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Electric Insect Traps

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1 Author(s)
Dalziel, Charles F. ; University of California, Berkeley, Calif.

The electric insect trap, consisting of a filament or luminous tube light surrounded by an exposed high-voltage elecrocuting grid posseses shock and fire hazards. Although little is known regarding the phenomena of insect electrocution, efficient electrocution of small insects with a reduction of these hazards to an acceptable degree may be accomplished by proper design, construction, and installation. The limited success of insect traps is attributed to fouling of the electrocuting grids by the remains of insects sticking to the electrocuting grids. Although efficiency of electrocution is important, effectiveness of the device depends upon the grids remaining in operating condition. The arc produced when the insect flies between the electrodes of the grid may puncture the insect's body and release a sufficient amount of its body fluid to cover it with a gluey liquid. As the insect falls in the vicinity of the electrodes, the electrostatic forces may cause it to impinge on one of the electrodes. If sufficient body fluid has been exuded by the time it touches an electrode it may stick in a manner similar to a fly lighting on a freshly varnished surface. Although the insect remains may or may not interfere with the electrocuting grid, or they may be consumed by the arc in a short time, it is probable that fouling is responsible for many of the unsatisfactory reports from the field. Electrocuting grids which are less subject to fouling must be devised, and two designs of improved grids are proposed by the author.

Published in:

American Institute of Electrical Engineers, Transactions of the  (Volume:70 ,  Issue: 2 )