Friday, December 8, 2006

Mosquito Tennis Anyone?



Looking for good Taiwan gifts to bring back for the folks back home is not an easy job. I’ve had a lot of misses over the years from ‘wasabi’ peanuts to Taiwan t-shirts. However, there are a handful of things that have gone over real well: ‘qipao’ wine bottle covers, pottery stands and pottery, peanut and almond brittle etc..

One of the all-time favorites is the electrified bug racquet.

It basically zaps mosquitoes on contact. There are batteries in the handle and they pack quite a whop!

An article on engadget.com writes:
“A flip of the switch electrifies the inner mesh, zapping any unfortunate little brother, pledge bug it comes in contact with.”

http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000963045686/

[ASIDE: I thought it was quite funny considering that the writer didn’t know the Taiwan meaning of ‘little brother’ (just ask if you really need to know!).]
There’s another mention of the racquets here with some interesting comments:

http://pchere.blogspot.com/2005/06/electronic-mosquito-racket-zaps-pests.html

One guy even writes a good description of the sizzle effect on bugs:
“a mosquito will often vaporize on contact! The explosive 'crack' & subsequent 'burnt hair odor' is immensely satisfying - even more so after enduring several itching mozy bites...”

I have to mention that when I first saw the racquets in Taiwan I didn’t understand why they were needed. Canadian variety mosquitoes were annoying ‘yes’ but had always been easy to hit. Taiwanese mosquitoes, on the other hand, must be described as the most agile and difficult to kill mosquitoes I have come across. They have often bitten my in my sleep in the strangest places like on fingers and cheekbones in skin that is over bones, not the fleshy parts! Also, I guess due to how filthy the mosquitoes are with soot from the air in Taiwan, when you are bitten these bites tend to swell up quite a bit and be super itchy!

No wonder Taiwan doesn’t mess around when it comes to mosquitoes (and other bugs like cockroaches). I have to admit to using my own racquet to finish off a large spider that looked suspiciously alive after several swattings with a broom. Geez I hate spiders!



When I sent the articles to my mom, she mentioned that these racquets are on sale in Giant Tiger in Canada. No luck in Australia where apparently they are illegal to import.

http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=4369#e1059

Funny, a few years back when I was bringing a few racquets back as gifts, I was wondering whether the authorities in Canada would confiscate them upon my visit home to Canada. Apparently not! And it appears that the mosquito killing concept is catching on back home… Posted by Picasa
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