Updated: October 12, 2016
Bug Vacuum Bug and Spider Catcher - Does it Work?Nobody likes killing bugs and spiders in their house. You've got women screaming, kids screaming. Heck, I might even let out a little holler sometimes when chasing down a big spider. Unfortunately, unless you want to break out smelly chemicals and insecticides and buy sprays, or risk smashing juicy bug bodies all over your walls and ceilings with a tissue, it can be a tough job. I won't name names, but I'm sure we all know some people who can't even go in rooms if there are spiders crawling across the ceiling, so something like a tissue isn't even an option. So faced with this dilemna, we did a little research 2 years ago and discovered a solution to catching and killing insect pests that is clean, simple, and it even works for spider-phobes. It's a product called the Bug Vacuum, made by a company by the name of Lentek. You can find it at some catalog websites, but it usually costs more than the $40 or so offered at Amazon (if you already shop with and trust Amazon, we recommend buying from them). Read below for details on how it works and our comments and reviews.
Best Bug Zappers and Bug Vacuums - Kill Spiders with Bug VacuumOK, so it's a bug vacuum. It works pretty much like the name says. It vacuums up bugs. Nice thing about it, you never have to actually touch any bugs or spiders to use it. You can see what it looks like in the picture to the right. It has a white plastic handle and a removable blue vacuum tube (it slides on and off). The Bug Vacuum is battery powered (internal battery, cannot be replaced, seems to start losing power after about 2 years) -- you charge it by storing it in a little plastic base unit that is plugged into the wall outlet (we keep ours discreetly in the rarely-used dining room, tucked behind a table). The handle is about 10 inches long, fairly solid, weighs about 4 pounds. The vacuum tube extends about 14 inches, meaning an average man 5' 8" to 6' tall can reach an 8 foot ceiling with this thing, without needing a chair or stool. Seven foot ceilings should be in reach for smaller women, for 8 foot ceilings you might need something to stand on.
To use it, you get it close to the bug or spider you want to catch, turn it on, then place the tip flush with the wall or ceiling, with the bug dead center, and it gets sucked into the tube. It really is that simple. At the bottom of the tube is a metal grill that zaps the bug -- sometimes you'll see a little spark or hear a "zap!", but in most cases, the bug is killed. They do warn you not to remove the tube for a few seconds after turning off the power -- I assume the metal screen could shock a person as well, I have no plans on testing that.. After a while, you'll end up with a layer of dead, dried out bugs on the screen, so you eventually have to clean it out. It's easy to take outside, remove the blue tube, then scrape the metal screen with a toothpick or something to get the dead guys out -- granted this is a little gross, but they are dead at this point, and you have to clean it out or eventually it won't have as much suction power and it won't zap new bugs. I haven't seen a spider or bug climb the sheer vertical walls on this thing, so even if they don't get zapped and killed, you can still easily walk it outside, remove the vacuum tube and give it a shake and dump the critter outside somewhere.
Problems and Complaints Using the Bug Vacuum:Overall, the Bug Vacuum works as promised. It comes with a little cup-shaped tip attachment, but I have never gotten that to work. I just place the center of the blue tube over my bugs and in they go. The main problem I've found is trying to catch small bugs that are wedged into corners of the ceiling -- you just can't get in that tight to get a seal with the tube, so they don't get sucked in. Sometimes you can get them to run or move a bit, and then the suction can get them as they move out of the corner. But 95% of the time, we have no problem scooping up spiders, silverfish, and other creepy crawlies that find their way indoors. Second problem that has arisen after 2 years is that the battery no longer seems to hold much of a charge. You turn it on, and it quickly loses its high-pitched whine. To be honest, this seems to be a pretty common problem for all rechargeable appliances -- the batteries die out long before the mechanical or electrical parts do (ever hear of the term "planned obsolescence"?). Anyways, we've been so happy with it and the empowerment it has given to the spider-phobes in our house, that we are shelling out for a replacement. The convenience really is worth the money.
Also, this is not meant to be used as a "vacuum" for picking up dust and spiderwebs -- all that stuff clogs the screen and will need to be cleaned out. Try to use it just on the pests and you won't have to clean it as often.
See other bug killer products here, ranging from bug zapper lights to bug zapper rackets to bug sprays.