This guide is devoted to bug zappers, their mode of operation and types of outdoor and indoor bug zappers. We relied on scientific studies conducted in this area to find out what products should be viewed as the best bug zappers. In addition, we have analyzed customer feedback and compiled reviews on its basis.
3 Best Indoor Bug Zappers
Electric Bug Zapper Swatter
Pest Venator Bug Zapper Bulb
Aspectek 20W Bug Zapper
4,000-Volt electric grid kills the insect. Not waterproof
Screw it into a lamp holder or plug into the socket.
Best indoor bug zapper. Covers an area of up to 120 sqm.
What You Will Learn from This Guide:
- How Bug Zappers Work
- How Scientists Assess Bug Zapper Effectiveness
- Types Of Bug Zappers
- TOP-7 Best Bug Zappers
Actually, the first bug zapper was invented as far back as 1911 and was advertised by Popular Mechanics as a fly trap. It comprised all key elements of a modern bug zapper, such as electric light and electrified grid. The major difference perhaps is that present-day products mostly contain LED bulbs whereas their prototype was fitted with incandescent bulbs.
Besides, the producer suggested baiting the trap with meat. However, the first bug zapper turned out to be too expensive and was not successful on the market. Another attempt took place in 1932 and at that time it was patented. The bug zapper as we know it was created by a Californian professor in 1934, who developed a model close to those we have now.
Now, with the technologies developed, we have much more affordable and efficient bug zappers. How does it function? The very idea is simple: it kills mosquitoes by electrocuting them. Once the insect contacts the metal grid, it is instantly fried by an electric shock. Sometimes, the contact is not strong enough and the mosquito just falls down paralyzed. But prior to this, the insect has to be lured into the trap and this task is the most complicated one.
The main enticement here is the light and this is why researchers are grappling with a problem of enhancing the lamp productivity. Some models allow for placing baits in the trap as an additional attractant but since most of such baits are chemical ones, they are not advised for the use indoors.
As we can see, the efficiency of a bug zapper is mainly attributable to the lamp’s capability of drawing particular pests. An important role here play its brightness and color. The studies demonstrate that LED lamps are brighter than regular ones and, hence, produce better results. This was scientifically proved. So, scientists at Nebraska-Lincoln University have revealed that traps fitted with LED bulbs produce more intensive light while consuming less energy compared to incandescent lamps.
Why opt for a LED lamp?
Now let’s move to the bulb brightness. The brighter it is, the more insects are brought in. But when measuring the bulb brightness, don’t look at wattages since it is the number of lumens that matters. The best mosquito zapper should be fitted with a lamp that has 1100 lumens and more.
For comparison, an 1100-lumen lamp is adequate to a 100-watt regular lamp while a 750-lumen lamp is about as bright as a 75-watt regular lamp. Bulbs with less amount of lumens should not be considered as they are not productive enough to attain an objective. So, why LED bulbs should be preferred?
The difference is that LED bulbs consume less energy and at the same time they really look brighter. Studies demonstrate that LED bulb traps help catch more pests than conventional ones, epidemiologists discovered. Secondly, they are cost-efficient and operate longer.
The wavelength range is another key factor. Mosquitoes do not perceive all colors of the light equally. In particular, they almost don’t see the red and yellow but are lured by the blue and green. Expressed in figures, this is the range between 400 and 600 nm. An article featured by Entomology Today states: “More recent studies have shown that light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which emit specific wavelengths instead of the entire visual spectrum (and beyond), can be more efficient at attracting mosquitoes.”
Do bug zappers really work?
Nevertheless, many scientists are still skeptical. “Research has shown that bug zappers provide little mosquito control and actually kill more beneficial insects than pests,” scientists with Texas A&M AgriLife claim.
Indeed, if you have swarms of all sorts of insects, they will easily get into the trap, filling your zapper with fried bugs rather than mosquitoes. The latter will account for at most four percent of the total amount. Another weak point is that once it is turned on, it will gather all flying guys from around the area. And their number will inevitably exceed the amount of the killed ones. This is the fall-out you will have to deal with.
Then, how to increase the productivity? For outdoor bug zappers, experts with the University of California come up with an idea of adding chemical baits to make the unit more appealing to pests. Besides, locate any sticky surface beneath to catch those insects that managed to avoid the trap. Still, when choosing an item, bear in mind that indoor bug zappers provide better protection and kill more target insects than outdoors ones. When using indoors, place it in areas with high mosquito traffic.
Given the said weak points, why should we choose a bug zapper as a tool of eradicating mosquitoes? There is a number of reasons:
- They allow for avoiding the application of chemicals, which is particularly meaningful when you need to get rid of mosquitoes inside the house.
- Unlike regular sticky traps, they are reusable.
- Portable and can be mounted almost everywhere, without raising health concerns or causing inconvenience.
- A typical metallic grid can be cleaned easily with a dry cloth.
With technologies developed and demand on the rise, producers increasingly come up with new ideas. Now, we have a range of zappers that are appropriate for each particular case. Let’s get started.
A bug zapper swatter is a modern and efficient way to quickly fry mosquitoes approaching you. An added benefit is that this product helps to develop healthy lifestyle patterns. Also, instead of getting irritated by troublesome insects, you will find it quite entertaining. The racket electrocutes more mosquitoes than other zappers because it is the person who spots and targets the insect. There are two downsides though: you can get tired quickly and the electric swatter is not rainproof.
Bulb zappers. The strong point of a bulb zapper lies in its convenience. Portable and easy-to-use, such bulb be installed in the house or outside it, wherever a source of electricity is accessible. You will have just to plug it into the socket. You can also carry it around on a trip, without worrying about the added weight of the luggage. The weak point is that it is not powerful enough for a full-fledged mosquito control.
Portable bug zappers. If you find the bulb too simple, try portable bug zappers. These options have more sophisticated grid eliminating mosquitoes with the lamp concealed behind it. The major disadvantage is that most of them are not designed for using outdoors.
USB-powered. But what should you do when camping or hiking where no sockets are available? In this case, use a USB-powered product that can be connected to an adapter or PC. The downside is that it requires an equipment with a USB port to be nearby.
Indoor bug zappers. To considerably decrease the amount of mosquitoes, you may need something bigger and more potent. Something like an Aspectek-type bug zapper that covers a significant area — some 5,000 sq ft or more. It has a long lifespan since typically bulbs can be replaced there. Such products are popular with restaurants, hospitals and other public spaces as well as homes. The downside lies in their non-waterproof design, which makes them appropriate for indoor use only.
Outdoor bug zappers. As a rule, the best outdoor bug zappers are associated with those under the famous brand of Flowtron. These are big street lamps covering an area of up to two acres. Since such units are very powerful, they are equipped with a protective frame. Still, they shouldn’t be placed close to the site where people gather.
For those who favour eco-friendly and advanced technologies, there are products powered by solar energy. These are the best bug zapper for mosquitoes to be installed in the garden or patio. Apart from evident benefits of renewable energy, such as energy consumption and the possibility to recharge the unit, they turn on and off automatically depending on the time of day.
We have chosen seven bug zappers of different types that are available on Amazon.com. An electric swatter will appeal to sportive people and children. Portable bug zappers are convenient for traveling, while a big indoors bug zapper ensures the mosquito protection in the house. A lantern and solar-powered units are good for relaxing in the open air in a mosquito-free zone.
This option combines benefits of human energy and precision of modern technologies. You see a mosquito, you swat it and the 4,000 Volt electric grid kills the target. You may do these exercises inside the house or in the open air — unless it is raining. Feel free to carry the racket with you when traveling since it can be recharged from any USB device.
It can be activated by pressing the button on the handle. It can also be used as a regular bug zapper with the LED light drawing mosquitoes at night. The item at a price of ~$23.99 has gained 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon. As for the effectiveness, this is the best bug zapper for mosquitoes.
It is multifunctional and can be utilized as a regular lamp or a mosquito killer. As zapper, it can operate with the LED bulb or without it. The pests are enticed by ultraviolet light and when they get into the trap, they are fried by electric shock. It operates noiselessly, with just a sound of crack heard when an insect is trapped.
The unit can be easily mounted — screw it into a lamp holder or plug into the socket through the adapter. It is designed to be exploited both indoors or outside the house but is not protected from rains. Since the LED bulb consumes less energy — just 10 watts — the product can be left switched on day and night, without increasing your bills. It is available at a price of ~$13.49.
This item is the best indoor bug zapper, the most powerful and reliable one. Both sides are open to electrocute mosquitoes while a protective screen prevents any potential harm to people and pets. The grid emits 2,800 Voltage, which is less than that of an electric swatter though.
Two prolonged LED lamps will surely be visible to mosquitoes, significantly increasing the numbers of captured pests. They consume just 10 watts each and are very efficient. The protected area amounts up to 120 square meters.
Place it on the floor or use a special chain supplied with the product for hanging it on a vertical surface. Priced at ~$31.68, it is easy to maintain. To clean it from the fried insects, remove a convenient tray beneath.
Being an electric unit like other bug zappers, this one functions in a different way. It draws insects by imitating carbon dioxide and kills them by means of a big built-in fan. Another peculiarity lies in its method of consuming energy — through a USB port.
It is cleaned without a mess, with a removable storage box located beneath. The producer says the item lasts long, up to 20,000 hours. But remember that when using an indoor bug zapper, you should not expose it to rainfall. It can be purchased at a price of ~$29.99, with a rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars.
An outdoor bug zapper shaped as a classic lantern is capable of protecting as much as an acre. It can be considered the best outdoor bug zapper, ensuring a non-stop operation, uninterruptedly struggling with bloodsuckers in the yard.
A LED lamp consuming just 15 watts is easy replaceable, while the rugged, rustless and water-resistant construction will successfully resist heavy weather conditions. It costs ~$45.67 and has gained 4.0 out of 5 stars in Amazon reviews. Customers suggest hanging the lantern far away from the house as it really brings in lots of insects and produces a zapping sound. This is the simplest member of Flowtron family.
The average outdoor model with a capacity of 80 watts costs ~$66.48 and covers 1-1/2 acre. To increase its effectiveness, many customers buy an optional exclusive Octenol mosquito-instinctive lure attractant cartridge (6-pack), which is activated when the unit is turned on ($39).
The most expensive ($284) and powerful (120 watts) commercial Industrial-size Diplomat model can be used both outdoor и indoor, covering 1,200 sq ft.
When installing a bug zapper in the garden or yard, it would be wise to take advantage of solar energy which is normally abundant by day. There will be no extra spending on batteries, no increased power bills. Instead, you get an eco-friendly unit. Moreover, it is automated, switching on at night and off in the morning. Due to the specific design, it will harmonize with the surroundings in the garden, so you may want to use it as a regular source of illumination as well.
Install it either by hanging on a tree or the porch or by placing on the flat surface. It costs ~$17.47 and has a rating of 4.0 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com. One of the customers says that after placing the product near the front door, he has noticed that the number of mosquitoes has lowered.
It is powerful, compact and lightful, which makes it useful for outdoor activities such as camping. It can be safely located close to the bed. For consumer’s convenience, it has an ergonomic handle on top so that you can carry it wherever you like.
It runs on 2200-mAh batteries, performing two functions: annihilates mosquitoes and provides an extensive illumination. It costs ~$23.99 and has the highest rating compared to other items in the list — 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com, with 97% of the customers giving it five stars.
Best Outdoor | Indoor Bug Zappers
Swatter with a 4,000-Volt electric grid
LED bulb zapper, 10W
Indoor bug zapper, 20W
USB-powered Indoor zapper
Outdoor bug zapper, 15W
|Flowtron BK-80D ||Outdoor bug zapper, 80W||~$66.48 |
|Flowtron FC-8800 ||Outdoor bug zapper, 120W||~$284 |
Solar-Powered outdoor bug zapper
Portable bug zapper, 2200-mAh batteries
How To Use Bug Zappers
First, check the instruction and follow it strictly. Before installing in the garden or on the porch, check that it is an outdoor bug zapper. Primarily, this means a rainproof design. Large units are generally put on the ground or any flat surface but many items come with chains allowing for hanging them on the wall. Portable zappers are plugged into sockets or run on batteries and usually are installed on vertical surfaces.
Bug zappers require little maintenance which is their strong point. Something needs to be done though. First, you will have to clean the trap from dead insects. So, use a rag or brush, with the latter often coming with the product. The rag should be dry and the trap should be cleaned only when switched off.
One more thing you will have to do when using certain bug zappers is to change bulbs. Some items do not allow for such a possibility and you will have to throw them away as soon as the bulb’s service life end. But most large and expensive products have changeable bulbs.