Title:
Device and method for repelling insects and novelty item
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
There is provided a device and method for repelling insects. A container having at least one rigid wall and including an enclosed cavity is provided. The cavity is at least partially filled with liquid. The wall and the liquid are able to transmit light. The container is placed in an environment which may be attractive to insects and insects are repelled from the environment. The device may also be used as a novelty item which includes an object in the shape of an animal received in the cavity.



Inventors:
Chipman, Roger N. (Fletcher, NC, US)
Application Number:
11/525502
Publication Date:
06/21/2007
Filing Date:
09/22/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ARK, DARREN W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
David M. Carter (ASHEVILLE, NC, US)
Claims:
1. A method for repelling insects comprising: providing a container having at least one rigid wall and including an enclosed cavity, the cavity being at least partially filled with a liquid; said wall and said liquid able to transmit light; placing the container in an environment which may be attractive to insects; and repelling insects from the environment.

2. A method as set forth in claim 1 wherein the container includes a mechanism for attaching the container to a cord whereby the container may be suspended above a surface such as a floor.

3. A method as set forth in claim 1 wherein the liquid is water.

4. A method as set forth in claim 1 wherein the liquid is clear.

5. A method as set forth in claim 1 wherein the liquid is colored.

6. A method as set forth in claim 1 wherein the container is a sphere.

7. A method as set forth in claim 1 wherein the container is half of a geometric object mounted to a substantially planar base; the object and at least a portion of the base forming a cavity.

8. A method as set forth in claim 7 wherein the base is mirrored.

9. A method as set forth in claim 7 wherein the base is transparent.

10. A method as set forth in claim 7 wherein the base is translucent and is illuminated.

11. A method as set forth in claim 7 wherein the geometric object is a hemisphere.

12. A method as set forth in claim 1 wherein the wall has an opening therein so that liquid may be poured into the cavity; a mechanism for removably sealing the opening.

13. A method as set forth in claim 1 further including a plurality of containers.

14. A method as set forth in claim 1 further including an object in the shape of an animal; the object being received in the cavity.

15. A method as set forth in claim 14 wherein the object has eyes which are larger than normal.

16. A method as set forth in claim 15 wherein each eye includes a colored solid core and a plurality of optical fibers affixed to the core.

17. A method as set forth in claim 1 further including an amount of sodium thio-sulfate added to the liquid.

18. A method as set forth in claim 1 further including an amount of bleach added to the liquid.

19. A method as set forth in claim 1 wherein the environment is illuminated.

20. A method as set forth in claim 1 wherein the environment is a horse stall.

21. An apparatus for repelling insects comprising: a container having at least one rigid wall; said container including an enclosed cavity; said cavity being at least partially filled with liquid; and said wall and said liquid able to transmit light whereby insects are repelled from an area in which the apparatus is visible.

22. An method for repelling insects comprising: providing a rigid object which is able to transmit light; placing the object in an environment which may be attractive to insects; and repelling insects from the environment.

23. A novelty item comprising: a container having at least one wall; said container including an enclosed cavity; said cavity being at least partially filled with liquid; said wall and said liquid able to transmit light; an object in the shape of an animal; and said object received in said cavity, whereby the object is visible from the outside of said container.

24. A novelty item as set forth in claim 23 wherein said object in the shape of an animal has eyes which are larger than normal.

25. A novelty item as set forth in claim 24 wherein each eye includes a colored solid core and a plurality of optical fibers affixed to said core.

Description:

RELATIONSHIP TO PRIOR APPLICATION

This is a U.S. non-provisional application relating to and claiming the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/722,346, filed Sep. 29, 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Flies are attracted to places that have food and food waste such as dumpsters, garbage cans, dining areas and kitchens. In such situations, flies are known to be capable of spreading disease. Flies are attracted to horse stalls primarily because of manure and urine on the floor of the stalls. These flies are a great nuisance to the horse as well as to people who are required to enter the stalls, such as horse trainers. Chemical insect repellents may be used in an attempt to keep these flies out of the horse stalls and other places. However, these chemicals, especially those containing DEET or pyrethrins, pose an environmental hazard. Also, chemical repellents are costly and repeated applications are required.

It is known that if one hangs a clear plastic bag filled with water in a horse stall, flies tend to avoid the stall. However, this technique requires one to find and fill a clear plastic bag with water and somehow attach a line to the bag and hang the bag in the stall, all of which can be rather problematic. In addition, plastic bags often become opaque over time and thus will not work as well. Furthermore, plastic bags filled with water burst easily. Often, the horse will bite the bag causing it to burst.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with one form of the invention there is provided a method for repelling insects. A container having at least one rigid wall is provided. The container includes an enclosed cavity which is at least partially filled with a liquid. The wall and liquid are able to transmit light. The container is placed in an environment which may be attractive to insects. Insects are repelled from the environment.

In accordance with another form of this invention there is provided an apparatus for repelling insects. A container having at least one rigid wall is provided. The container includes an enclosed cavity which is at least partially filled with liquid. The wall and the liquid are able to transmit light such that insects are repelled from an area in which the apparatus is visible.

In accordance with another form of this invention there is provided a method for repelling insects. A rigid object is provided which is able to transmit light. The object is placed in an environment which may be attractive to insects. The insects are repelled from the environment.

In accordance with another form of this invention there is provided a novelty item, including a container having at least one wall. The container includes an enclosed cavity which is at least partially filled with liquid. The wall and liquid are able to transmit light. An object in the shape of an animal, such as a fly predator, is located in said cavity and is visible from outside of the container.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The subject matter which is regarded as the invention is set forth in the independent claims. The invention, however, may be better understood in reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a device for repelling insects in accordance with one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing yet another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing yet another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing the use of the embodiment of FIG. 1 in a horse stall.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 7 is a sectional view of the embodiment of FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view showing another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view showing the opposite side of the embodiment of FIG. 8.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now more particularly to FIG. 1, there is provided device 10 for repelling insects. Device 10 includes rigid container 12, which in this embodiment is in the form of a sphere having curved wall 14. The container 12 may take the form of other shapes such as a parallel pipette, three dimensional trapezoid, or three dimensional diamond. Wall 14 is preferably optically clear and is able to transmit light. Sphere 14 is preferably hollow and includes enclosed cavity 16. Cavity 16 is at least partially filled with liquid 18, which is preferably water. The liquid 18 is able to transmit light and is preferably optically clear. Wall 14 has a hole 20 therein to enable one to fill the cavity 16 with liquid 18. A rubber or clear plastic stopper 22 is provided to seal the hole 20 after the liquid 18 has been added to cavity 16.

Preferably, a small amount of sodium thio-sulfate is added to the liquid 18 to eliminate or reduce the chlorine gas which may be present when the liquid is water. Without the use of sodium thio-sulfate, bubbles may appear in the liquid. Alternatively, one could use distilled water or other non-chlorinated water which does not contain chlorine. Preferably, the liquid 18 refracts light. The liquid 18, while preferably is optically clear, may also be colored or tinted. Also, bleach may be added to the liquid to prevent bacteria and algae growth.

Sphere 12 may be formed from two hemispheres, resulting in joint 24. Preferably, the two hemispheres are glued together.

Mechanism 26 for attaching the sphere to cord 28 is attached to wall 14 of the sphere 12.

Referring now more particularly to FIG. 6, the device 10 of FIG. 1 is attached to ceiling 30 of horse stall 32 by means of cord 28. A swivel 33, as shown in FIG. 9, may be attached to the cord 28 which may increase the effectiveness of the device 10 by enabling it to move freely. It has been found that by hanging device 10 in a horse stall, the number of insects such as flies in the horse stall is reduced.

Referring now more particularly to FIG. 2, there is provided insect repellent device 34 which includes rigid hemisphere 36 having an optically clear wall. Hemisphere 36 is attached to base 38 by glue. Base 38 may be a mirror or a transparent base.

Referring now more particularly to FIG. 3, there is provided insect repellent device 40 including a plurality of smaller hemispheres 42 which are attached to base 44. Base 44 also may be mirrored, translucent or transparent. The base may also be illuminated so that the device may be effective in a dark environment.

Referring now more particularly to FIG. 4, there is provided insect repellent device 46 which is particularly adapted to be attached to clothing, collars, harnesses, halters, caps and the like. Device 46 is smaller than device 10 and may be in the form of a bead. Device 46 includes a pair of loops 48 and 50 which are used to attach the device to clothing and the like utilizing a suitable attachment mechanism such as needle and thread. Preferably, device 46 does not contain a hollow cavity but is made of a solid material, such as solid plastic or glass. Device 46 may be monolithic or it may have a solid inner core and an outer core comprising optical fibers similar to the cross section shown in FIG. 7.

The device 52 shown in FIG. 6 may be similar to the device 46 shown in FIG. 4, however, without the loops 48 and 50. Device 52 includes a solid inner core 56 with tunnel 54 therethrough. The outer portion 58 includes a plurality of optical fibers 60. The outer portion 58 is shown thicker than normal for illustrative purposes. One preferred use of device 52 is for eyes 53 for an animal 57 shown in FIG. 8.

FIG. 8 shows insect repelling device 58 which may be identical to device 10 shown in FIG. 1, except that an object in the shape of an animal, such as an insect predator 57, is received inside cavity 61. The feet 62 of the insect predator are glued to the inside of wall 63 so that the insect predator appears to be standing on the inside wall. The eyes 53 of the insect predator are made larger than normal in order to provide an appropriate visual effect. It is preferable that device 52 shown in FIG. 6 be used as each eye of insect predator 57. The device 58 may be used as an insect repelling device or it may be used as a novelty item. The curvature of the sphere and the optical clarity of the liquid received in the cavity of the sphere and the walls of the sphere magnify the insect predator 57, as shown in FIG. 8, causing it to look larger than it is. This magnification enhances the insect repellent characteristic of device 58 and also enhances the novelty appeal of device 58.

The devices referred to herein are specifically designed to be used in a lighted environment. Natural light may be used as well as artificial light.

It is preferred that the devices discussed herein have at least on curved surface.

As an alternative to being filled with a liquid, such as water, the device may be solid, such as solid glass or solid plastic. At least a portion of the device is preferably substantially transparent. The device may be most any size, however, it is believed that the effectiveness of the device, that is the ability to repel insects from a certain distance, is determined by the size and illumination of the device. It is believed that the effective radius is no less than ten (10) feet. It is preferred that the device take the form of a clear plastic hollow sphere which is filled with water and which is between four (4) inches and twelve (12) inches in diameter. Smaller versions of the device can be attached to a person's clothing to repel insects. The device shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 may take the form of beads with a hole therethrough which is covered by optical fibers with the core being solid glass. Often, these types of devices are referred to as cats eyes beads.

EXAMPLE 1

Four (4) pairs of dual fiber optic spheres of the type shown in FIGS. 4 and 7 were attached to a horse halter. The halter was placed on the horse. Before the modified halter was placed on the horse, approximately twenty-five (25) flies were observed between the nose and eyes of the horse. After the modified halter was placed on the horse, the number of flies was reduced to approximately two (2) flies.

EXAMPLE 2

A six and a half (6½) inch device similar to the device shown in FIG. 8 was hung in a nineteen (19) foot by twenty (12) foot horse stall in a similar manner to that shown in FIG. 5. Approximately seventy-five percent (75%) of the flies were repelled with the remaining flies being generally on the floor, with a few flies on the horse's lower legs.

EXAMPLE 3

A four and a half (4½) inch diameter device similar to the one shown in FIG. 8 was hung eighteen (18) inches above a soiled cat litter box with good artificial lighting. The device was almost one hundred percent (100%) effective in repelling flies from about the litter box.

EXAMPLE 4

A six and a half (6½) inch diameter device similar to the one shown in FIG. 8 was placed at an elevation of six (6) feet above a wheel barrow full of manure. Within three (3) hours after placing the device over the manure, approximately seventy-five percent (75) of the files were repelled.

While the invention has been described in terms of the above embodiments, those skilled in the art will recognize that the invention can be practiced with modification within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.





 
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