Insects

Zapping the Wrong Bugs

The Furrow, Farm Facts and Fancies reports that electric bug zappers operated outdoors may be doing more harm than good in reducing mosquito problems.

A University of Tennessee study found that only 31 per cent of 14,000 insects collected from a bug zapper were biting insects. About half were non-biting aquatic insects and 14 per cent were beneficial insects that attack pests.

“From this study we estimate that as many as 350 billion non-target insects are destroyed each year by these traps,” said Gene Burgess, a Tennessee entomologist.

“Because so many predators and parasites are killed, the traps may actually be protecting mosquitoes and other pests. The zappers are of greater value indoors where you don’t want insects of any sort.”

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