Kill the buzz

Flies buzz around, annoying you with their sounds and activity. However, these tiny creatures are a little more than a nuisance. The common housefly carries many diseases, such as food poisoning and dysentery, that can infect people. And they lay eggs in moist organic material, such as garbage, manure and carrion.

Bug zappers and other eradicator tools have their limitations. But a salt gun can work in nearly any situation in just about any environment, even in the kitchen. If you are looking for a unique way to reduce the fly population in a given area, a salt gun might be your answer.

Shop this article: Bug-A-Salt 3.0 Black Fly EditionBug-A-Salt Reverse Yellow 2.5 and Insect Salt Gun Laser

What is a salt gun?

How does a salt gun work?

A salt gun is a clever device. It uses compressed air to launch granules of ordinary table salt at a high velocity in a fairly tight pattern similar to a shotgun blast. When something small and soft, such as a housefly, is targeted, its chances of survival are slim. Because a salt gun does not have a large flat surface as a fly swatter does, you can use it when a fly has landed in a corner or is in any other place that would be inaccessible to a fly swatter.

What type of bugs do salt guns work on?

Manufacturers tend to recommend salt guns for what they call harmless bugs. These would be flies and mosquitoes. It is not recommended that you use a salt gun on anything that has a stinger or venom, including but not limited to wasps, spiders, scorpions and more. This is because the device may enrage an insect and cause it to attack. There is also the chance the creature could be blown back into you and still cause damage with its stinger and venom. Using the device on insects with a rugged exoskeleton may prove futile because the salt may just stun or briefly disorient the creature.

What are the main features available on a salt gun?


To help prevent an accidental misfire, you should only choose a salt gun that has a safety mechanism. This means you can’t squeeze the trigger until the safety has released, even if it is loaded and ready to fire.


The sight is what lets you line up your target. Most models have a simple Patridge sight with a small square post in the front and a rectangular notch in the rear. More advanced modes may have a fiber optics sight that is easier to see. Additionally, you can buy an accessory that adds laser sight to your salt gun, if desired.

Cartridge or pump

A salt gun requires compressed air to work. Most models have a single-pump action, so you can manually compress air for each shot. High-end models accept a CO2 cartridge to streamline the firing experience.

Other options

If you do not feel comfortable controlling the population of flying pests by using a salt gun, there are several other methods you can employ. A bug zapper racket, a mosquito killer, an insect trap, a bug vacuum and bug repellants are all viable options.


Q. Does a salt gun need batteries?

A. No. A salt gun does not need batteries (unless it has a laser sight). The gun uses compressed air or CO2 cartridges, so no power is needed.

Q. How much salt does a salt gun fire?

A. A salt gun does not use much ammo. With each firing, only about a pinch of salt is blasted out.

Q. Are salt guns messy?

A. Because it uses so little salt and the insect isn’t splattered, the mess is minimal.

Q. What is the range of a salt gun?

A. The ideal range for most salt guns is about two feet, with an upper limit of three feet. If you fire from too far away, the salt will disperse and decrease in intensity. If you fire too close, the air may blast the insect away before the salt hits it.

Q. How do you clean a salt gun?

A. Since salt dissolves in water, cleaning is accomplished by using water. Additionally, water is often the first choice for repairs if any mechanism clogs or doesn’t work as expected. Before adding water to any section of your salt gun, consult your owner’s manual to ensure this is the best practice for your model.

Salt guns and accessories

best Bug-A-Salt 3.0 Black Fly Edition

Bug-A-Salt 3.0 Black Fly Edition

This popular shotgun-styled model has an updated rapid-fire cross-bolt safety with an improved trigger. It is lightweight and features a Patridge sight for accurate shooting.

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best Bug-A-Salt Advanced Combat Fiber Optic 3.0

Bug-A-Salt Advanced Combat Fiber Optic 3.0

This limited-edition model features a metallic finish and a tighter salt spray pattern. It also has green and red fiber optic sights to make lining up a shot easier.

Sold by Amazon

best Bug-A-Salt Reverse Yellow 2.5

Bug-A-Salt Reverse Yellow 2.5

If you prefer a different design, this popular model is yellow, accented with black. The bolt action has been enhanced, so it takes less effort, and the internal salt-shooting mechanism has been upgraded for increased durability.

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best Bug-A-Salt Shred-Er Starter Kit

Bug-A-Salt Shred-Er Starter Kit

This pistol version uses a CO2 cartridge instead of a pumping action. It is many times more powerful than the shotgun model and is only meant for use by adults. The starter kit contains everything you need, including the weapon, a 24-pack of ammo, and a pack of five CO2 cartridges.

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best Insect Salt Gun Laser

Insect Salt Gun Laser

If you’d like a little more accuracy, this third-party accessory attaches to the barrel of a shotgun model. Purchase includes sight, mounting hardware, wrenches, a pressure switch and batteries.

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best Pomer Salt Gun Holster

Pomer Salt Gun Holster

For transport, this third-party salt gun holster comes in handy. It is designed for the shotgun model and has eight salt tubes, so you have enough ammo for hundreds of shots.

Sold by Amazon

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