Plugging the Insectoid Firehose

The Spring Insect Explosion here in Austin has been flooding past the tiny gaps in my roof ring bug screen as though pouring from a fire hose. Excited, horny bugs you would never guess could fit through such tiny holes were draining the batteries in my zap racket at an alarming rate, and it was hard to sleep with the random drunken buzzing and scratching of June Bugs in May.

The problem is that it’s very hard to cut a perfect circle with a jigsaw by hand, which left small gaps between the edge of the screen and the roof ring. I needed to close that gap!

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This is how I draw circles, very useful in yurt engineering! Screw down a stick at the center of the circle in the right place, then drill a pencil hole where the outside edge will be. Insert a pencil and trace away. A perfect, precise circle ready to be cut!

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The solution had to be able to fit through the roof hole easily, and be removable when needed. I decided to cut two half-circles out of very thin plywood that would match the roof ring. The final result would be a circle that covered the gap between the screen and the ring, and it worked perfectly.

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I was going to tack it down, but it turns out the tension of the crown is more than enough to hold it in place. You can see there are some very small gaps at the place where the two half-rings come together, but I don’t think they’ll cause a problem. If they do, I might add some kind of hinge.

It works! Last night I had way fewer bugs despite having the lights on until about midnight.

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Soon I’ll be posting about another roof-ring upgrade, an adjustable set of louvers to make it easy to change airflow!

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