Whether we like them or not, spiders, ants, roaches, beetles, flies, and various other insects and bugs cohabit our living spaces – our homes, gardens, and sometimes, even our offices and vehicles. Insects and bugs are critical for our environment and form an integral part of our food chain. They help maintain a balance in our ecosystems. However, many of us are uncomfortable with the idea of having spiders, beetles and other bugs around us. There are a variety of insecticides and pesticides available in the market to get rid of them. But not everyone is open to the idea of using them, considering the hazardous and toxic nature of the chemicals used in their formulations. What other alternatives do people have in order to get rid of spiders and other insects around their household, if they are against the idea of using pesticides? This article talks about the various options available to safely remove these unwelcome guests such as Spider catchers, spider vacuum, insect traps. A huge variety of options are available in the market and making a wise choice between them is often tricky. Our article provides all the possible information you need before you buy any of these products. It presents some of the highly rated vacuum options and best spider catcher choices to help you get to decide what is best for your home.
My Critter Catcher
My Critter Catcher is the easiest and most reliable way to remove small insects and bugs from your household and safely dispose of them outside without causing any harm. The tool is basically a spider catcher stick that has two components – a long handle and the bristles located at the tip of the handle that forms the trap.
The sturdy, long 27-inch handle allows you to maintain a safe distance from the bug. It allows you to pick up the insects either from underneath your couch, up from the ceiling fan, from the light fixture on your wall, or the glazing on your windows. My critter catcher is a spider catcher with a long handle that allows you to reach even tight corners and small gaps between furniture.
Its unique soft bristles capture the insect and hold it firmly between the bristles till you are ready to release the handle and drop the insect off outside your home. The bristles are spaced closely in 2 concentric circles, which makes sure that the insect doesn’t escape from between the bristles.
Here’s how it should be used. Just press the handle to open up the bristles wide, place it on the insect, release the handle to create a gentle trap for the insect between the bristles, walk to the outside and release the insect by pressing on the handle again. It’s that simple! If you look online for my critter catcher reviews, you will find more than 75% of satisfied customers that have provided a 5 on 5 rating for this product. Buyers popularly refer to it as spider catcher broom and find that it works safely, easily and effectively to remove bugs and insects.
- Safe: There are no chemicals used. So, you can safely use this gadget around your kids and pets
- Hygienic: It is hygienic as it leaves no stains, emits no odor, and leaves no mess on your floor, walls or carpet from where you pick the insect up
- Cost-effective: It is cost-effective – there are no batteries to replace, nor any filters to change. It is a one-time investment with no recurring costs for prolonged use
- Reliable: As long as you are able to operate this bristle spider catcher gadget correctly, it will not fail you. The bristles and the handle are strong and work on walls, glazing, carpeted and hard-wood surfaces equally well
- Cannot use in curved areas: The only disadvantage of this gadget is that you cannot use this gadget in curved areas or bent pipes because the handle is straight and cannot be bent
- Good for small insects only: The bristles are good enough for smaller insects but cannot trap bigger pests like rodents and mice. The bristles will be inadequate to grip their larger bodies as a result, the rodents can easily wriggle out of the bristles and escape
BugZooka Spider Vacuum
BugZooka Spider Vacuum is a vacuum suction tool used to suck in spiders and other small bugs and humanely transport them outdoors without hurting or killing them. This unit includes three (3) core components: a compression module, a hollow connecting tube, and two (2) detachable catch tubes.
The catch tubes come equipped with a wire mesh and oval trap doors, about 1 inch long and 1 1/4 inch wide. The trap door has two hinged flaps that allow the bug in, but do not allow it to crawl out. The wire mesh ensures that the bug stays in and does not make its way into the hollow connecting tube. The detachable catch tube allows you to detach the tube from the main unit and transport the bug safely outside your home.
The compression module is made up of a series of bellows. When you compress the compression module manually, it expels all the extra air from the bellows and locks itself in place. There is a “release” button, which when pressed, sucks in air and brings the bellows in the compression module back to their normal uncompressed state. It is during this step, that a vacuum suction effect is created, that helps suck the bugs into the catch tube.
The compression module is connected to the catch tubes by a long, hollow plastic tube that helps the user maintain a safe distance from the bug and reach hard-to-reach spots.
Operating this unit is very easy. Just deflate the bellows and lock the compression module in place. Then place the BugZooka Spider Vacuum directly over the bug you intend to trap and press the release button. That’s all! The bug is safely sucked into the catch tube and ready to be transported outdoors. This product has received very good spider catcher reviews.
- Cordless and battery-free: The BugZooka Spider Vacuum does not use batteries to create the suction power. Nor does it operate on power, so no plugging is required. It uses the suction power created from manually compressing the bellows to perform its job
- Safe: No toxic chemicals are used so the BugZooka Spider Vacuum is absolutely safe to use around your kids
- Portable: You can carry the BugZooka Spider Vacuum with you to your basement, your yard, garden, garage, and vehicle or even to your camping site. It is compact, portable and lightweight
- Hygienic: The BugZooka Spider Vacuum does not squish the insects, so it leaves no mess to clean up and is absolutely hygienic to use
- Trap doors too small: The product is too small to catch roaches, hornet, grasshoppers, and insects that are longer than 1 inch
- Not long enough: For a person shorter than 5 feet, it will be difficult to reach the ceiling to catch a spider or a bug using this unit. An extendable handle would have been helpful
Katcha Bug Humane Bug and Spider Grabber
The Katcha Bug Humane Bug and Spider Grabber is a simple user-friendly insect catcher. This insect catcher has a plastic trapdoor, shaped as a truncated square pyramid, with a slidable lid attached to a 40 cm long handle.
In order to operate the Katcha Bug Humane Bug and Spider Grabber, just place it on top of the spider or insect you wish to trap, and slide the trapdoor shut. The insect will safely be trapped inside this unit until you are ready to transport it outside and set it free. This product has received very good spider catcher reviews and that’s how it made its place in the top 3 spider catchers.
- Battery-free and Chemical-free: It is a battery-free and chemical-free spider grabber tool to get rid of insects and bugs in your household
- Suitable for bigger insects as well: The shape of the Katcha Bug Humane Bug and Spider Grabber makes this product suitable to trap a wide range of insects – spiders, butterflies, grasshoppers or millipedes, you can capture them all safely
- Safety: The long and sturdy handle allows you to maintain a safe distance from the insects
- Humane spider catcher tool: You can catch the insects alive with the Katcha Bug Humane Bug and Spider Grabber and free them outside in the wilderness
- The lid is not shut tight: Sometimes, some of the smaller insects tend to escape from the gap between the trapdoor
- Hurt the insect: If we are not careful enough, we may squish or hurt the insect by sliding the door right on top of their body or appendages. The user should be patient and maneuver the sliding lid in such a way that the insect crawls on top of the trapdoor on its own
- Flat surface required: In order to use the Katcha Bug Humane Bug and Spider Grabber effectively, a completely flat surface is required. Any undulations on the surface can make the trap ineffective in catching insects
OTHER PRODUCTS TO CONSIDER
The Uncle Milton National Geographic Critter Catcher is a battery-operated spider removal tool that uses gentle vacuum suction to catch insects. There is a small detachable viewing chamber provided with this product, which allows you to observe insect behavior. This product makes an excellent gift especially for the explorer and adventurous kids. Although a big hit with kids, this product is not merited as a top spider and insect catcher because of its narrow mouth and the gentle suction power, which make this unit unsuitable for catching bigger insects.
The Big Bug Katcha Spider Brush and Catcher is a mechanical Spider brush catcher and trap designed to catch spiders and bugs. It comes equipped with a 12cm x 14c m plastic trap, fitted to shutter lid to trap the insect inside. The trap is fitted to a 50cm long arm that allows you to operate from a safe distance. Place the spider brush trap over the insect, close the shutter, go outside and free the trapped bug. This product failed to make its way to the top of the spider removal tool list because of its unreliable shutter, which perpetually leaves a considerably big gap, leaving room for the trapped insect to escape.
The Hammacher Schlemmer Bug Vacuum is a hand-held vacuum suction tool designed to suck in smaller insects. You can opt to either kill the insect (by directing it into the unit’s electric grid) or trap the insect in a suction cup and release it outside. There is an extendable arm provided to reach greater heights. The unit comes with a charging dock and power adapter to plug into when not in use. Although designed to be a winner, this product failed to make its way to the top insect catchers list owing to its high price, inefficient suction cup design that fails to create a good grip on larger insects and its lousy recharging capacity.
The Sonic Technology Bugbuste No Harm Spider Picker Upper is a battery-operated gentle-suction generating insect vacuum that only temporarily traps the bugs until they are released outside. The unit comes equipped with a cap to cover the open end of the catch tube. The success rate of catching a bug using the Bugbuste No Harm Spider Picker Upper is good only when the motor is turned on and the unit is placed directly on top of the bug. This product is not merited as a top spider and insect catcher because of its weak suction power and inefficiency in catching even small-sized bugs.
GENERAL INFO ON SPIDER CATCHERS
A quick breakdown of spider catchers
A spider catcher is a portable, hand-held device, designed to catch spiders, roaches, ants, bees, wasps, stink bugs, beetles, crickets, butterflies and moths, grasshoppers and other insects wandering inside your homes and offices, with an objective of getting rid of them.
The main purpose of a spider catcher is to allow you to capture the insects alive, without causing them any harm, and then release them into their natural habitat outside our home in a safe, hygienic and hassle-free manner.
The spider catchers can be used in your home, yard, garden, office, kitchen, and even in your vehicle or campsite. You can use them on a wide variety of surfaces – depending on where you find the insect – on carpeted surfaces, tiles, hardwood surfaces, stone, and marble countertops, concrete or brick walls, glass and glazing, and even on non-skid tiles.
The product design is more or less similar for all spider catchers. There is a trapping mechanism to grab the insect and house it temporarily until it is transported outside; there is a handle or hollow tube that allows you to operate the device from a safe distance; devices with power requirements either have a chamber for inserting batteries or a motor that needs to be charged; spider vacuums have a mechanism in place to generate the vacuum suction effect. Some of the higher end models have electric grids installed, that kills the insect instead of trapping and releasing them later.
Spider catchers can be broadly categorized into 2 categories:
Mechanical Traps and Spider Grabber Tools: This category includes spider catchers that come equipped with soft bristles to grab the insect or a plastic trap fitted with a lid to trap the insect. Either of these traps or grabbers are designed in such a manner that they do not harm the insect. They have no power requirements and therefore require no batteries or power cords. They use no harmful chemicals, so they are absolutely harmless even when used around kids and pets. Being light-weight and portable, they can be carried anywhere conveniently to get rid of insects.
Spider Catcher Vacuum: This category includes spider catchers that generate vacuum suction and suck in the spiders or bugs around the suction tip. They require a more specialized mechanism for generating the vacuum – either a battery unit or an inbuilt motor. As a result, the insect vacuums are comparatively heavier and pricier than the mechanical traps and insect grabbers. The unit may require charging or change of batteries in order to work efficiently and because it operates on power, you need to be careful when using them around kids or pets. If the unit has an electrical grid, designed to kill the insects, hygiene may be an issue. You will need to make sure that the unit is cleaned thoroughly before storing it away after using it.
What type of users are spider catchers intended for?
- Users that hate chemical pesticides: Spider catchers are intended for people that dislike using chemical pesticides to get rid of pests
- Eco-friendly Users: Majority of users are comprised of people that hate killing insects and bugs and prefer a more humane way of getting rid of their pest problem
- Adventurous users: The spider catcher may also be used as an educational tool for capturing small insects to study their morphology and behavior. Kids that love adventure and exploring can be trained to use the insect grabbers that come equipped with secure catch tubes to help them view their catches
The most common terms you should know explained
- Trapdoor: The trap door is the opening located at the mouth of the trap, that allows the bug in, but does not allow it to escape the trap.
- Catch tube: The catch tubes are temporary storage spaces provided for the spiders and other insects that are sucked into the insect vacuums or grabbed through a spider catcher. Here, the insects are securely trapped and ready to be released outside.
- Electric grid: The electrical grid is located inside insect vacuums and is designed to kill the insects when they are brought in close contact with the grid.
- Insect vacuum: Devices that are designed to catch insects using a gentle suction power. The suction effect is created using a low-power vacuum generation mechanism.
How do spider catchers work?
Insect Grabbers: The insect grabbers, designed specifically to catch spiders and other small-sized insects, come equipped with soft bristles that help grab the spider gently. The bristles are closely spaced to prevent the insect from escaping. The bristles are soft to prevent injury to the insects. In order to operate the insect grabbers, press the button to open the bristles wide, then place the bristles on top of the unsuspecting insect and release the button prompt to grab the insect using the bristles. Press the button when outside your home to release the insect safely.
Mechanical Traps: The mechanical traps designed to catch spiders and other smaller insects are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most of them are designed as a light-weight, compact cubical or spherical plastic chamber that functions as a trap. The size of this trap is roughly 10cm x 10cm and perfectly suited to accommodate insects that are roughly 1.5 inches wide. All designs provide a cover or a lid to prevent the insect from escaping the trap. In order to operate the mechanical traps, place the trap over the spider, and gently slide the cover shut. The insect will safely be trapped inside this unit until you are ready to transport it outside and set it free.
Insect Vacuums: A bug vacuum or insect vacuum functions similar to a normal vacuum cleaner. A low-power vacuum generation mechanism is used to generate gentle suction that our human hand can barely make out. However, this suction power is adequate to suck in spiders and other small bugs. They have a detachable catch tube, where the insect is temporarily sucked into and stored. Insect vacuums require energy to operate. They either depend on batteries for power generation or require adequate charging by plugging into a power outlet. Some of the insect vacuums such as the BugZooka Spider Vacuum generate vacuum by inflating and deflating bellows attached to the device.
What other, similar products to spider catchers are there?
Insect vacuums and Spider catchers can replace pesticides and insecticides that are toxic in nature and harmful for the environment. Continued use can lead to acute as well as chronic health impacts in human beings as well as pets. While insecticides kill the insects, spider catchers and insect vacuums are ethical ways of getting rid of pests around our household without killing them.
When combined with a magnifying glass, a transparent container (to facilitate observation of the insect within), a pair of protective gloves, glasses and a facial mask, the spider catchers and insect vacuums can function as a safe live zoology lab for children with a scientific bent of mind.
If the spider catcher and insect vacuums are not effective in dealing with the serious pest problem in your home, then you may need to seek professional help and either be asked to spray insecticides periodically, until the problem stops recurring or follow other integrated pest control strategies as suggested by your pest control company.
SPIDER CATCHER BUYING GUIDE
Before you make an investment in a spider catcher, access your situation and needs properly.
- How severe is the pest problem in your home?
- Do you get a lot of crawling pests or flying pests?
- Are the pests venomous or non-venomous?
- Do you get the harmless beetles or the venomous spiders?
- How big in size are the pests in your home?
- Are you comfortable using a chemical pesticide spray to get rid of bugs in your home or do you want an eco-friendly, health-friendly alternative?
- Do you want to get rid of the bug by killing it or do you want to adopt a more humane and ethical approach to pest control in your home?
After you have made a list of your needs, then proceed to decide what kind of spider catcher tool will best suit your needs. If your choice is to go for an eco-friendly alternative to using a chemical pesticide, then we are left with options such as insect catchers, traps and bug vacuums.
When to opt for an insect vacuum?
High pest population: If you have a lot of insects and spiders lurking around your home, sunroom or basement, you might want to invest in a good insect vacuum. You need to focus on features like the suction efficiency, power requirements, original selling price, recurring costs, sturdiness, warranty and guaranty on the motor and spare parts availability, customer reviews, post-purchase maintenance issues, etc. Study all these parameters carefully before you zero-in on an option. Make sure that the option you choose is best to address the severe pest problem in your home.
Venomous pests: Also, if the insects and spiders intruding your home are venomous, I would not want to mess around with them with mechanical traps and insect catchers. What if my attempts at trapping them fails and I agitate them with my efforts? Instead, I would want to adopt a sure-shot way of sucking them into my insect vacuum in my first attempt itself.
Not too tight on your budget: Insect vacuums are more expensive to purchase than insect traps and simple spider catchers. In addition, there will be recurring costs associated with using them on a regular basis such as battery-changing/power recharging.
When to opt for spider catchers and insect traps?
Non-severe pest problem: If you have an occasional pest problem in your home, where you find an occasional silverfish in your library or office room, or an occasional moth in your sunroom, then you need not invest your money in buying an expensive insect vacuum. Instead, a sturdy, good-quality mechanical trap may be sufficient for your needs.
Budget-friendly: If you are looking for budget-friendly spider catcher options, then you might want to opt for the mechanical traps instead. That way you will not need to worry about the recurring costs associated with purchasing new batteries or monthly electricity costs when charging the unit.
Small-sized pests: The spider catchers are specifically intended for helping you get rid of spiders, roaches, grasshoppers, stink bugs, ants and other similar smaller insects. They will be useless for rodents, lizards, chameleons, snakes, and mice. So refrain from using spider catchers for bigger animals.
You will find spider catchers for sale throughout the year on Amazon. Mechanical insect taps such as the Katcha Bug Humane Bug and Spider Grabber are currently priced around $20. The My Critter Catcher Spider & Insect has a similar price point. The BugZooka Bug Catcher Vacuum is priced slightly higher while the most advanced Hammacher Schlemmer Bug Vacuum is the most expensive product on this list. Notice that the price increases with increasing complexity in the built of each model. Bug vacuum is far more expensive than mechanical traps and insect catchers.
The BugZooka Bug Catcher Vacuum, with its sturdiness, ease of use, portable, cordless and light-weight body, combined with the efficiency of vacuum suction power, is ranked as the most highly preferred and popular product. It has the best spider catcher reviews and is marketed at a very reasonable price point.
- Did you know that arachnophobia is fear of spiders and entomophobia is fear of insects?
- An interesting fun fact about spiders is that they are found on every continent, except Antarctica.
- Do you know how entomologists catch small spiders and little bugs? Entomologists area scientist who study insects. Apart from hands and tweezers, they use a specialized long-tubing device called “pooter” for catching spiders and other little insects. For catching larger spiders, a simple Ziploc bag is used as a glove to safely grab the bug.
LIVING WITH & USING SPIDER CATCHERS
Cleaning & Maintenance:
After purchasing the product and using it to capture an insect for the first time, remind yourself that it is important to clean and sanitize the device each time after using it. Make it a habit right from day one to maintain the product in a hygienic state. Rinse the bristles off and trap doors, catch tube and all other areas that came in contact with the insect so that the device is hygienic and ready to use the next time. Clean trap doors and the equipment mouth area from where the insect is sucked in. Make sure the opening is not blocked by hair or debris from previous uses.
Check trapdoors before use:
Always make sure that the trapdoors or covers and lids (that help securely retain the insect in the catch tube) are not broken or cracked before you start using the spider catcher gadget. You do not want to end up being bitten by the insect or stung by bees and wasps after agitating them with your attempt to trap them. Inspect the device and fix any cracks with a good industrial grade tape to ensure the device works safely and functions exactly as intended.
Check Power Availability:
In the case of insect vacuums, check batteries to make sure they work perfectly trying to operate the spider catcher gadget. In case charging is required, ensure that the unit is charged prior to using it.
If you want to get rid of the bugs in your home using a more humane and ethical approach, if you want to use an eco-friendly alternative to insect repellants, then spider catchers and bug vacuums are best suited for you. You could opt for the reasonably priced BugZooka Bug Catcher Vacuum, which is a sturdy, easy to use, light-weight mechanical bug vacuum. You could also opt for My Critter Catcher, which is the easiest and most reliable spider grabber stick to get rid of small insects and bugs from your household and transporting them outside without harming them. Its long sturdy handle and soft bristles ensure you capture and get rid of the insect safely. For my non-techno savvy, simple friends out there, the Katcha Bug Humane Bug and Spider Grabber, with its unique slider trapdoor may be the best option. They are all reasonably priced, convenient to use, make no-mess, are portable and cordless, and most importantly, they are chemical-free options and humane options to get rid of the spiders and bugs in your home.