is a hand-pumped insecticide sprayer
used to dispense Flit
, a brand-name permethrin
-based insecticide widely used against mosquitoes
between 1928 and the mid-1950s. Flit guns have fallen out of common use, but the once copyrighted brand name was extremely well known in the USA
and the UK
due to extensive advertising by the manufacturer.
The Flit gun consists of a pneumatic tube with a hand-operated plunger to force air through an air nozzle in the front. Below the front of the pneumatic tube is a secondary tubular container designed to hold Flit
insecticide, this reservoir set at 90 degrees to the pneumatic tube. The Flit reservoir traditionally has a screw-cap for pouring additional insecticide into the container, plus an internal hose that feeds from the fluid reservoir up to a tip placed just forward of the air nozzle of the pneumatic tube. This arrangement mists or atomizes the insecticide into a spray when the pneumatic tube handle is pumped, without the requirement for any compressed propellants to be stored.
The basic pneumatic tube portion is similar in operation to a Super Soaker
or a hand-powered grease gun
, but propelling air rather than water or grease.
The design was originally created for rural outdoor use in the early 20th century, and is rarely seen anymore, aside from in reruns of pre-World War II
cartoons and a few early movies.