We’ve all been there: you’re set to laze on your lounge chair, tend to flowers, and later enjoy a backyard cookout with friends.
Seemingly, everything is perfect, but from nowhere, uninvited pesky guests decide to gatecrash your party, putting a damper on your fun.
See, the presence of bugs, such as flies, moths, mosquitoes, and other pesky insects, causes a lot of discomfort ultimately making your life miserable.
Mosquitoes, in particular, are nerve-wracking due to their annoying buzzy sounds and itchy bites.
Now, if you need to keep your environment free from bugs, a bug zapper offers an efficient way of eliminating bugs without getting concerned about your safety as it happens with the toxic chemical sprays.
Bug zappers, also known as fly zappers, light bulbs, fly traps, or camping lanterns, offer an effective, safe and affordable way to eliminate the bloody insect around.
Typically, bug zappers take advantage of the insect's natural attraction to light and then use electrocution or dehydration to kill the tiny creatures. They offer one of the most unique and efficient ways of eliminating bugs.
But, just like with anything else, there’re plenty of bug zappers out there. And so, choosing the right zapper for your needs might feel a bit intimidating.
Fortunately, in this piece, we review and compare some of the popular options in the market. We shall also highlight some of the crucial things you need to know to help you pick the best.
Quick Comparison Table & Our Pick
This as you would expect from us is an EPIC post so grab a coffee before you start and see how we cut through every product and review it with precision. IF YOU ARE SHORT ON TIME and need to know the results of our reviews , CHECK THE RESULTS TABLE BELOW!
9.7 x 9.7 x 16.5 in
Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer
8.5 x 8.5 x 13.5 in
Kapas Outdoor Electric Mosquito Zapper
Indoor & Outdoor
23.3 x 17.4 x 12.4 in
Other Great Recommendations
Stinger Cordless Rechargeable Insect Zapper
Indoor & Outdoor
8.36 x 8.36 x 17.39 in
Black Flag ZR-7936-L Handheld Fly Zapper
Indoor & Outdoor
0.05 x 8 x 17 in
Best Top 5 Bug Zappers in the Market for the Money
Flowtron BK-40D is the real outdoor insect magnet with wide coverage.
With long-range coverage of up to 1 acre, it’s perhaps the ideal bug zapper for your large yard.
It's quite a performer, too, and using a combination of light and electrocution technology; this zapper is capable of eliminating the annoying flying insects and other bugs effortlessly.
Features and Benefits
Flowtron BK-40D features a basic design, yet it complements your existing lighting system.
It’s a weatherproof option, too, with the polycarbonate lantern house preventing the zapper from fading, cracking or rusting.
While the material construction serves the durability purpose, it also translates to better aesthetics.
Many of the users reported using Flowtron BK-40D for several seasons without the zapper breaking down.
Flowtron BK-40D is undoubtedly built to last and withstand typical weather.
Flowtron BK-40D is available in a tapered lantern house, featuring a 4-watt UV bulb and an electrified grill.
The bulb attracts the bugs, and when they get close, they’re zapped by the powerful transformer.
Some of the bugs will fall through the bottom of the lantern, while others stick directly to the light.
Light attracts bugs more than anything else. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your outdoor lighting or the enthralling of a zapper.
Now, if you’re never comfortable at your backyard because of the bug, or don’t have the energy to keep swatting mosquitoes, you’ll be better off with this bug zapper.
The UV bulb offers a convenient way to attract the bugs for elimination.
The only question is whether Flowtron BK-40D is capable of killing the pesky insects.
The zapping action of Flowtron BK-40D is pretty interesting and effective, too.
Now, assuming you switch the zapper on, the bulb's compelling UV light attracts the insects.
Once they get close enough to the bulb light, they get electrocuted by the powerful voltage transformer.
While in operation, you might hear the popping sounds of the insects as they get eliminated, and at times, it might even send the zapped insects on your way if you’re close enough.
Flowtron BK-40D is a versatile bug zapper, and it’s designed to eliminate all forms of insects.
See, the light doesn't always attract some bugs such as mosquitoes, but this zapper has a solution for such bugs.
It features a cartridge containing octenal, a chemical that readily attracts biting insects.
However, if you’re sensitive to chemicals, you don’t have to use the cartridge.
Flowtron BK-40D has a generous coverage of 1-acre.
For those with smaller yards, the coverage might be on the higher side, and might even attract neighboring bugs.
However, for those needing to cover a large area, it can’t get any better than Flowtron BK-40D.
As with any other electric equipment, safety is paramount when operating Flowtron BK-40D.
Fortunately, the zapper is designed to keep the little hand and pets from getting zapped.
The grated exterior polycarbonate grid with small openings keeps the small fingers away from electrocution.
Still, it's prudent you take precautions and hang the lantern higher away from kids' reach.
Setting up this zapper is pretty straightforward.
All you've to do is figuring where to hang it since it features a strong metal hook at the top.
For the best performance, hook the zapper to a tree or metal pole.
The only real drawback of this zapper is the bright light. The light can, at times, get a bit dizzying, especially to those with sensitive eyes.
However, you can avoid this by placing the zapper at least 25 feet from your household.
- Effective bug elimination technology
- Durable build
- Extensive coverage
- Uses both light and chemicals to attract bugs
- Bulb light is too bright
Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer - Best for Average Yards
Looking to hold a cookout with friends and family, without worrying too much about the bugs?
The Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer is a great zapper to have and will not engage a mosquito Armageddon to benefit neighbors.
Instead, it only covers half an acre, a range well within a majority of the yards.
Its step down to the Flowtron BK-40D we’ve just reviewed above.
Features and Benefits
Flowtron BK-15D is designed with the same high build quality as its larger sibling.
It’s a reliable and durable option that doesn’t skimp on the performance.
It’s also a long-lasting and a weatherproof option that will stand up to whatever Mother Nature throws.
Notably, the top has a steel exterior acting like a pitched roof of a home, allowing rainwater to safely drip down the edges, far from the electrical grid and the UV lamp.
The zapper is around 8.5 x 8.5 x 13.5 inches, and depending on where you want to place it, it can be a bit large. However, it doesn't necessarily mean it's an issue since all you've to do is to take some measurements.
High Voltage Transformer
Flowtron BK-15D zapping performance is astonishing in its own right.
The high voltage transformer is effective at zapping the bugs and will eliminate all the bugs around.
Another cool feature with the transformer is that it runs without interruption, and so, you can leave it to run continuously, while at the same time eliminating the bugs.
Double Lure System
Same as Flowtron BK-40D, Flowtron BK-15D uses both a 15-Watt bulb and pheromone cartridges to attract insects.
The chemical attractant lures the biting insects such as mosquitoes, while the UV light from the bulb draws any type of insects.
Together, the double lure system forms a system that is just as effective during the night as it is during the day.
The double-lure system is effective at dealing with nearly any type of flying insect.
So, whether you’re worried about flies, moth, beetles, mosquitoes or gnats, this zapper can eliminate all of them.
The only flying insects it can’t handle are the bees and yellow jackets since they’re not attracted to light.
The biggest issue with most of the bug zappers is clogging. When the zapper gets too clogged with bugs, it short-circuits, causing the unit to fail.
However, you don't have to worry about that with this zapper because it's designed using a patented, non-clogging grid to protect it from getting back up and failing.
So, the zapper offers an effective, uninterrupted coverage than other zappers do.
Another issue with zappers is they're too open and can attract and kill other animals. Plus, the electric current can harm your curious kids, too.
However, Flowtron BK-15D is encapsulated with a grid protecting other animals and kids from touching the transformer.
- Nice design
- Easy to set up
- Ideal for medium-sized yards
- Short cable
Kapas Outdoor Electric Mosquito Zapper - Most Aesthetic
Kapas Outdoor Electric Mosquito Zapper is yet another effective outdoor electric bug zapper allowing you to eliminate bugs around.
It’s a safe and reliable option, too, and according to users, it comes with every desirable feature you would need in the best zappers.
Features and Benefits
For an outdoor bug zapper, design quality and material construction are of the essence.
Fortunately, this option is built to last.
It features durable and reliable construction, allowing it to stand to the rigors of the outdoor.
Handling is also easy for this zapper, and while certainly not the lightest option on our list, it’s portable, a feature making it suitable for use both indoors and outdoors.
The compact nature alongside the lightness also gives you the option of targeting where to place the zapper.
Similar to all the electrical zappers on our list, this option includes a blue-light for attracting the bugs and charged metal grills for eliminating the bugs through electrocution.
The overall zapping structure of this zapper is quite effective and will ensure all the bugs are eliminated and none of the escape.
Kapas Outdoor Electric Mosquito Zapper is an outdoor insect trap, serving to kill all types of bugs within a one-acre range.
The extensive range means you can now say goodbye to the irritants as the zapper protects your home and your compound.
Kapas Outdoor Electric Mosquito Zapper is highly efficient at killing any flying insects and bugs.
The efficiency of the zapper is largely because it employs a modern style of technology consisting of high voltage grids, UV rays, and non-clogging grids to eliminate bugs.
Kapas Outdoor Electric Mosquito Zapper is equally a safe option, even around kids and pets.
For starters, the zapper employs black bulbs that aren’t harmful to human beings.
More importantly, however, the zapper features an outer mesh protecting the users from coming into contact with the high voltage transformer.
- Reliable zapping performance
- Ideal for both indoors and outdoors
- Too much bright light
Stinger Cordless Rechargeable Insect Zapper - Best for Portability
If you need a bug zapper built for portability and ease of use, you can’t go wrong with the Stinger Insect Zapper.
It’s a rechargeable option, meaning it an ideal option for use on the go, and it’s not limited by the length of the cable or availability of power.
But is the model, alongside its features, the right option for you?
Features and Benefits
Stinger Insect Zapper is designed to handle the rigors of both the outdoors and the indoors.
It’s a sturdy and durable option that will serve you for a long time to come.
The greatest benefit of this zapper is the portability element.
It’s a cordless option and uses a rechargeable battery, making it quite portable.
And so, it’s easy to move the zapper with ease.
You can even take the zapper with you during camping or picnic to ensure a disturbance-free and fun stay.
The compact and lightness also help with the portability element, and it won't wear you even when carrying it for extended periods.
Good Battery Life
With a rechargeable option, it’s only natural that you’re interested in the battery life.
Fortunately, Stinger Insect Zapper uses lithium-ion batteries with a run time of 3.5 hours when operating at full blast.
It’s not the highest run time, but rechargeable batteries ensure you can use the zapper even in places where electricity isn’t available.
Again, the batteries mean you're not in any way restricted to where you can place the zapper as it doesn't require cable.
Stinger Insect Zapper uses UV light to lure the flying bugs.
At full light, it emits light capable of luring insects from farther away.
It also features a robust electric grill, powerful enough to kill the insects that come into contact with it instantly.
With such a powerful light, Stinger Insect Zapper also doubles up as a regular lamp for lighting.
If you place several of these zappers 10-14 feet apart, you might as well enjoy lighted outdoor, with minimal interruptions from the pesky bugs.
Stinger Insect Zapper is a safe option since it doesn't involve the use of chemicals to kill insects.
It also has a generous range, covering an area of about 625 square feet.
It’s also suitable for use both indoors and outdoors.
Easy to Clean
Cleaning the Stinger Insect Zapper is quite easy.
It comes with an in-built removable tray and bug disposal to make cleaning easy.
Removing the tray doesn’t require any professional expertise, either.
- Easy to use
- No restrictions on use
- Limited battery run time
Black Flag ZR-7936-L Handheld Fly Zapper
Black Flag ZR-7936-L is a handheld bug zapper, resembling a tennis racquet.
Though it’s primarily made for the hot summer nights when you need to be outside, it can also be a great indoor option, especially when chilling and catching your latest show.
Features and Benefits
Black Flag ZR-7936-L is a mid-sized option, with a modest dimension and an average weight of 0.6 pounds.
It’s quite a compact and lightweight option, so it’ll rarely fatigue you even when used for extended periods.
It’s such a lightweight option that even women and seniors find joy in using the racquet.
Despite the compact size, this baby is powerful as it packs 2750 bolts of power, sufficient for killing bugs and insects.
Additionally, it's also energy save and environmentally friendly option too.
It's also highly versatile and can be used both indoors and outdoors.
Easy to Use
Using this zapper is easy, as all you've to do is push a button to activate it.
From there, all you've to do is take a well-aimed swipe, and the insects will be killed on contact.
It's particularly easy to use, eliminating the high pitched micro mosquitoes.
Storage for this racquet is also easy as it features a handle, which lets you hang it either outside or inside, ready for the next time you need it.
Black Flag ZR-7936-L comes with a 3-layered mesh, two of them electrically grounded on each side.
They’re positioned there to protect your fingers from he charged mesh.
- Easy to use
- Reasonably priced
- Hassle to use
Best Bug Zapper Buying Guide
With plenty of options in the market, choosing the right bug zapper for your needs might feel quite challenging.
The good news is, we’ve compiled a comprehensive buying guide to help with your selection process.
But first, let’s look at the different types of bug zappers in the market.
Types of Bug Zappers
There’re different types of bug zappers, but we shall only look at the three popular options.
- Insect Traps
These zappers work by luring insects to the device with light, and then a vacuum sucks them into a chamber.
The chamber on the insect trap contains a dehydrating agent that sucks the life out of the insects.
- Electronic Zappers
The electronic zappers also use light to lure the insects into the device.
However, rather than trapping the insects, they electrocute them when they touch the unit’s grid. There’s usually a tray at the bottom of the zapper that catches the debris.
- Electric Swatters
The electric swatters resemble a tennis racket, and they run on batteries.
The mesh surface features an electric grid that electrocutes the insects when you wave the swatter at them.
Features to Consider When Purchasing a Bug Zapper
Now that we know the various types of bug zappers, let's look at the features to consider when selecting a bug zapper.
- Indoor/Outdoor Use
Some zappers are designed for use inside your house, while others are designed for use in the field.
Some of the common types of indoor zappers are insect traps, electronic zappers, and electric swatter. Most of these don't release any harmful chemicals, and their range is pretty limited.
On the other hand, outdoor zappers are designed for use in the field.
Most of these zappers are bulky and have extensive coverage.
Common types of outdoor zappers include; solar-powered zappers, battery-powered zappers, and garden-lamp combo.
A zapper range is a crucial feature, and you need to pick one with a large enough range to cover the area you need to eliminate bugs.
However, the biggest range is usually not the best: many homeowners make the mistake of buying a zapper with an extended range, which only ends up attracting bugs from the neighboring yards and areas, as opposed to killing pests already present.
To find the best zapper range, measure your yard, and choose a zapper with a range fitting the area you’re trying to protect.
- Noise Level
The fan-based zappers normally generate a low humming noise operation. On the other hand, the electric-based zappers might generate a popping sound when the insects are killed.
Whatever model you pick, you should always ensure you pick one that is quiet as possible, especially if you plan to use it in your bedroom, nursing area, or study room.
The design and elimination process of your zapper will depend on the type of insect you need to target.
For instance, zappers using light as an attractant are suitable for bugs such as moths, mayflies, crane flies, and beetles.
And because light doesn’t attract all insects, you may want to choose a zapper that lets you add chemical attractants. This is the case of biting insects such as mosquitoes.
Finally, if you choose a zapper that electrocutes insects, choose one designed to protect you from accidental contact, so you don’t end up injuring yourself, your kids or pets.
Depending on your needs and budget, you might also pick a zapper with a timer, which turns off the zapper on or off on a programmed schedule.
Bug zappers offer an effective and hassle-free way to eliminate the bugs.
And depending on the model, you can also get an option free of the toxic chemicals, so you won’t need to worry about your health.
The above-listed bug zappers will allow a more efficient bug elimination, and all you’ve to do is pick a model suiting your needs.