Who Invented The Fly Swatter? The History

Who Invented The Fly Swatter

The flyswatter has a small round or rectangular sheet, flexible, lightweight, and vented material (plastic, rubber, or metallic mesh). They attach to lightweight plastic, wood, or metallic handle. 

Venting or perforation mechanism reduces air currents disruption, which a fly can detect easily, allowing it to escape. 

Plus, perforations and vents reduce air resistance; therefore, it makes it easy to hit any fast-moving object like a fly. Ideally, a flyswatter is stiff and lightweight, thus allowing quick acceleration that’s more than the fly’s fast reaction time. 

- Advertisement -

Plus, its stiffness and light weight reduce the damage caused by hitting other objects. Today the flyswatter is quite popular, and almost all homes have it. 

It’s one unique invention, and many wonder about the person behind fly swatter. Here is more information about flyswatter and its inventor.

Who Invented the Fly Swatter?

In ancient times fans and horsetail staff were for insects’ abeyance. In fact, during those days, the flyswatters were simply some striking surface. 

The surface was then attached to a long stick end. In 1900 the earliest commercial flyswatter patent was given to Robert R. Montgomery, and he named it fly-killer. 

A wealthy inventor and industrialist, John L Bennett, bought the patent and made some design improvements. Note that its name, the “flyswatter,” doesn’t come from inventors. 

During the 1905 summer, Kansas had a plaque, an overabundance of flies. Too many flies led to the spread of infectious diseases and annoyance. 

Dr. Samuel Crumbine, a member of the Kansas health board, wanted to raise awareness of flies’ threat. He got inspired by chants from a local Topeka softball game, “swat the ball.” 

Later in a health bulletin, he did encourage Kansans to “swat the fly.” A school teacher known as Frank H. Rose did create the “fly bat” in response. 

The device was simply a yardstick with a screen piece. Crumbine gave the device is popularly known to name the flyswatter.

Electric Flyswatter  

Electric flyswatter combines the electric bug zapper, and you have to fly flap it, resulting in an electric flyswatter manually. An electric flyswatter design is similar to that of a tennis racket. 

The handle has a hidden battery pack and electrified wire grid. The user presses the switch to activate the grid and then makes a general swap towards the bug’s direction. 

Manual flyswatter works effectively and perfectly against a single combatant. However, thousand years of animal instinct beat it at times

Mosquitoes and houseflies have sensitive hairs that detect any slight air pressure change

That’s why the inventor decided to make an open-air design so that flies and mosquitoes do not detect the swatter. Electric fly swatter utilizes the open grid to achieve the same purpose. 

The stationary electric flyswatter uses instincts against the insects. Normally flying insects usually orient themselves according to natural light cues. 

Bug zappers have a special lightbulb attractive to different insects such as house flies, moths, and mosquitoes. Insects closely draw closer to the light only to realize it’s their death trap as they become mired in the electric grid. 

With a complete circuit, the insects get a fatal shock. The electric flyswatter has bug zapper elements, a large surface, and traditional flyswatter flexibility. 

Electric flyswatter gets power from AA batteries. If you own an electric flyswatter and detect an insect, swipe the air around the insect. 

The insect will die from the electric shock immediately it makes contact with the grid. Electric flyswatters offer convenience since it’s unnecessary to have specific accuracy or be stealthy.

Additional Information 

Most companies marketing the electric flyswatter promote it as a novelty item and less an insect killer. However, the flyswatter is effective in insect killing and will ensure your house insect-free. 

It is the perfect gift for people with less mobility, such as the elderly and disabled. Houseflies and mosquitos are quite a nuisance and are also health hazards. 

Insecticides are most popular for insects control; however, they can be dangerous to humans and pets. Electric flyswatters aren’t great for indoor use. 

The great thing is that electric flyswatters increase the chances of eliminating many insects in one swoop. 

You must be careful when using the flyswatter and always remember to turn off the grid between uses. It generates much heat that can damage furniture and exposed skin.

Alternatives To Flyswatter

Fly Bottle

The fly bottle is also known as a glass flytrap. The device passively traps any flying insects. Generally, it’s usually a large clear glass bottle and has a black metal top with a hole

People place bait in the bottom of the bottles, such as meat pieces, etc. Flies will enter the bottle, searching for food, finding it hard to escape. 

Usually, their phototaxis behavior leads them to any place in the bottle and not the entry hole at the darker top. Other people fill the bottles with vinegar or beer when the insects fly and fall in it drown. 

People would fill the bottles with dangerous mixtures of water, mercury chloride or arsenic, and milk in the past. The bottles have different variants, and some were specifically for trapping olive fly and Mediterranean fruit fly. 

Those that trap these insects are smaller and lack feet, plus the glass is usually thicker because of outdoor usage. People place the traps on a bush or a tree. 

Modern versions are plastic, and you can purchase them from your local stores or hardware. You can also improvise it from the disposable drinking plastic bottles.

Fly Gun 

The equipment is simply a flyswatter derivative. It features a spring-loaded plastic projectile that you use to swat flies mechanically. A perforated circular disk then mounts on the projectile. 

Most fly gun products are in the market as novelty items or toys; however, according to its supporters, it perfectly functions like the traditional fly swatter. 

Another gun-like device; has mesh sheets spring pairs that load together when you pull the trigger. 

In the process, it squashes the insects between them. However, the design can only kill the insect that’s midair.


It is also known as fly ribbon, fly tape, fly sticker, etc. It has an adhesive that attracts flies and then traps them. The strips have adhesives that are stick-prone than enclosed glue board. 

Humans avoid accidental entanglements with the strips by hanging them in relatively inaccessible places, such as near ceilings. 

There are different flypaper designs; some are usually small cardboard tubes plus a pin on top. Note that flypaper usually has slightly odorous chemicals that attract more flies. 

Other things that make the flypaper more attractive are shiny and small portable electric lights on their surface.

Fan-Based Trap

It’s a quite simple model that has a continuously running electric fan. The electric fan sucks insects more so weak fliers like mosquitos. It then traps them in a fine bag or mesh grid. 

The fan-based trap has an interesting mechanism that prevents the fly from escaping. Constant airflow makes the insect dehydrate faster and quickly die. 

The designs are many, and some use chemical scents, ultraviolet light, carbon monoxide to attract insects. Other designs rely on scents from livestock, pets, people, or natural carbon dioxide to attract insects. 

In addition, note that the continuous breeze from the electric fan discourages insects from biting and landing. That’s even if it doesn’t trap and kill them.

Bug Vacuum 

The bagged vacuum is also known as a pooter, aspirator, or bug vac. 

The equipment is a small and portable but quite powerful vacuum cleaner. It comes with internal batteries. 

Bug vacuum has a motor that quickly starts and produces strong suction. In the process, the device traps flying insects. 

It traps the insect on the adhesive internal parts or simply inside the device until it dehydrates and then dies. 

Some bug vacuum designs are non-lethal and trap the insects inside and later release them without harming them. 

Professional and amateur entomologists plus people who don’t want to harm or kill insects use this design.

Glue Board  

Its mechanism is similar to that of the flypaper. It’s a capture device that features a strong adhesive. 

The small card usually has sticky adhesive and is in an enclosure; therefore, any time a fly comes into contact, it gets stuck and dies. You can renew a reusable glue board using vegetable oil. 

Removing the oil is simple, using a dishwashing detergent and then rinsing with water. Another alternative is completely disposing and replacing the card periodically.

Bug Zapper

The bug zapper is also known as the fly zapper. Its electric grid kills insects through electrocution that comes from high voltage. 

Generally, bug zappers are small appliances, and their use is for specific locations. 


The flyswatter is a safe and simple device for eliminating insects and is popular in many countries. The device has a unique design that makes it quite efficient. 

You can buy it from your local store at an affordable price. Other alternatives, such as the electric flyswatter, come with instructions to ensure safe use. 

Others are the bug zapper, glue board, etc. Most rely on adhesives. You can surely choose the one that fits your needs and budget.