HOUSTON – Our hot, muggy summer means we are in the thick of mosquito season. There are dozens of repellants you can buy to protect yourself from disease-carrying pests. But one product popping up in Facebook feeds claims to do the trick with no chemicals. KPRC 2 Investigates is checking out the Fuze Bug.
What: Fuze Bug is a small, portable lamp that claims to attract insects and zap them.
Some of the claims in Fuze Bug ads contradict one another. For example, FuzeBug claims, “Only natural products and UV-free lighting” on its website.”
In another section, we found this claim: “Spending many months in research and development, FuzeBug pinpoints the exact UV frequency that’s irresistible to mosquitoes, luring them away from viewing you as a meal, and into the low-voltage mesh that instantly eliminates them.”
Harris County Public Health’s Director of Mosquito & Vector Control Chris Fredregill says using UV light to attract the mosquitos also attracts and kills beneficial insects like moths and butterflies.
“There are some other products that that claim to repel insects just with pure light,” he explained. “And there’s a lot been a lot of studies on that. Their efficacy is not necessarily proven, so what we always recommend is using an EPA-approved insect repellent.”
On the same webpage, the company claims, “Packing enough power to protect a 375 sq. ft. radius.” A couple of inches below that line, it reads “350 SqFt Protection.”
How it works
The Fuze bug charges with a USB cable and claims to offer 20 hours of protection from a one-hour charge. We charged it for several hours, but when we tried to turn it on later the same evening the device was dead.
We were able to use it by keeping it plugged into a portable battery. While we could see some bugs flying into the light and getting zapped, it was more than just mosquitos- proving Fredregill’s point about the beneficial insects.
While the website and ads make a lot of claims, there is nothing to indicate the Fuze Bug lamp is anything more than an LED light on one end with a UV light to attract insects and an electric grill to zap them, powered by a battery pack or whatever you connect to the USB cable.
Same product sells for $15
We ordered the Fuze Bug on the company’s website for $39.99, which is 50% off the regular price. When it arrived, neither the product nor the box had any Fuze Bug branding or markings. The box actually says “Mosquito Killer.”
On the Wish app, we found what appears to be the same device called a “Camping Lantern Mosquito Killer” selling for just $15.
“Personally, I would save my money,” said Fredregill. “I would stick with something that’s been vetted by a trusted agency such as the EPA. You can also go to the American Mosquito Control Association website for some good tips as well.”
Fuze Bug’s response
We did email and call the marketing agency responsible for the Facebook ads and all of the paid ads were made to look like unbiased reviews, but no one responded. When we sent a message to customer support on the Fuze Bug website, we received this response about 24 hours later:
“We are sorry to hear you did not have a good experience with the Fuzebug. That specific unit must be faulty. You purchased three units, did you have the same experience with all three or just the one? If it is only one, then we can replace it. We strive to give our customers the best quality products and we will take the feedback to the relevant department so that they investigate further on whether the Fuzebug product is up to standards. For your inconvenience, we would like to offer you a 75% refund on the order then you get to keep the products. This means that with your acceptance, we can immediately refund $80.98, which will show on your statement typically within three to five business days. How does that sound? Here is some information that can be useful to you: The Fuze Bug is more powerful than your average bug repellant lamp thanks to the LED strobe light and ultraviolet lantern lighting which is what attracts the bugs. For it to work, you need to activate the mosquito killer. How to activate it: You need to activate any of the 5 modes first then pull up the hanger (just give it a little pull) and finally press the mosquito lamp switch on. Please note that not all modes have the flashlight on. It has a rechargeable and long-lasting battery life of up to 20 hours, that is why I feel like the one you have is faulty, try charging the battery for longer then try it and let us know how it goes. Feel free to ask any further questions you may have.”