About 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 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.
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.
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
- 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 are scientists 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.
Usage of 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.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.
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.
- 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.