How Does a Bug Vacuum Work?

By Sunny Carr , last updated February 25, 2011

Sure you've heard of a bug vacuum, but how does it actually work? While some fight to save the earth, others fight to keep nature’s inhabitants out of their homes. The products and contraptions available for the latter are plentiful. Starting out as an infomercial gadget, the bug vacuum is now a viable solution to getting rid of pests in your home.

The Problem

Pest control products range from industrial strength to all natural combinations. The primary issue with industrial strength pest control products is that they may be too strong causing irritation to your eyes and skin when sprayed or touched. Even when used by professional pest control companies there are risks especially if you have pets or small children in your home. Alternatively, all natural products may not kill on contact. If you hate bugs, the thought of one “coming back to life” while you are escorting it to the toilet is not very pleasant.

Bug Vacuum

The bug vacuum is a relatively unique solution to pest control. The device works similar to a vacuum cleaner, but is designed to dispose of insects. The primary benefit of the bug vacuum is that you can avoid all contact with the insect. You simply place the open end of an extended suction tube over the bug, turn on the vacuum and the bug is sucked into a compartment. A low voltage grid is present at the base of the compartment to kill the bugs on contact.


The bug vacuum wand has no cord so it can be used in any area of your home. Some vacuums have rubber tips so that you can catch insects in corners. A base unit comes with most bug vacuums to recharge the unit after each zap. Special safety features protect you from electric shock when removing the wand from the suction tube to discard the bugs.


In a standoff with a grotesque spider, you want to know your weapons will protect you. Unfortunately, not all bug vacuums are created equal. With the popularity of the original product came a wave of product spin offs that may or may not vacuum strength you need to suck bugs from a surface. Don’t wait until the battle to test your tools. After purchasing a bug vacuum, practice suctioning small items around your home to avoid any unpleasant surprises. To avoid the risk of electric shock, make sure none of these test items are wet.


There are ranges of bug vacuums available on the market. Handheld guns, extended and mini wands are all common types of bug vacuums. The type you choose is based on the type of bugs you are looking to kill. Wands might be best suited to spiders and small crawling insects while guns can quickly rid your rooms of pesky flies. The gun version is best suited for children and can be cleaned without the risk of electronic shock.

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