- Our Top Picks
- Best Bug Zappers
- How Does A Bug Zapper Work?
- Do They Actually Kill Bugs?
- Types Of Bug Zappers
While you might not need a bug zapper year-round, it’s a necessary device in most areas. Flying insects such as mosquitos and flies become irritating as summer approaches. It’s natural to reach for a fly swatter so those flying insects meet their end.
But, what about bug zappers, and which is the best bug zapper to buy?
Continue reading, we’ll examine how these insect zappers work and discuss the efficiency and different kinds that are widely available. We’ll go over some of the pros and cons of each type. Then I’ll narrow it down to the best options based on your exact needs.
Our Top Picks
|Top PickFlowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect KillerTop Pick||Check Current Price|
|Best IndoorAspectek 20W Electronic Bug ZapperBest Indoor||Check Current Price|
|USB-PoweredMozi Mosquito VacuumUSB-Powered||Check Current Price|
|Most VersatileLumaPest 7 Watt UV Light Insect KillerMost Versatile||Check Current Price|
|Bulb StyleLumaPest Insect Bug Zapper BulbBulb Style||Check Current Price|
|Battery PowerENKEEO 2-in-1 Lantern Mosquito KillerBattery Power||Check Current Price|
Best Bug Zappers
1. Best Outdoor Bug Zapper
It’s hard not to sing the praises of the Flowtron electronic insect killer. With up to an acre of coverage (43,560 square feet) this thing kills bugs like a dream. It comes with an Octenol attractant that lures in mosquitos, and its UV light bulb does wonders at drawing all manner of other flying critters.
Fair warning, though: the Flowtron really does draw all sorts of bugs, so if you want to relax in your yard, you’ll want this at least 25-30 feet away from where you plan to be. Otherwise, you may find yourself surrounded by all of the bugs who’re being enticed by the attractant or the light bulb. Suddenly, you’ll discover you’re on the mosquito’s menu too!
Seriously, though, if you have a large outdoor space, this is perfect for you. There are models which have half-acre coverage or less as well, if you’ve got less space to cover. The Flowtron will keep the pests away from you so that you can properly enjoy stargazing in your yard without being eaten alive.
2. Best Indoor and Outdoor Bug Zapper
While this is not the strongest in terms of wattage (the Aspectek beats this one quite easily), this LumaPest model still does its job. Its vertical tube alignment allows for a more streamlined look visually, and a screw-off catch basin at its base catches most of the bugs it kills.
This is one of the top bug zappers on the market, but it does not handle everything. A large indoor insect like moths will be drawn to the light but will have a hard time making it inside due to the narrow spacing in the outside housing. While it handily takes out flies, from fruit flies all the way through big horseflies, it sometimes has a harder time as a mosquito zapper as certain species seem not to be affected.
Its shape enables it to be easily hung lantern-style in most environments. However, this is an electric insect zapper that does need to be plugged in, and its 6′ cord means you’ll probably need it relatively close to the house if using it outdoors. Indoors, of course, it’s easy to place and use.
Despite some small faults, this is still a very functional model and well worth spending your money on. Plus, it has a great warranty – if you have a problem, simply contact the manufacturer!
3. Best Indoor Corded Bug Zapper:
This specific Aspectek indoor model bis the one that I find myself using the most often, and for good reason: it works. Made in a horizontal light style, it is boxy and visually not much to look at, but for sheer functionality it’s worth its weight in gold.
The Aspectek has an outer shielding which protects you from accidentally touching the charged mesh within. Its pair of bulbs are replaceable when they burn out. A catch tray on the bottom captures most of the flying insects, although I do find that some escape containment. Because of this, it’s best to place this in an area which is easy to clean up.
It can be hung up by two small hooks placed on either side, or used as a standing model. I find myself using it as a standing model more often, as it can be placed near entrance points for the house easily.
For me, this is the best indoor bug zapper, but it will win no awards for its visual appeal. If you want something stylish in your house, there’s other options out there. But if you want better results than a fly swatter, get this.
4. Best Indoor USB Bug Catcher:
With the Mozi Mosquito Vacuum, you have a very quiet, very effective device… but it doesn’t zap.
Designed to be compact and powered by a USB cable, this device emits an irresistible UV light that will entice insects close. The minute they’re at the light, they’re sucked into the catchbasin at the bottom of the unit, all without that classic “zot” sound.
Available in two colors, white or black, this may not technically be a bug zapper but it’s effective nonetheless. Since the reason for a bug zapper is to stop the bugs from getting you, anything that functions as designed is worth looking into!
5. Best Bulb Style Bug Zapper
My personal preference is to avoid bulb-style zappers. After all, they need to be screwed into a light socket, which means that they’re right there in your personal space. And the closer that you are to your zapper, the more likely it is you’ll get bit by an insect that’s drawn to it.
But I can’t dispute that these are handy killers. For people who’re apartment-dwellers and find that they have insect problems on their balcony, placing one of these up high on the wall or in the balcony roof may deal with the majority of their pest issues. LumaPest makes one of the best outdoor bug light bulbs on the market, and it works extremely well.
There’s no concern about it lacking power, too. As long as your bulb socket is on, your bulb has ample killing force for anything which it might encounter. It’s quiet and extremely weatherproof. So if you’d like a bug zap bulb that works, this is a great pick for you!
6. Best Battery Operated Bug Zapper
Extremely portable, the Enkeeo is designed for people who love the outdoors. Easily hung inside a tent while camping, this model can act as both a traditional light source or a mosquito-killing machine. Completely waterproof, you can easily rinse off any insects it’s killed. It’s lightweight and easy to carry in your gear, yet has sturdy construction.
Enkeeo promises 15 hours of uninterrupted mosquito-killing time on its zapper setting, or up to 20 hours of light when used as a standard lamp. If you’re looking for a battery operated model, this is the best for your money.
7. Best Bug Trap
If you have a problem with your bug population, this insect trap is a great way to go. DynaTrap’s insect trap catches mosquitos, moths, biting flies, stink bugs, and a whole host of other pests within its lured confines.
For the nighttime insects, a glowing UV light will draw them steadily closer to the trap. Once in range, a CO2 producer will entice insects to come right up to the trap, and then its whisper-quiet fan will suck them straight inside.
But it’s not only meant for nighttime pests! This also works well on daytime pests, and can easily suck in wasps and hornets, yellow jackets and Asian beetles, ensuring that you’re at no risk of being bitten or stung no matter when you’re outdoors.
You will not have that satisfying ZZZZZZZT! sound notifying you of the insect’s demise, alas. That’s not the nature of a silent killer like this trap. However, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that no matter what, the bugs won’t bother you. And that’s a plus.
8. Other Good Choices
An unusual model, this LumaPest tabletop model can be used as a zapper or as a non-zapping insect catching device. A small fan will suck insects out of the air and down into a catch container, where they will starve and die. If needed, simply plug it in and it’ll easily take out larger insects like moths or wasps, too.
Very few models on the market are designed in a way that makes them moth-compatible, and so if you find that your nighttime pests tend to be of the larger variety, invest in this device. Similarly, it draws mosquitos due to its unique water tray. Mosquitos which are looking for a breeding location will seek out stagnant water, and when they near this trap, they’re sucked right in.
It’s a great alternative to the more traditional insect zappers, and well worth every penny!
Similar to the Aspectek, the PestZilla is a horizontal bulb model. I’ve owned one of these in the past as well, and for me, the real difference between the two comes into play if you plan on hanging it.
Where the Aspectek has hanging hooks on the outsides of the unit, the PestZilla has them on top of the unit. It can more easily tilt on its chain than the Aspectek does. If you plan on hanging up your device, opt for the Aspectek model.
But if you tend to set yours on a flat surface like I do, you’ll find that the PestZilla is just as functional as the Aspectek. It’s also cheaper in terms of pricing. Both are 20-watt devices, both kill bugs equally well. The only caution I have is how it hangs.
How Does A Bug Zapper Work?
These gadgets are actually super simple. They’re made up of a few parts:
- an exterior casing, also referred to as a housing
- a fluorescent light that attracts insects (usually ultraviolent light)
- wire electric grids inside the casing and around the light
- a transformer to create an electric charge
Occasionally, there are a few additional lure components to try to assist in drawing insects near.
When the light or other attractants catch the attention of an insect, it will move towards the light or attractant. This means it will go through the exterior housing and try to reach the light. The metal grid then electrocutes the bug.
Many zappers have catch trays to hold dead bugs that’ve been killed by the device. This makes cleanup of the dead insects easy.
Do They Actually Kill Bugs?
That depends on the type of insect that you’re trying to zap, actually!
While flies and moths are easily lured by the ultraviolet light, some insects are less interested. Often, we buy a zappers to deal with more than just flies. For me personally, mosquitos are also of concern. While they can be interested in the light, mosquitos tend to be more attracted to the smell of human sweat, or possibly carbon dioxide from your breath.
Because of insects that are drawn for alternate reasons, zappers nowadays often include pheromone lures or carbon dioxide emitters in addition to the light. That way, they will catch a wider range of insects. Finding a mosquito zapper with one of these added lures will work better overall.
There’s only one thing to be concerned about: many beneficial insects can be lured by that tantalizing UV light as well. Since many insects use UV markings on plants to know where to go, a light is like a beacon, just luring them closer. And, well, ZAP. It’s good to be mindful of the placement of your zapper to avoid harming your beneficial insect population.
Types Of Bug Zappers
There are a few key styles, so let’s go over some of the most common types.
Horizontal Light Zappers
These are typically large, boxy units intended for indoor use. A large mesh grid covers the two largest sides, allowing insects to enter and get zapped. There’s a number of different models on the market, but the most effective ones are in the 20 watt range.
Vertical Light Zappers
As the light bulb placement in these is vertical, this style of zapper is more easily made waterproof and thus can be used in indoor outdoor settings. Many of these have a plastic exterior housing which protects the user from accidentally touching the charged metal grid inside. Because of the light placement, these can be made to look like lanterns or other more stylish light styles, instead of looking boxy and plain.
Bug Zapper Light Bulbs
Made to fit into a standard socket, this is a light bulb that also has a zapping component. Typically, these are intended for use in a sheltered location out of the rain, as they don’t have any additional protection. These are often used as a combination porch light. While they don’t offer much light for us, they do help kill off insects in their placement area.
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