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Insectivorous Fan

by YoungBuck, published

Insectivorous Fan by YoungBuck Apr 5, 2013

Description

This is a fan I built to move the air around my potted plants, which have been supporting a burgeoning population of thrips, whiteflies, aphids, or some other tiny winged pests. Much like some of the larger non-chemical insect traps out there, this moves air through a mesh screen (from a 2.5" diameter mesh tea ball) that traps the insects in a breeze they can't fly free from. Then, if they stay there long enough, they die.
The bottom base pops off to allow you to empty the fan of their little carcasses. If you want to hasten them along, you can add water or some scented oil that they can drown in.
I ran the first version overnight and it trapped about fifty of the little suckers.

It also makes a nice desk fan; the exit spout is orientable, so you can direct the breeze away from the intake, and it has a fun form that looks nice on a desk. I printed this one in red but I plan to make the ones for my windowsills in green so it blends into the foliage better.

Alternatively, if you're not trying to kill bugs, you can fill the tea ball half-full with potpourri to scent the air, or add liquid potpourri to the base. If you use any of that serious air freshener juice, put it in a small tin inside the base because that stuff melts plastic. Please don't ask me how I know this.

Recent Comments

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Haha, I can confirm how effective this kind of arrangement is. I had a square fan sitting by my window, by itself, to try and drive a little airflow this summer. It turned out to be the bug-equivalent of a wind-farm hazard.
Second option please, including the victims. Just curious how effective it is.
'In action'? You mean plugged in next to a plant? Or opened up, looking at the bug carcasses in the base?

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License

Insectivorous Fan by YoungBuck is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.

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Instructions

Order a USB ventilation fan and tea ball:
amazon.com/Thermaltake-Mobile-Fan-External-Cooling/dp/B00080G0BK
amazon.com/gp/product/B0000DE7P1/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8

Print and deraft the three parts. Tap the three holes in the exit spout to 4-40, and thread in three 4-40 screws. Drop the tea ball into the socket in the intake, and assemble the spout to the intake to sandwich the flange of the tea ball (if you make multiples, you might be able to use just half of the tea ball, allowing you to buy half as many tea balls). Tighten down the three screws until they drop into the spin groove and the spout spins with some resistance but won't come off.
Disassemble the fan,by un-nutting the four perimeter screws. Take a grille, the fan, and the speed control subassembly, and fit them into the square socket in the intake, with the spider in the fan facing in. Drop the four screws through the stack, and insert the nuts into the hexagonal sockets in the back. Tighten.
Pop the base cap on, and set the fan down on it. Plug it in to your nearest USB socket, and fire it up. Adjust the flow direction to your liking by rotating the exit spout.
Haha, I can confirm how effective this kind of arrangement is. I had a square fan sitting by my window, by itself, to try and drive a little airflow this summer. It turned out to be the bug-equivalent of a wind-farm hazard.
Can we get a photo of the trap in action? :)
'In action'? You mean plugged in next to a plant? Or opened up, looking at the bug carcasses in the base?
Second option please, including the victims. Just curious how effective it is.
It's designed to blow the critters into the screen, where they die a horrible death and then their carcasses tumble into the detachable cup below. So... airflow is everything. Fan blows in, air comes out the spout.
I did run one in green after this, but that was just so it would blend into the foliage better.
good idea, do you find that air flow direction makes much of a difference.?

i also wonder if you made the inlet side yellow/greenish might attract more. coming from a old yellow paper and Vaseline trick i know
slick idea man! ;^) like a mini mosquitoe magnet
Thank s,
direct In my box!
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