The bug killing tool preferred by mosquito researchers

Meet The Executioner.

Earlier today, I got a tour of the mosquito breeding facility at North Carolina State University. Basically, it's a small room — about the size of my bathroom at home — where scientists breed and grow the mosquitoes they use in scientific research. The downside: Mosquito enclosures are somewhat less than foolproof. Which means the mosquito breeding facility has a significant number of loose mosquitoes. That's where The Executioner comes in. There were multiple Executioners in that one small room. Then entire time I was talking with the scientists, they were simultaneously swinging around these electrified tennis racquets to zap any mosquito that blundered into their personal space.

Personally, I consider this a hell of an endorsement for any bug killing tool.



    1. What really freaks me out is that I was just looking at this on the American Science and Surplus website today. It’s one thing when stuff I see on blogs shows up at BB. But my random browsing? You guys need to stop spying on me.

      1. No.

        But with batteries it explodes small insects like skeeters. So, y’know, if you’re a vegetarian, you might not want to use one near the picnic table.

        Large bugs like flies and bees tend to get stunned and (sometimes) wake up later and fly away. Leaving time to deposit a still living gaffer outside.

  1. Harbor Freight carries a same-design racket and has it on sale under $3 pretty often.  Also makes an excellent toy for consenting adults who are wired with a certain polarity.

  2. My parents have a large wasp problem at their house.  They own two of these things and my kids LOVE zapping insects with them.  Even my father gets an amusing look of enjoyment on his face when the snapping/zapping noise of a wasp dying happens.  (Yes, we’re sure they’re wasps.  Honeybees are gently escorted outside when they find their way in.)  

  3. I took a swing at a cloud of fruit flies with one of these once. It was like a little fireworks show.  I felt a little bad for them actually, it was sort of the fruit-fly atom bomb.

  4. I must have a different type of mosquito, because mine stick to the twelve foot ceiling until the lights go out.

    1. Yes, brother, like those bastards that stay on the walls of your tent until you’re comfy in your fartsack!

  5. These are hugely popular in India too. Though the model we have has two protective mesh on either side of the “LIVE” mesh to prevent zapping family members.

  6. Loved playing with these back when I was a kid. No shortage of mosquitoes in Malaysia after all. The sizzle, pop and burnt smell was fun even though i realize it makes me sound sadistic.

    As a kid I’d even touch it to feel the shock. Haha.

  7. I got a Fly Gun, on a lark, many years ago.  Poor range, poor targeting, inaccurate.  But I could see myself sitting on the porch with some buddies, drinking beer and seeing you would be the first to kill a fly.

    /yes, the thing is screaming for a laser sight.

  8. What a horrific sounding place to work. I am so attractive to mosquitos (probably get ten times the amount of bites as people standing right next to me) and have such bad allergic reactions to their bites that I purposely moved somewhere that barely has any mosquitoes.

  9. I’m disappointed. No one has concern trolled teh poor little mosquitoz. What, they’re less deserving of compassion than ants?

      1. Perhaps troll was an unfair assessment.

        I do, however, think most people base their compassion on empathy rather than rationality. It seems common that people are more permissive of suffering they know about but don’t personally witness, such the electric shocks in the infamous Milgram experiment.

        So if mosquitoes are deserving of electrocution because they fly and bite, does that mean it’s okay to zap ants during their nuptial flight when they might bite someone? Are ant traps immoral but mosquito traps perfectly acceptable? If I emulate a neural net on a computer with the same complexity as an ant’s ventral nerve cord, is it immoral to run behavioral experiments that cause it to suffer? Is it moral to switch it off?

        Justice requires the consistent application of moral judgment. Inconsistent application therefore logically leads to injustice.

        1. Moral my ass. They feed on us, therefore there is no moral problem whatsoever in taking glee over their demise. That’s like feeling sorry for the smallpox virus when it’s eradicated. Do you think if a chicken knew any better about it’s purpose to us, it would have any moral issues over pecking your eyes out?

  10.  I use one of the cheap, protective mesh covered knock offs for fly control.

    Much more sanitary than smashing flies with a fly swatter and smearing their guts on whatever they were sitting on. The flies get a little dessicated when they get zapped so they are easy to dispose of.

  11. I have several, they put out around 1200 volts. For more amusement, replace the capacitor with a (much) larger one, keeping the breakdown voltage in mind. The shock-wave I can sometimes get from it will make your ears ring.

  12. I’m sorry. “Mosquito enclosures are somewhat less than foolproof”???  I mean if they can’t even handle mosquitos, How do they handle smaller organisms? These are real scientists right?

  13. …the mosquito breeding facility at North Carolina State University…

    Also known as “North Carolina”.

  14. This thing works a treat, I can tell you. Have occasionally taken it with me down to the river on walks to hold in front of me if it’s particularly buggy. Very satisfying crackling sound of death.

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