Review: Zap Master handheld bug zapper

In Reviews, Shameless plug on October 4, 2012 at 5:03 pm


I can be driven completely around the bend if there is even the merest possibility that a fly has taken up residence in my kitchen. A fly in the kitchen triggers my hunter hormones. But, because I am (reasonably) sane, I don’t go after the filthy buggers with sprays. And, I really dislike pounding the window screens with a fly swat because I usually miss the creature by a mile. My body mass ensures that anything I hit will be dented or broken.

So, on a foray into the wonderland that is Wal Mart, it was no surprise that Mrs. Phyne Dyner was drawn to a close out display of Zap Master handheld bug zappers.

I rolled my eyes.

She handed me the plastic tennis racket with the wired strings. It did not feel substantial. In fact, it quite feels like if you made contact with the device against anything harder than a pillow that it would shatter. It probably would. But then, you’re not supposed to swat things with it.

You are to “gently wave” the thing or “place” it over a landed flying insect. At some point you are instructed to turn on the electric field by pushing a button on the handle.

Oddly enough, getting the thing out of its blister pack does not put you at risk for deep lacerations of the hands, arms, face, and neck.

Once out of the packing, throw the directions away. Insert two ‘AA’ batteries. The directions you just threw away will tell you how to install them. Go fish them out of the trash.

I’ll wait.

Now that you have the coffee and bacon grease stained instructions back, you might as well read the cautions: “Hazardous voltage. Contact with energized components will cause electric shock. Use for flying insects only.” And, of course, we are warned “This is not a toy”. The statement had me reflecting why we bought the thing.

We dutifully installed the batteries and took careful note of the package warning stating, “This product contains compounds known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm.”

Oh my!

It was several weeks before a hapless fly made its way into the kitchen. Mrs. Phyne Dyner immediately deployed the Zap Master.


I swear that I saw the bright, blue light associated with an air burst nuclear device almost simultaneous to the sound. I spun around from the stove where I was cooking “something”.

Mrs. Phyne Dyner was standing in the middle of the kitchen. Her eyes told the story of unspeakable horror. She summed up the experience.

“Holy Crap!”

I looked at her questioningly.

“Holy Crap!”

A whisp of white smoke was rising from the center of the racket. I followed the tendril of smoke to a blackened spot where some ashes clung to the wire strings. The dog sniffed the air fearfully.

“It did that?”


“Holy Crap!”

Okay, a few observations…

One: The Zap Master is not discrete. A backpack sprayer loaded with DDT is discrete. Napalm is discrete. An M1A1 Abrams is discrete. This thing is not discrete. In other words, this is not something you want to haul out in front of nice people who have dropped by for dinner. Instead, pretend that the invading fly does not exist. After the guests leave…FRY HIM.

Two: The results are horrific. Think of the alien weapons portrayed in “The War of the Worlds”. There is no “bzzzz” and the fly kicks once and dies. Nosirree! There’s an awesome crack, a puff of smoke, and the insect explodes into a few charred bits. Consequently, use the Zap Master well away from the table or food. The best way to bring about the demise of flies and such is to activate the electrical field and then hold the racket over the bug. The bug flies up…ZAP! No swinging or swatting required.

Three: Not that I fret about humanely killing bugs.  But of all the ways bugs can check out of the world, this one is on par with slapping into the windshield of a speeding eighteen wheeler on the interstate. It’s fast and (I assume) painless.

Four: The Zap Master works! Best of all, it works in a very manly way.

Become the Destroyer of Worlds! The Zap Master handheld bug zapper…about $15 at Wal Mart.


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