This Thing Rules

This vacuum is the best thing ever to get rid of bugs without killing them

It's the perfect tool for people who have no desire to kill bugs — or live with them.

There’s nothing quite like the torment of bugs to help you really savor a season’s peak. It comes when you least expect it — the kamikaze stink bug that divebombs your face as summer blends to fall, the solitary roach that scurries over your sandaled foot or (gah) flies at you from the corner of the kitchen when the sun scorches hottest. I know you know what I mean. Even if you generally don’t mind sharing your home with the odd six- or eight-legged guest, a rogue wasp or lightning-fast centipede at an unexpected moment can be just the thing to send you over the edge.

And so, I implore you, get yourself a bug vacuum.

It's long enough that you can scoop up bugs without really getting near them.

Come again? — Yes, a bug vacuum. A handheld device not at all unlike a dust-buster, designed for the sole purpose of (harmlessly) sucking up pests and transporting them somewhere, anywhere else, so long as it’s not inside your home. It’s the simplest concept with the noblest mission, and everyone involved wins.

Now, this is where you might be thinking, “Don’t you have a tarantula? And mantises? How are you afraid of ordinary house bugs?” To that I say, let me and my neuroses live. Anyway, it often isn’t the presence of a strange insect in your home that proves the most stressful part of an encounter, it’s the removal.

There’s really no need to be killing every bug you come across — that’s just unnecessary cruelty (except when it comes to roaches, which can fuck right off) — but they skeeve you out and you want them gone. They’re probably better off outside, anyway. Right? But then, the conundrum: you’ve trapped the intruder in a cup against the wall, and now you have to slide a sheet of paper underneath it and support it just so and tip-toe it to a window or porch, or else the bug is free and probably now flying directly toward your face.

Easy to use, very effective — That’s exactly where the bug vacuum comes in. The one I use is from QVC but there are lots of options from other sellers. They typically come in the style of a palm-sized handle from which a long, clear tube extends. That appendage can telescope between 1-2 feet, which means you don’t even have to get that close to the bug to trap it. Some even come with a gentle grabbing mechanism at the end for scooping up larger, more stationary beasties. Once it’s inside, pulled in with a directed suction of air, a trapdoor at the end ensures it won’t come crawling back out.

Step to me, bugs, I dare you.

How you then get the bug out of the tube and into the outdoors is up to you, though the tried-and-true ‘disconnect the tube, throw it in the grass, and run away’ method seems to be preferred among experts (it’s me, I’m experts). You can also just gently shake the tube out the window if bravery is your thing.

Don’t be stubborn and resist help when it’s right there in front of you or wait until your mom sends the solution to you in a quarantine care package (ahem). If you ever find yourself outnumbered by stink bugs, you’ll wish you had one of these on hand.