October 19, 2013

Review : Bug-A-Salt

The Bug-A-Salt is a plastic air powered gun, similar to a Nerf gun, that is designed to shoot salt to eliminate pests, mainly flies. Designed by Skell, a small startup company founded by a Santa Monica artist named Lorenzo Maggiore. Skell Inc. started an Indiegogo campaign for the Bug-A-Salt and managed to raise $577,636 of their $15,000 goal. Skell was nice enough to send us a gun to review, so check them out at www.bugasalt.com and pick one up while you’re there.

The gun comes in a while cardboard box that is open in the front, allowing for a better view of the gun, with some warnings telling you not to aim the gun at humans. The back of the box contains instructions on how to use the gun, fly facts, coupled with more warnings about not pointing the gun at anyone.

The gun itself is made out of yellow and black plastic. What’s surprising is that it’s extremely well built for something that is essentially a novelty item. It is made with a high quality thick plastic that feels like it will last for a long time - not something you see a lot on items now a days. After closer inspection, I noticed that there were certain spots on the gun that were touched up with yellow paint - sadly it was a different shade of yellow. The factory has great quality control in ensuring their products are defect free, but I just wish they would use the same colour touch up paint.

Both sides of the gun have an imprint on them that looks like it’s a fake window into a compartment filled with salt and flies. The tip of the gun is orange, letting people know that the Bug-A-Salt is not a real firearm, and the trigger and safety latch are orange as well. The bottom of the grip and pump have a flat surface that allows you to place the gun upright on any flat surface, which is a small but nice feature.

To load the gun with table salt, simply open the clear cap and pour salt in it. Pull the pump located on the front of the gun towards yourself, then push it away to cock the gun. When the gun is ready to fire, the iron sight will pop out the top of the gun allowing you to aim it. Lastly, release the safety found above the trigger, then press the trigger to fire the gun, hopefully killing the fly.

The Bug-A-Salt makes killing flies a fun and “clean”process. The salt kills the fly without splattering it on the wall or window, but then you’re left with the task of cleaning up the fly and salt. The gun can be loaded with sugar, table salt, sea salt, and kosher salt. I found that sugar has a very small effect on flies, while kosher salt has the biggest effect. The Bug-A-Salt easily takes care of the common house fly, bees, wasps, hornets, and ants. For safety testing, we went against the warnings listed on the box and the gun, and decided to shoot someone in the butt. For someone wearing jeans, you wouldn’t notice it at all, and for people wearing short shorts, it will just result in a dirty look, potentially causing more harm to you than the other person. The general “don’t shoot into other peoples face or eyes” still applies, which is never a good idea and will most certainly cause harm.

The Bug-A-Salt is a fun novelty item that does serve a purpose aside from entertaining yourself. If you live in Canada like us and tend to not have flies to shoot during the cold seasons (so all of the months), it can still be used to season your fries or other salty foods (Soup is not recommended). Thanks to Skeel again for the Bug-A-Salt sample and once again, you can pick on up at their website at www.bugasalt.com

Martin Tam is an editor and the Director of Video Production at [blank]’s Universe. He is also a technology enthusiast that particularly enjoys computers and photography. He enjoys breaking things and sleeping in his spare time.