Why are Bug Zapper bulbs blacklights?

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The U shaped bulb in my bug zapper is a blacklight bulb. I cant find replacement bulbs locally. To mail order one will cost me around $34. I'm not willing to pay that much, particularly since the zapper only seems to kill moths and night bugs which are not a real problem anyhow. I hung it to hopefully kill flies. I'm not saying it's worthless, but it's not worth $34 for a bulb which will probably only last a year.
However, I have not yet ripped the thing apart, but I'm assuming it's made with some sort of transformer to create the high voltage in the screening around the bulb. Then there's this florescent blacklight bulb with associated ballast.
If this is the case, why must the bulb be blacklight anyhow? Why cant I just wire a common lightbulb socket in the fixture and put a small CFL bulb inside the unit? After all, my white porch light brings in bugs like crazy. Why not use a plain CFL to attract the bugs?
And, if there is some important reason that it must be blacklight, Walmart sells a blacklight CFL bulb for $7 or $8. That much I'll pay.
My question is why they use blacklight bulbs when a plain white bulb draws bugs?
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On 7/22/2012 1:14 AM, snipped-for-privacy@thecave.com wrote:

UV seems to be the part of the light spectrum that flying insects are attracted to. If you have a Light Bulb Depot close to you, you may be able to get a replacement bulb there. ^_^
http://www.lightbulbdepot.com /
TDD
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On Sun, 22 Jul 2012 01:14:44 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@thecave.com wrote:

Can't answer you question about the blacklight. It probably attracts bug but does not give such a bright light to people around it where it could be bothersome.
As for being worthless, it is worse than worthless. It drew more bugs to the nearby house than with no light to zap them.
I hung one on my detached garage figuring it would keep bugs away from the door screen. Instead of about 3 to 5 bugs on the screen, there would be 15 that chose the house light over the bug zapper. It attracted them from the woods more than house lights. Big ass beetles and moths. They do nothing for mosquitoes.
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the propane powered bug zappers are recommended to be placed away from where you plan to congregate. they draw the bugs away from your people,and zap them out there. (the propane is to make CO2,the attractant.)

what attracts mosquitoes is carbon dioxide,that you exhale.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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I find bug zapper bulbs on www.ebay.com for much cheaper than that. I've found the bulbs at Home Depot, and Walmart.
As to UV spectrum, I'm not sure.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
The U shaped bulb in my bug zapper is a blacklight bulb. I cant find replacement bulbs locally. To mail order one will cost me around $34. I'm not willing to pay that much, particularly since the zapper only seems to kill moths and night bugs which are not a real problem anyhow. I hung it to hopefully kill flies. I'm not saying it's worthless, but it's not worth $34 for a bulb which will probably only last a year.
However, I have not yet ripped the thing apart, but I'm assuming it's made with some sort of transformer to create the high voltage in the screening around the bulb. Then there's this florescent blacklight bulb with associated ballast.
If this is the case, why must the bulb be blacklight anyhow? Why cant I just wire a common lightbulb socket in the fixture and put a small CFL bulb inside the unit? After all, my white porch light brings in bugs like crazy. Why not use a plain CFL to attract the bugs?
And, if there is some important reason that it must be blacklight, Walmart sells a blacklight CFL bulb for $7 or $8. That much I'll pay.
My question is why they use blacklight bulbs when a plain white bulb draws bugs?
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On Sunday, July 22, 2012 6:14:44 AM UTC, (unknown) wrote:

A plain flourescent bulb will work as well for attracting the bugs but a lot of people dont like having the bright light on especially at night. If this isnt a problem that is the way I would go. Yeah those things dont work so well for flies. Ive heard of people putting fly bait in them to attract the flies. Also remember that the number of insects these things kill to to available population is tiny. What these things usually do is attract more insects than they kill. They do work well indoors and screen porches where you have a limited and depletable population. These things can be a lot of fun, I've connected them to my garbage can to discourage raccoons and connect it to a bare wire running down the corner of my sofa to discourage the cat. I have even succesfully used one as an electric fence charger. Take the bottom off one and hang it over a pond, the fish will love you for it and show their appreciation my learning to bite even a bare hook.
Jimmie
Jimmie
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they are a waste of money and electric.
a neighbor had one for years zapping all nite.
it only attracted more bugs to the neighborhood, i was glad one nite when it fried itself and died
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The bulb is not very bright to the human eye. It will still be seen by the bugs.
Unless the bug light is inside a closed in area, you will attract bugs to it. The way to use one outside is to place it away from where you are at. Then some of the bugs will be attracted to it and not to where you are. Just run the thing when you are outside.
This is one of the things to sell and not to use.
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On 7/22/2012 10:17 AM, Ralph Mowery wrote: ...

...
Well, I disagree very strongly w/ all the folks who seem to think they're not helpful...
The point about not having it at the point of congregation of folks is a good one but there's no doubt in my mind they cut down on numbers of flying critters.
No, they aren't very effective on skeeters nor flies but that's not to say they aren't helpful on various moths, flying beetles, etc., etc., etc., ...
--
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From my experience, they brought in more bugs than having no zapper. Tried it for a couple of years and I'd never have one again.
It may be better suited in other places, but not on my property.
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Give one to your neighbors for Christmas. ;-)

IMO, they're just obnoxious. ...even the neighbors'.
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Which of the "various moths, flying beetles, etc" threaten the health, well-being or comfort of anyone?
Just wondering.
Jim
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-snip-
It would if those beetles were attracted to a black light-- I don't think they are.
Those lights attract more skeeters than they kill. Get one for all your neighbors.
Jim
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On Sunday, July 22, 2012 2:39:30 PM UTC-4, dpb wrote:

One of the benifits of using them in a closed in area like a screen porch is that you dont really need the bulb or any other attractant. sooner or later the bugs just fly into it.
Jimmie
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wrote:

I'd like to add the suggestion of a three sided housing that makes the light come out in only one direction. If it is hung a hundred feet from the house, and the light faces the house, the bugs near the house will be attracted to it, but the bugs in the three other directions will not "see" it...... this can be accomplished easily with a little aluminum foil and a few rubber bands. Perhaps someone can suggest a further improvement.
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There are two kinds of bugs - day fliers and night fliers. The bug zappers are designed to attract night fliers and then electrocute them. The UV bulb appears bright to night fliers and so they are attracted to it. Day fliers see UV bulbs as dim just the way people do. House flies are day fliers.
Any other kind of bulb than UV appears less bright to night fliers; but white light from CFLs has some attraction because it has a lot of blue. Incandescent bulbs not so much. The yellow so-called "bug lights" are virtually invisible to night fliers.
House flies and mosquitoes don't respond strongly to light. House flies respond to odors and mosquitoes are attracted by carbon dioxide exhaled from breathing animals, including people.
So, the trick is to figure out what kind of bugs you want to attract and where you want to attract them to and that's about all you can do.
Tomsic
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My main problem is flys (day fliers). I'm on a farm and the livestock attract them. I cant sit out on the picnic table or lawn chair without having flies crawling all over me. I cant relax outdoors because I swat flys constantly. Everytime I go in the house, 5 or more flys also enter because they are flying around the door and sitting on the house. I've found little commercial stuff that works very well. I dislike using chemicals around both people and my animals. Yet I've tried the "outdoor foggers". They work for about 10 minutes, and I'd go broke spraying more than the house door and around the picnic table. I have sticky fly paper all over the farm. They do their job, but only in a small area and fill up fast. I tried those "Stinky bottle traps". I've found them to be hard to get working, hard to maintain, nasty to smell (when they do work), and can not be put where most needed (like the door or picnic table) due to their odor and nasty appearance.
What has worked slightly is one of those battery operated electric fly swatters that look like a tennis racket. I sit it near where I'm sitting or next to the house door, take the button down so it stays on, and watch the flys get zapped. (The problem there is that I'm replacing the batteries every 3 or 4 hours). That is what got me to bring out the plug in bug zapper which has been sitting in my garage for years. But as I said before, before the bulb burned out, it only killed those harmless night fliers like moths, (which is why it's been in the garage unused, because I dont really care to kill those bugs, I want to kill flies).
I know I'm not the only person with extreme fly problems. Farms are known to have them. But I'd sure like to find some better methods to control them. There just dont seem to be anything sold that works well.
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On Mon, 23 Jul 2012 01:56:29 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@thecave.com wrote:

Why not wire in a universal power supply with the proper voltage? About 10 bucks at any electronics department.
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He's likely got a "charge plug" from a tape recorder, or something.
Alkaline batteries last about four times as long as heavy duty.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
wrote:

Why not wire in a universal power supply with the proper voltage? About 10 bucks at any electronics department.
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I've been planning to do this. I need a 3 volt DC supply. Most of those transformer wall warts are 5, 6, 9, 12, or higher voltage. I have a whole box of them and none are 3v.
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