse to let you join their country club?

    • s2redux says:

      If you need a safe, effective anti-wasp tool, agitate against the current crop of “voter verification” laws being promoted by the red-state types…

      But really — if you need to attack wasps without poison, get yourself a good spray bottle and load it with 30% dish soap and 70% cool water. Put one or two squirts on a wasp, and it’ll be knocked down within two seconds; dead after 20 seconds or so. (Don’t use hot water; it energizes them enough to use their last coupla seconds of controlled flight for a revenge sortie ;-)

      I’m deathly allergic to bee stings, but surrounded by small mammals that don’t like poison and objects that don’t do well with the oily vehicle in canned sprays. My 1-quart garden sprayer shoots a stream of dilute Palmolive about 10 feet; I can easily take ‘em out on-the-fly with no concerns. Also works great on hornet nests (apply at dusk or later), tent bugs, spider infestations, ants, etc.

    • Ipo says:

       She’d kill you. 
      You were talking about a female white Anglo-Saxon person? 

  16. twianto says:

    “DO NOT SHOOT IN FACE OR EYES”… wow, how do you avoid shooting a fly in the face?

  17. drabkikker says:

    Nobody pointing out the discrepancy ‘yoga teacher  kills living beings’ yet?

  18. Ray Perkins says:

    For fun flyicide I use an electronic bug zapper (you know, the ones that look like a tennis racquet). I replaced the high-voltage capacitor with a much larger one – the resulting crack can sometimes be loud enough to make your ears ring. 

  19. noah django says:

    DOES IT WORK ON ROACHES????!!!!!!!

    if yes, I’m investing heavily

  20. Paul Renault says:

    This thing screams for a laser-sight!

    Also, to get rid of fruit flies: Just leave out a glass of (dilute) vinegar that has a drop of dishwashing liquid in it.

  21. planettom says:

    It would solve that conundrum:   Once in awhile I’m in a fairly nice restaurant, and there’s 1 fly buzzing around the table.    It’s probably not a fly-infested restaurant; somebody just let it in when they opened the door.   It’s one of those annoying flies that leaves your food when you swat at it, and then, comes back and lands exactly where it was before.   It hasn’t been trapped indoors long enough to get lazy, it’s still quick.   Sure, you can complain to the waiter about it, but they won’t be able to get it either, and it’s kind of undignified to have your waiter flailing about at a fly.   Hold on, I’m going to get something from the trunk of my car. [Arnold voice:] I’ll be back.  [Returns with salt-shotgun]

  22. Phlip says:

    Lordy do I now fantasize about holding off an intruder with one or three. Dayam, bring it on!

  23. Milo says:

    I’ll bet Walter White orders a dozen of these.

    • penguinchris says:

      I was wondering how it was even remotely possible that Xeni and all of the commenters failed to make an obvious Breaking Bad reference!

  24. Dan Hibiki says:

    this works best with a super soaker filled with margarita. 

  25. stevefah says:

    For a wasp, try kosher salt! (Bigger crystals….)

  26. show me says:

    So, is the name of this thing a-salt rifle? I thought they were trying to ban those after the movie theater shootings.

  27. awjt says:

    I thought it was a salt gun not a cock gun.

  28. Gary61 says:

    “Nuke ‘em from orbit – it’s the only way to be sure.”

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Actually, Granny Clampett used to load her shotgun with rock salt and bacon rind to chase off varmints.

  29. CLamb says:

    With an ideal shooting distance of 24″ it isn’t any practical improvement over a flyswatter although more amusing.

  30. miatopia says:

    I applaud ingenuity but as someone who’s studied yoga for a while and who knows many surfers who respect nature this invention is shocking to me. I find it hard to believe that someone who practices yoga that teaches that all living things are interconnected would want to create something that kills. Why? What’s the purpose? A fly has a very very short life span why put your time and mental energy (and money) into making sure something like that dies?

    This actually makes me quite sad.

    • techtonix says:

      dont you know, a man swatting at a fly can cause the world immeasurable harm, like imagine a man swatting at a fly inside mission control at the pentagon, next to a row of launch buttons, or a woman inside a nuclear reactor control station swatting at flies, and not remembering the position of the little red switches? 

      flies are the devil!

      no need to swat when you can shoot salt like a pro

  31. FrakSnark says:

    Wonderful solution. 21st century fly swatter, of sorts.

    Other than the water-filled Ziploc bag hanging over the back door (which seems to confuse flies), a spray bottle filled with water and a small amount of dish soap works wonderfully on flies, especially if you can trap them between windows and blinds.

    But this… I want the next gen model with digital scope.

  32. I feel that spiders spinning webs up in the corners will feel the wrath of the NaCl.  Too bad, since they eat lots of flies. 

  33. Martin Bare says:

    You’ll put out your EYE with that!

  34. techtonix says:

    OKAY yaALL!!!
    ok so I didn’t actually get one of these but I kinda made my own…
    I took my old dasey BB gun from when I was a kid, and simply put a pinch of salt into the bb loader, gave it a pump of air.  
    BAM, dead!
    I live next to horses, and yes I have perfect screens, but still about 3 to 4 flies still get into the house every day.  These are the fastest flies that outrun my electric fly swatter zapper, and even outrun the rubber swatter. 

    These hyper reactive flies are the worst, they keep me up at night,  distract me from porns and blogs, and give me overall ADD.  

    So I have been taking the bb gun with salt loaded, and aiming it (within 3′) from the fly, and spraying them. Of course the salt comes at them way too fast for them to react.  Sometimes It doesnt kill them, but it takes a wing off leaving them with no choice but to spin around the table top like a mini roomba. O MUCH FUN aiming a huge gun quietly and slowly at a fly, for whom I have so much contempt. good stuff!  I will keep using my bb gun until this device is available in my local ace hardware.  YES!!!

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