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Education / Training Bug-A-Salt 3.0 Black Fly Edition: Part 2

Bug-A-Salt 3.0 Black Fly Edition: Part 2

Bug-A-Salt 3
Bug-A-Salt 3.0 Black Fly Edition.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Salt
  • Fine grain table salt
  • Mosquito hawks
  • Ring sights can also be used on main battle tanks
  • Targets change as time passes
  • Trigger
  • Final remarks

Today we look at the Bug-A-Salt 3.0 Black Fly Edition for the second time. This report can’t be like a normal test because the velocity is too low and the projectiles are too small. So I have to tell you about things that do apply. There are several of them.


We know that these insect weapons shoot salt. I have heard from several readers and from others as well that wives won’t allow the Bug-A-Salt to be fired in the house because they don’t want salt on the floor. I thought that was a little extreme because the Bug-A-Salt 2.0 that I’ve had for many years (9?) doesn’t fire enough salt to make any difference. But the 3.0 changes that.

The Bug-A-Salt 3.0 seems to hold at least twice as much salt as the 2.0 and I have watched it come out. That means there is a lot more salt per shot. Let’s talk about that.

salt chamber
The salt hopper on the Bug-A-Salt 3.0 is large. It needs to be because the 3.0 shoots a lot of salt with each shot.

Fine grain table salt

One last thing to mention about the salt you use — make it fine grain. I discussed in Part 1 how using coarser salt crystals rendered my 2.0 less effective.

Mosquito hawks

A lot of folks call these guys skeeter eaters, but actually they are neither mosquito hawks nor skeeter eaters. Their proper name is crane fly. They do not kill mosquitos, nor do they bite humans. They only live a couple days, but they are a nuisance when they get indoors.

crane fly
Crane fly.

For some reason this year north central Texas is overwhelmed with these critters. When I go on my daily walk it is not unusual to see 50 of them every 10 feet as I walk around the neighborhood. My front porch has 25 at any one time and when I open the front door they slip in. The thing about them is they never seem to land. They seem to want to hover, but unlike some insects like carpenter bees, these guys never stay in one place. They are constantly bobbing and weaving like a prizefighter. Therefore shooting them with sights is difficult.

I didn’t want to shoot them with instinct shooting but I had to for two reasons. First and foremost, crane flies never stay in one place. They’re always on the move. If you do see one that has landed, sneak up carefully and quietly because they seem to have a sense of what you are trying to do.

The second reason it’s difficult to shoot crane flies with the Bug-A-Salt is the sights are hard to acquire. Both the front and rear sights on my 3.0 are orange, which isn’t a color that stands out — at least not for me. Also, the rear sight isn’t there until the gun is cocked. So, when I sneak up on a crane fly the gun has to be cocked already or I’ll have no rear sight to reference. 

Sights are something the Bug-A-Salt folks need to improve. I could recommend some form of ghost or ring sight. In 1948 shotgunners had such a sight. It was branded the Nydar sight and it functioned much like a modern dot sight. This is what the sight picture looked like.

Nydar sight picture
This is the sight picture of the Nydar sight.

The sight itself looked like this.

Nydar sight
And this is the Nydar sight.

Ring sights can also be used on main battle tanks

The tank commander and gunner on an M60A1 main battle tank have what is known as an infinity sight. It’s just a lighted circle seen through the tank’s optical sights. As long as the 7.62 mm (.308 Winchester) coaxial machinegun is boresighted coaxially with the main gun, putting an object inside this circle when the machinegun is firing gives a good probability the object will be hit. This is how one tank can clean the enemy infantry off another tank. The tank commander or the gunner just slews the main gun until the target(s) are inside the circle and then pulls the electric trigger. That infinity circle is quite similar in operation to the Nydar sight shown above.

I’m not saying the Bug-A-Salt needs anything as costly or complex as a Nydar-type sight, but something along that line might be good. Lord knows, we are only shooting 3 feet! Since this gun is a shotgun and not a rifle a sight like this is more appropriate.

Build a Custom Airgun

Targets change as time passes

The time of the crane fly will pass and, here where I live, the June bug will arrive. June bugs are similar to or perhaps even are what some call Japanese beetles. They are very slow and really don’t require the Bug-A-Salt. With them, though, also come houseflies, wasps, spiders and other creepy crawlers. BB is ready for all of them!

June bugs are armored all over and perhaps impervious to the Bug-A-Salt. But those insects I just mentioned are not. Wasps have somewhat hard bodies, but the Bug-A-Salt will put holes in their wings, making them fall to the ground which makes them easier (and safer) to stomp on. They are another reason for the new sights to be put on this insect weapon, because they like to hover and move around like the crane flies, if they are somewhat less hectic.

Flies, spiders and creepy crawlers, on the other hand, do stop to rest, which makes them fair game. I live alone, so nobody tells me not to shoot in the house. But when she was with me my wife Edith was a bug killer extraordinaire. In fact she is the one who bought our first Bug-A Salt 2.0, which I told you is still going strong 9 years later.

And you guys in the east who have carpenter bees — we want a report. They look a lot like bumblebees. The ones we had in Maryland were aggressive and would hover right in your face at two to three feet — the perfect distance. This weapon has got to at least shoot holes in their wings. Come on, guys. Talk!


I know the folks who make the Bug-A-Salt 3.0 say that the trigger is lighter than the trigger on the 2.0, but I find the trigger on mine to be just as hard to pull. The safety, however, no longer comes on every time the gun is cocked and that is a positive thing! Nobody who shoots wants a safety to come on automatically.

Final remarks

I tried to get the Bug-A-Salt folks to talk to Air Venturi at the SHOT Show this year. I succeeded with the Labradar folks and we will hopefully see some results from that, but I don’t think Air Venturi talked to Bug-A-Salt. It’s a shame if they didn’t because the quarter of a million readers of this blog worldwide are the exact people who will buy and use this insect weapon.

This is probably my final report on the 3.0, unless something cool comes up. Maybe, if some new kind of sights that make the gun more of a shotgun, come to the market I would write some more. Let’s hope so!

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

46 thoughts on “Bug-A-Salt 3.0 Black Fly Edition: Part 2”

  1. Ewww . . . Insects out already! Tomorrow my bride and I leave for the Great State of Texas to visit our kids and grandkids. I have my Bug A Salt 02, will I need another ? Orv.

  2. Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier), I think your review of the laser sight (“Bug-Beam Adapter Kit”) merits one more, ie “Bug-A-Salt… Part 3”. 🙂

    Yes, it is unnecessary.
    And yes, it works very well. 🙂

    I predict you may be glad to have that option. 🙂

    I find airborne insects easiest to kill with an electrocuting racket – beware of accidentally hitting other objects: furniture always wins – I’m on my 3rd racket 🙁

    Like me, has anyone else wished their salt shooter came with a sling? Or, at least sling swivel attachment points?

    To keep hands free, I used to jam it under my armpit but I’ve now tied a length of bungee to it which works just fine… 🙂

  3. I am one of those whose wife will not allow me to use my Bug-A-Salt 2.0 with laser in the house. This is kind of ironic because she is the one who bought it for me. She also does not get upset when I use Izzy to shoot the occasional bat that gets in. I am not allowed to set up a shooting range in the house either.

    • RidgeRunner, what a shame as these things are ideal (!) for indoors.

      Maybe get her a Bug-A-Salt 3.0 – how about one of the “Limited Edition” colours (clear or pink) to demonstrate your thoughtfulness? 🙂

        • Thanks Roamin Greco, but I deleted the silly part (screen print below) because I developed guilty doubts of how it might be received.
          I have found, and frequently forget, that written communications have an amazing potential for misunderstanding! 🙂

          • 3hi,

            I am afraid that does not work as I already help her with the vacuuming.

            P.S. I too have difficulties with my written communications at work. It seems most people do not grasp my humor. They need a bit more British humor in their lives.

  4. BB,

    On the topic of carpenter bees. I have not had the opportunity to shoot one with my B-A-S 2.0, but will give it a try today. I have seen them buzzing around already.

    Normally I use a racket ball racket on them. I have developed a game I call Bumble Ball. The first day I swatted over fifty of the little buggers. The next day I got about forty. The day after the number was down to thirty. Nowadays I am lucky to get one or two a day.

    The problem is I cannot reach the high flying nesters. My arm is just not long enough to reach up there. The Bug-A-Salt is not powerful enough either. Maybe I need to get a Viper Express.

    When I had a red bud tree in the back yard, I used to hunt them with my Daisy 99. The first year I shot over fifty of them when the tree was in bloom. I have since rid myself of that tree, so I must hunt them elsewhere with my 99.

  5. Last summer – bear with FM, he’s no entomologist – some small bees? – or wasps? – took over a large compost bin in our yard. Did not want to use pesticides, so initially went at ’em by splashing the ‘lil buggers with boiling water. Don’t mention that to PETA, though FM thinks he got away with it. It seemed these insects were not aggressive so went for the Bug-A-Salt 2.0 and found it was possible to terminate 2-3 of the bees/wasps at point-blank range with every shot though it took a lot of “ammunition” to accomplish that. The hot bath and salt method succeeded over a couple of days. Compost bin free of invaders since then.

    The insects had yellow stripes on their abdomens but they were NOT yellow jackets as they just seemed to want to hover in FM’s face without stinging. Not a single sting suffered – maybe FM was lucky.

  6. Tom,

    Last year was the earliest spring my neighbors and I remembered. This spring is even earlier. Yes, as a result I’ve noticed more bugs this early in the year than ever before. We have a lot of birds (including quite a few Cooper Hawks, Red-Tailed Hawks, and at least one large owl), so many pests end up as bird food.

    Inside, however, the Bug-A-Salt MK 2 does a great job on house flies. The amount of salt-per-shot seems perfect in that it does the job but also doesn’t seem to leave salt everywhere, at least not so that we notice.

    Regarding Carpenter Bees, only the queen (just one per nest, and they don’t come out unless the nest is dying) stings. The Carpenter Bee’s aggressive flying and large ugliness is their only defense system. We have two electronic tennis-racket zapping devices. One is too weak to do much with them. It has the “net” with parallel “rods.” The other, slightly larger one, zaps Carpenter Bees with a loud “crack” and a visible arc. It has a protective mesh over criss-crossed rods. The bee drops like a stone and writhes helplessly. A flip-flop clad foot takes care of them as a finishing move. They fly randomly and quickly, however, so nailing them is a sporting event.

    My experience is boric acid, the wonder-killer of insects, is neither a wonder nor a killer. Doesn’t work on Carpenter Bees when puffed into their nests, doesn’t work on ants (sweet or otherwise) in bait stations. Nothing. Raid or Wasp killer in a big can did the trick with both. I get a can with a swiveled straw attached to the nozzle. One of those will bend just enough that it can be fed past the right-angle entrance to a Carpenter Bee’s nest. The nest has partitions inside, though. Spray, push a couple inches, spray, push again, and spray again.

    We’ve never tried the Carpenter Bee traps sold online, so . . .


    • Michael/All
      Electronic, schmelectronic.
      Toxic, schmoxic.
      Where oh where have all the real men gone? You know… the KISS type!

      If you use a stick bow rather than some marvel of compound gadgetry, this method is for you. Real meat and potatoes basic:

      Get yourself 2 blocks of wood. With one in each hand, walk around the house or yard (run, if you are fit, and wish to cover more of whatever bugs’ aerial habitat) while clapping the blocks together.

      You may have a lot of misses, but … every hit will bring a sportsman-like clean result. ONE CLAP, ONE KILL!
      No escaping wounded to follow into the brush!

      Now be aware (!) ..the constant clapping just may irritate better halves. But what is your priority, …happy wife, or dead bugs? Are you a hunter, or a mouse?
      I thought so. Which is why I’m giving away this secret back-up fall-back method previously known only to Special Forces, Rangers, etc.

      Bonus tip : Cut some 2X4s into 4-inch lengths, mark them L, or R, for the appropriate hand usage, and, now that the secret is out, sit back and wait for the orders to pour in ;-).

      [ For those determined to gee-ify all their equipment, I reluctantly suggest a scope mounted on whichever block goes with your dominant-eye hand,… “Bug Buster”, of course! You will pay a price, deservedly, for complicating this piece of equipment, which is elegantly simple in its design and function. Given the short eye-relief of the optic, you will inevitably suffer some nose-clapping, (Which, in my opinion, you will have coming).]

      In any case, whether or not you choose to modify your weapon, …
      NEVER clap your blocks at anything you don’t intend to kill!




  7. This would be perfect with a sturdy folding stock. Instinct shooting or wing shooting techniques may be best for what is in reality a shotgun. OH! A double barrel bug a salt, please!

    Also, can the orange sights be blackened with a permanent marker?

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