Thursday, 7 January 2010

Raquet Bug Zappa

Before I start this review, I'd just like to point out that I am not at all sadistic and if I can, I always avoid squishing insects wherever possible ! I get stroppy when people start whacking at wasps with rolled up magazines when all you have to do is open a window and let them fly out by themselves. I complain when people stomp on spiders, much preferring to place a glass over them and wait for someone to come and rescue me ! But there comes a time when I say enough is enough and do whatever is necessary to get rid of the bugs.

At the moment, the battle lines have been drawn up and war declared on the flies that are constantly buzzing around our dining room. Yes, I know it's the middle of winter and we shouldn't have any flies now but try telling them that ! They've been here for months and we just can't get rid of them. I've cleaned and disinfected the rabbit's cage. The fruit bowl has gone. The table cloth has been washed. Kim & Aggie say that you don't have flies if they haven't got anything to eat so I attacked every possible surface with the hoover and a bottle of bleach (if a forensics expert came in, he'd probably think I was trying to cover up a crime scene !). My mum and dad got me worried about something having crawled in and died somewhere (I had a horrible thought about a missing puppy for a couple of seconds !) but I've checked everywhere and there's nothing maggotty anywhere (luckily - I have a maggot-phobia !). I thought the fortnight away would sort them out - no people, no dogs, no rabbit so nothing to eat. When we got back after New Year, we walked in and - yesss ! - there wasn't a single fly buzzing about. An hour later, I served up dinner and suddenly they were back - I don't even know where they'd been hiding all that time !

Well, I did go mad and spray pretty much a whole can of fly spray around the room but, firstly, it didn't work (aaaggghhhh) and secondly, I did worry a bit about the effect on animals, kids and babies.

So when the opportunity to review a Raquet Bug Zappa came up, I jumped at the chance. It's quite sadistic really - it's basically a tennis racket that you use to swat flies (and other flying insects, from mosquitoes right up to wasps) that will fry them alive by sending 50,000 volts through them ! OK, that was a very slight exaggeration - I'm not sure how much current you'll get from two AA batteries but in fly-terms, it's got to be a lot. (Judging by the fact that some of them smoke and smell of burning, I'd put money on it !)

My in-laws have got a similar product but this one has three huge advantages. Firstly the grid part (the "tennis strings") has tiny holes so no sneaky flies can fly through the gaps and escape. Secondly, it has a cleaning brush (cleaning off the aforementioned fried flies is disgusting, however much they've annoyed you beforehand !). And thirdly - and most importantly - it has a child safety feature that means you have to push buttons simultaneously for it to work. This actually makes it harder to use, and more tiring for your fingers, but if it avoids your children picking it up and zapping themselves, it's got to be worth it (and they will - believe me. They both have done with the in laws' one at some point. It doesn't cause any lasting damage but it does hurt.)

We still have flies but at least I can now go and attack them in a chemical-free, harmless (for everyone except the flies!) way when I get too annoyed. Anyone for tennis ? Who needs a wii-fit ?! (And if you've got any advice on how to get rid of flies, let me know in the comments box and I'll love you forever !!)

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £9.09 (was £12.99)

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