Let’s face it, there’s nothing glamorous about buying mundane essentials. But an item like a bug zapper will transform life in the outdoors this summer. If you are camping, or spending your evenings outdoors, a reliable, high quality bug zapper should be high on your shopping list.
We can easily spend the winter months forgetting about the irritation and pain of mosquito bites from last year’s camping trip. We spend our summer evenings getting eaten alive and never quite getting around to purchasing a good bug zapper. It is one of the most important items which makes life in the outdoors more pleasurable.
When you start to ask about it, it seems like everyone has a different opinion on the best way to keep mosquitos at bay. Some people swear by their citronella candle, another friend with liquid repellent, or high-tech gadgets. So while there’s a lot of different advice on how to deal with nasty bugs, there are many different solutions. To help, we’ve selected 15 high-quality bug zappers available for purchase online right now.
Our list of bug zappers considers all the options for making the right selection. We have reviewed many types of zapper including battery and rechargeable zappers to freestanding zapper lanterns, hand held zappers and UV light bulbs. Keep bugs away this summer with one of our recommendations.
Bug Zappers, what to look for
Outdoors or Indoors
One of the most important questions you need to answer before purchasing a bug zapper is where and how you will use it. Most manufacturers offer zappers for outdoor and indoor use. It is worth keeping in mind that some bug zappers are not suitable for outdoor use and should only be used indoors and vice versa.
Make sure that you know the size of the area you plan to use the zapper in. Bug zappers have many different power outputs and are designed to be effective within a given area. For example, your bug zapper may be useful for a domestic kitchen, but entirely unsuitable for a camp site setting.
You may need a zapper that catches the corpses of the dead insects. Some will have trays for this purpose where others may come without.
Get the optimum power for the setting where you will use your bug zapping device. Are you using the zapper outdoors, you will most likely need one that is battery-operated. Do you want a rechargeable zapper, or do you want one which plugs into the mains? You may be using the bug zapper on a trip and need the maximum efficiency in terms of battery life. In this case the wattage of the UV bulb becomes a factor worthy of consideration.
Type of Insect
Not all bug zappers are equal! Neither do all bug zappers tackle the same variety of insects. For example, a UV bug zapper on its own will not be the best way of dealing with mosquitos. If mosquitos are the main problem, you may wish to use a mosquito repelling bracelet, or ensure your zapper has a octenol function, which is considered more effective than simply using a UV light.
Best-rated bug zapper
1. Flowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect Killer Best-rated bug zapper
One website reviewer described this zapper as capable of “kicking ass” when it comes to all sorts of unwelcome wildlife. Our reviewer says that it killed all types of insects that came near it. Among those insects listed were mosquitos, small flies, moths and other flying insects. This bug zapper is also effective in bug-heavy environments.
Reviewers from Florida and other high humidity places described hardly noticing any biting insects after using the zapper for a few days. The Flowtron was described as effective even at peak times of insect activity. The zapper uses UV light to attract insects which are mostly active in the mornings and evenings.
Reviewers noted that adding an octenol mosquito attractant made this unit even more deadly. The Flowtron BK-40D is an amazing purchase. Mosquitos also do not stick to the zapper meaning that it is easy to clean and maintain.
2. ZAP IT! Mini Bug Zapper Best-rated (less expensive) bug zapper
This is a marked improvement on fly paper or a swatter. This small bug zapper really packs a punch and is easily as good as some of the larger models. The racquet shape is ideal for taking a good swing at bugs and the electrical netting is incredibly effective. One reviewer noted that the zapper is satisfying to use with a pop and a flash every time you kill a bug. It is one of the easiest tools on the market and is described as a one hit kill tool for the job.
There have been similar items on the market for some time. But these required 2 x AA batteries which, while lasting well in other models, simply does not offer the versatility of this rechargeable one. This zapper is not only easy to use, it is almost fun to use.
3. Flowtron FC-8800 Diplomat Fly Control Device – Best bug zapper for the outdoors
This isn’t the cheapest bug zapper on the market, but it is certainly one of the most effective. Reviewers from all over the planet raved about this high-performance tool. One reviewer described the Flowtron FC-8800 as the “Mac Daddy” of zappers. Another called it “the mother of all zappers”.
There is no doubt that this bug zapper is an incredibly powerful and effective tool. Reviewers also felt that while the cost may seem prohibitive for some shoppers, it was worth making the investment. With proper care, this unit should last a very long time.The Flowtron FC-8800 is guaranteed to earn it’s keep, whether it’s used in hot and muggy Texas Summers or in the biting midge filled highlands of Scotland.
One reviewer from southwest Louisiana says that it “kills everything”. Byt this he means that no flying insects were safe while it is operational and even the muggiest evenings outdoors will be pest free. The blue light is particularly pleasing with a reviewer expressing that his house guests were “mesmerised” watching this glowing lamp do its job.
At over $300 this bug zapper will do the job others simply aren’t up to.
4. Dekugaa Electric Bug Zapper – Best indoor bug zapper
From heavy duty expensive outdoors bug zappers to affordable indoors or outdoors zappers, the modest Dekugaa Electric Bug Zapper offers a versatile solution to pesky flying insects. The fact that the zapper is suitable for both indoors and outdoor use was a big selling point for many reviewers. One reviewer, who uses the Dekugaa in her bedroom commented that she placed the zapper on a bookshelf and within a couple of hours her space was bug-free.
This small electrical unit is particularly useful for people who compost in their kitchens at home. Composting can attract all sorts of insects from flies, moths, gnats and other types of flying pest. This zapper dealt with most of them. It was noted that you could observe the dead insects building up in the bottom of the machine. The problem of waste is dealt with effectively by wiping the dead insects into the bin.
One reviewer liked the safety credentials of using the zapper indoors. The machine has a plastic casing which protects the unit from being damaged, but also act as a barrier to the electrical elements. Reviewers also like the quietness of the Dekugaa Electric Bug Zapper with one noting that it was so quiet it could be left overnight in a bedroom.
5. Black Flag Handheld Bug Zapper – Best handheld bug zapper (battery-operated)
These are simply superb manual bug zappers. These have no attractants or UV light, but use a small electrical charge to zap bugs. It is simply a case of placing the zapper in the flight-path of one of these critters. A loud Zap will let you know if you have been successful.
The zapper uses electricity to kill bugs, so you do not need to put any vigorous effort into killing flies or gnats. You are not trying to launch the bug into next week. One touch of the zapper and the current will immediately dispatch the insect.
It was expected that there would be some concerns with the light duty application of the bug zapper. But reviewers were satisfied with performance and reported that it was useful against all sorts of insects. One user reported that insects as large as wasps, pantry moths, large spiders as well as a host of other creepy crawlies.
Another useful feature is that the active electrical part of the zapper is contained within 2 metal guards. This means that little fingers or dogs noses are safe from a small shock from this device.
In terms of battery life, this zapper performs really well. One set of batteries should last a whole summer season without needing replaced. Some reviewers commented that after a couple of years they are still using the zapper’s original batteries.
6. ZAP IT! – Best hand held bug zapper (rechargeable)
These bug zappers are essentially the same device as the previous bug zapper, except that they are fully rechargeable. “Why do both versions?” some people may ask. Simply put, if you are wilderness camping or off grid for any purpose a rechargeable zapper is far less useful than a battery version. You simply may not be able to access a USB charging port on your trip.
If a mains or USB outlet is not a problem, this rechargeable bug zapper is a perfect solution. Many reviewers leave the unit on charge most of the time and unplug it only to actively zap bugs. Other users commented that a charge lasts for a long time, with some reporting daily usage up to two weeks.
The zapper is simple to set up and use. One reviewer said “It took only a few seconds to master the zapper. Press the button while swinging it towards the bug and the job’s done.”.
A fifth of reviewers even described the device a “fun” to use. The zapper makes a satisfying “snap” as it does its job and flies tumble to the ground. One amuzing review said “I love the smell of burnt bug in the morning”. The zappers prove to be a family favourite as well. The zappers come in a pack of two, so more than one person can get in on the action. Some reviewers confessed to keeping score against other members of their household.
7. The Executioner Bug Zapper Racket – Best screenless bug-zapper racket (battery powered)
It is worth taking note that this zapper does not come with batteries included, so it is worth ordering some along with your purchase. This unit received high praise from reviewers, especially when it came to swatting and zapping larger insects. Reviewers noted that even large wasps and yellow jackets were no match for this zapper’s capabilities.
“Executioner by name, executioner by nature” was one review. The reviewer went on to write that the Executioner has been his zapper of choice for a number of years. Some reviewers added that while the zapper may be used against yellow jackets and wasps, it may not be powerful enough to take them out on the first hit. A stunned wasp or yellow jacket is not a great solution. These are potentially dangerous insects and when angered you could end up with a painful sting.
Some reviewers thought that the increased lethality of the zapper was on account of it not being sandwiched between metal screens. Keep this in mind if you live in a household with children in it. You will also need to exercise caution when operating the zapper as it can give a small and mildly painful shock if used incorrectly. The pay off however is that the absence of the screens makes the zapper more effective as you are guaranteed to make good contact with the insect on first hit.
This bug zapper is proving to be a popular, reasonably priced, effective weapon of war against larger flying insects.
8. Elucto Large Electric Bug Zapper Racket – Best bug zapper against wasps and yellow jackets.
This bug zapper comes with 2 Duracell AA batteries included. Like the zapper reviewed above, this zapper does not have protective metal screens. This feature, or lack of features certainly hasn’t deterred reviewers. One reviewer who used several of the zappers on the list commented that the Elucto racket “is the most effective bug zapper I’ve used”.
The fact it does not have protective screens was considered an advantage for dealing with yellow jackets. The direct ‘current to bug’ contact means that flying insects do not stand a chance. This zapper has also been purchased by some reviewers as an upgrade to a previous ‘racquet style’ zappers.
9. Flowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect Killer – Best overall bug zapper for outdoor use.
Flowtron is a leading name in bug zapper products, so it is no surprise that this unit was considered the far and away winner when it came to effectiveness outdoors. This zapper is mains operated, so should only be used where there is easy access to a power outlet. Not one for a wilderness adventure!
This zapper is intended for heavy duty use and has the tools to back it up. The unit uses a high powered UV light to attract sight oriented bugs while an optional bait attractor draws in CO2, scent attracted insects.
The Flowtron BK-40D has the power to eradicate insects from an area of an acre. The upgraded model may even go further in eradicating all types of flying insects. This bug zapper also means business in its construction. Built out of polycarbonate, this bug killing tool should withstand conditions outdoors all year round. One drawback however is the power cable. It could definitely be a bit longer. You will undoubtedly need an extension cord for all but the nearest to power source applications.
If you live in a home with a large backyard this bug zapper should be high on your shopping list. Also useful for stables, garages or work sheds where nuisance insects are a big problem.
10. Aspectek 20W Bug Zapper – Best for indoors insect eradication.
This bug zapper is excellent on account of its large grid and bug zapping power. This bug eradication device has some excellent features. It comes with a hanging chain included and is able to be placed upright on any flat space.
The unit works on mains power and boasts a 2,800 volt electrical bug zapping grid. This is truly the most high powered bug zapper money can buy. Safety is a key consideration for a unit of this power and this unit has a protective metal grid ensuring everything except bugs stays out!
Ideally this bug zapper should be placed on a shelf or flat surface. If it is to be fitted permanently, it can be hung on the wall. Once installed or seated properly the zapper will deal with bugs entering it from any side. The zapper is affordable, unobtrusive and powerful. It strikes the correct balance and is lethal against most flying insects. A definite strong contender for any home or workplace.
11. Aspectek Powerful – Best Cordless: Stinger Cordless Rechargeable Insect Zapper
Aspectek Powerful 20W Electronic Indoor Insect Killer Review
There are simply some applications for bug eradication where having a nearby power outlet is not an option. If this describes your needs, then the stinger Insect Zapper may be the device you need.
This machine works on current technology, no messing about with nickel cadmium or Nickel metal Hydride rechargeable batteries. This unit comes with a rechargeable lithium ion battery. This means that your bug zapper ought to run for an extended period without needing recharged. The best feature is that this zapper can also be used plugged into a mains outlet offering ultimate versatility.
The Stinger is unusual as it uses black light UV as opposed to the more common white light bulb. This means that the unit maintains optimum efficiency without emitting bothersome light in an evening or night time setting. Black light is also more attractive to insects which is an added bonus.
This light is also one of the most aesthetically pleasing units on the list. It’s lantern like appeal is suitable for any home and can be used as a normal lamp on account of it’s inbuilt LED bulbs.
12. Elucto Electric Fly Swatter – Best Racket zapper
This is the final of our racquet style zappers on the list. Battery operated, light and nimble, this swatter is an excellent remedy for flying nasties. Basic and functional it operates using 2 AA batteries. Don’t let this put you off however. With up to 2,500 volts of power, this unit will keep insects at bay.
This style of zapper is useful for small flying insects as well as large ones. It was reviewed as particularly useful for small insects like fruit flies and gnats, as well as midges and mosquitoes. Like other racquet style designs, it is operated by a push button control. The zapper remains on for as long as you press the button. No fear of unnecessary battery drain or surprise shocks with this unit.
While the swatter looks like a toy being yellow and shaped like a tennis racquet, it is worth noting that this is strictly not for children. You can get a good nip from the mesh if touched and it is best left to adults to handle. This swatter style zapper should have flies falling like…..well flies of course.