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Smash & Scoop Bug Grabber

Long Handled Squisher/Scooper for easy insect disposal
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This morning as I was climbing sleepy-eyed into the shower, I saw every insecto-phobe's worst nightmare: a big, black, nasty, squirming, long-antennaed waterbug belly-up and kicking in my tub. I played my helpless little woman card and sent my boyfriend in to do the dirty work. Like many men he's secretly afraid of the little demons too, and chose to do the job with the kitchen broom instead of a tissue or a shoe. It took about 10 minutes (anyone familiar with a typical southern US waterbug can relate) before he could trap the thing between the bristles long enough to flip it into the toilet.

My idea is for a long handled device with a trigger that activates a little box-shaped trap at the end of it (I envision it looking and operating similar to those plastic claw/pincer toys you can use to pick up small items). When closed, the two parts of the trap would create a platform for squishing, then you could open the trap back up and catch the bug in it (the inside of the platform parts would work like spatulas) for easy disposal. This way you wouldn't have to get close enough to the bug to risk it flying at you or crawling up a sleeve, nor would you have to worry about its not being completely dead while you scooped it up.

Blackanese, May 10 2002

This might meet your needs http://coolgadget.net/bugvacuum.html
No smashing required. [half, May 10 2002]


       I'd think spiders would be a worse nightmare for insecto-phobes. At any rate, I prefer catch and release. A transparent plastic cup and a postcard work quite well in most cases.
beauxeault, May 10 2002

       The beauty of this contraption is that you always have the option to skip the squishing and go right for trapping. And a true insecto-phobe (read: Blackanese) would never get close enough to a live spider to slide a postcard under it.
Blackanese, May 10 2002

       While on the subject of grabbing wiggly-legged things, I thought "now that would be a real test of AI bots".   

       Secondly, how about foregoing the waste of water involved in a flush (US ‘waterbug’ -- hmm) and instead just add a spritz of emulsified shrimp to the pest goop. Then, eject to the kitty bowl. Probably be good for the other bother, all things considered.
reensure, May 10 2002

       (added Link)
half, May 10 2002

       I protest! If you don't want the long legged fellows living with you, just evict to the outside world. One day something may come along and decide we are all just another sort of infestation and squish us too.
rbl, May 10 2002

       I've seen the bug vacuum thing, but it's expensive and you have to keep buying bags and batteries for it. What about the poverty stricken bug-ophobes? Also, I support letting the bug live (outside) to disgust and terrify another day, but I had to include the smashy-smashy option in case you found one with deadly venom. Think of the children!
Blackanese, May 10 2002

       Historically those who were not smart/quick enough to avoid the nasty bugs got bitten. Survival of the fittest and all that........
rbl, May 10 2002

       You could have given the bug a shampoo and a rinse along with some conditioner
thumbwax, May 11 2002

       I can't believe it! The pedants haven't yet pounced! I'll do their job for them. An insectophobe wouldn't be frightened of spiders at all, unless (as is not improbable) he also happened to be an arachnophobe. Ah, that feels better. Good idea, by the way. This device, properly designed, could even allow for live transport to the great outdoors.   

       [rbl] except your average creepy-crawlie is less harmful than icky
magnificat, May 13 2002


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