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I Tried the Bug-a-Salt Gun, a Mosquito-Killing Weapon That’s Also Mad Fun

If you thought a confirmed kill with a fly swatter was rewarding, just wait until you feel the sheer thrill of blasting skeeters away with salt.
Bug-A-Salt Mosquito Gun Review
Composite by Vice Staff

Do you smell that?! No, it’s not the smell of napalm in the morning, but it is the smell of victory—freshly squashed mosquito victory. Nothing feels more vindicating than absolutely blasting your warm-weather nemeses all the way into the next dimension. 

I don’t know what happened in my kitchen over the last few weeks, but it has become overrun by flying vermin, aka bugs. (I'm blaming the bounty of stone fruits and tomatoes from the farmer’s market that I overestimated my ability to eat in such a small window of time.) The one reprieve from the stabby welt-makers of summer has always been escaping indoors, and now the sanctuary of my apartment was no longer secure and I was becoming increasingly more murderous with each buzz past my ear. 


I tried everything to get rid of these airborne intruders: I made DIY traps, I wasted money on sticky strips that failed to end a single skeeter, and then I finally bought an analog fly swatter from the dollar store.The thrill I felt when I got a confirmed kill was on par with how I felt when I actually won an Instagram giveaway, i.e. amazing, but the amount of labor involved in chasing after those pesky mosquitos wasn’t sustainable long term. So you can imagine how excited I was when the big daddy of fly-killers, the Bug-A-Salt, showed up at the VICE offices. 

$54.95 at Amazon

$54.95 at Amazon

The Bug-A-Salt is a revolutionary insect assault rifle for destroying all of your creepy-crawly enemies. It ejects salt crystals at a high speed to provide a sort of near-microscopic buckshot that really does blast mosquitos (and other intruders) out of the air. If you have a frustrating infestation of any type of bug (fly, mosquito, spider), the most fun—and possibly the most violent—way of taking care of the problem is via a table-salt shooting gun that stops bugs dead. Of course, it helps if you’re a decent shot. The quirky inventor of the Bug-A-Salt, Lorenzo Maggiore, has spent the majority of his life perfecting the rifle, and has some excellent tips for perfecting your bullseye. 


I was lucky enough to test out the salt gun for the first time on VICE’s rooftop garden, which contains plenty of buzzy targets, before taking it home, a more treacherous zone where there are far more breakable objects. When I tell you this is the most fun you can legally have on a Tuesday in the middle of the day, believe me. Even as someone who’s never considered owning a gun, and has maybe shot a BB bb-gun at sleepaway camp twice, I was a little intimidated when I opened the “insect eradication device”, because that’s what guns look like now, apparently. But with strong warnings to “not shoot in the face or eyes”, and with only salt for ammunition, the risk of bodily injury is pretty low. 

It’s a bit tricky to get the hang of—there is a safety button, so you don’t shoot your eye out, and it takes two hands to pump, so you better make sure you’re locked ‘n’ loaded when said mosquito or spotted lantern fly tasks a split second reprieve. Shooting a pest in mid-air would require a good amount of skill, but the tactical bug beam, which can be added to any gun, can help you aim and adds to the fun. The first thing everyone asks, after they stop ooh-ing and ahh-ing over this impressive weapon, is if it’s messy. No—it’s salt, which, when shot indoors, scatters into a basically unnoticeable pile which you can easily sweep or vacuum up. The salt shoots out in one strong puff, which is more air than salt, but still manages to pack a stinging wallop if you hit a finger or an ankle. I even made our intern shoot me in the leg, Jackass-style, and it only stung a bit. But I wouldn’t recommend experimenting with shooting anything (or anyone) precious to you—when shot point-blank at a leaf, the Bug-A-Salt left a very symmetrical hole in its wake, so you may want to avoid any priceless heirlooms. But for me, the joy of pinging those pesky mosquitos out of my life forever is worth a few grains of salt on the rug. 


Yeehaw! Grab your boots and bolo ties, stock up on salt, and go to town, mosquito-annihilating cowboys!

The Bug-a-Salt is available at Amazon.

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