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Electrified screens

Gnats be gone!
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Sometimes flies, gnats and similar critters pile up on your screen. Sometimes the little ones actually crawl through the screen and hang on the inside. Sometimes large screens used in a porch collect flies that blunder inside and cannot get out. Sometimes the devil makes many unsavory flies appear on the inside of your attic window. What is to be done about all the screen-hanging vermin? Swatting risks damaging the screen, and all the unswatted will then buzz around. Poison is environmentally unsound. Flame is risky.

As it stands, electrifying a screen probably only sends current to one wire. The flies not on that wire mock you with impunity. I propose that screens be made with the wire fixed to the metal frame at only two points. All other junctures of wire and frame will be via rubber or plastic mounts. The result - only one path for current to follow if the screen wire is electrified. Thus any fly on the screen will feel the burn. The jolt can be calculated to stun or kill. Stunned flies can be released outside or kept for use as toad feed. Dead flies can be swept away or allowed to accumulate as a warning to other flies.

bungston, Jan 30 2005


       Sending electricity through a screen does not electrify everything that touches it. Same concept as birds on power lines. Bad science.
Aq_Bi, Jan 30 2005

       Bad science, maybe, but I think we can easily improve on it.   

       Electrify only the wires going across (say), the ones going down being insulators. Then, if wires are alternately given opposite polarity, the bugs will close the circuit between the two, frying their sorry thoraxes.   

       If your cat is in the habit of sitting on the windowsill, this might not be such a good idea. And if you have ever seen how a bug zapper looks after a few months of use, you might also think this is not such a good idea.
DrCurry, Jan 30 2005

       Thank you for the improvement, [DrCurry]. Perhaps if the voltage is extremely low (or should this be the current that is low?) it will not get gooey with cooked carcasses. Rather, flies will be stunned and fall away from the screen.
bungston, Jan 30 2005

       Faraday front door.
contracts, Jan 30 2005

       The insects that get zapped by an electric flyswatter tend to stick when they fry... I mean die, so you could end up looking at more bugs than normal.   

       Those hand=held swatters with a 9V battery, and HV oscillator, have alternate plus and minus wires in one direction. They are made to kill, but I agree with bungston that a lower voltage would potentially (ha, ha) make them fly away.
Ling, Jan 30 2005

       When I was a kid in rural nowhere there was a method of dealing with possums which bridged the power lines by cycling the power to make their muscles twitch until they fell off. If that didn't work then somebody would have to drive out there and poke it with a stick.   

       Maybe the same can be done with insects?   

       Or just use more power, to ensure they're properly vapourised.   

       Anyway, what caught my attention is that with an electrified screen you can have larger holes, and this would improve airflow.   

       Also, for extra airflow you can adapt the insect screen into a sort of ion drive.
b153b, Sep 12 2023


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