The unappetizing phenomenon, documented in a study presented at the American Society for Microbiology that was reported in USA Today on Thursday, probably poses little danger -- the human body is capable of dealing with the many germs that surround us already. But, says TIME senior science writer Jeffrey Kluger, "the possibility of finding fly shrapnel in your cole slaw" does give one pause. Of course, whatever they may do to humans, adds Kluger, the zappers are clearly worse for the flies. "This may just simply be their final posthumous slap back at us," he says. Still, you may want to move your picnic table.
Some food for thought as you chew down your barbecued hamburger to the rhythmic buzz of your nearby bug zapper this weekend. Researchers have discovered that when insects are vaporized on the zapper's electrified grid, a microbe-laced mist is created that can land up to six feet away (more if there's a breeze).