Looking for the best mosquito zappers?
You’re in the right place!
In this guide, you can expect to learn:
- What are mosquito zappers and how do they work?
- Do mosquito zappers actually kill mosquitoes around your yard?
- What to look for when buying them?
- Our top 3 picks
Ed has been working in the pest control industry for years helping 1,000's of homeowners navigate the world of insect and rodent management. He manages Pest Strategies now helping homeowners around the world!
What Are Mosquito Zappers?
Mosquito zappers are basically electrocution devices for mosquitoes. No-one really knows who exactly invented them but the idea has been around since 1911.
Since then, the concept of a zapper hasn’t changed much, only now there are a lot more choices on the market.
That’s where we can help!
How Do Mosquito Zappers Work?
Anyone who has ever watched moths and flies buzzing around a lightbulb knows that most insects are attracted to light. Most bug zappers take advantage of this and use a bright UV light (which is why they are also known as lamps) to attract the bugs and electricity to kill them.
Mosquitoes are a little bit different from your average fly; they are attracted to the carbon dioxide we breathe out and our sweat. So if your biggest enemy is mosquitoes, having a bug zapper that emits carbon dioxide or other similar attractants will increase your chances of actually killing those blood sucking nuisances.
Zappers come in all shapes and sizes but each has a few basic parts.
- The attractant (light in most cases)
- The grid with the electrical current which zaps the insects
- A protective grid for small animals, fingers etc
Do Mosquito Zappers Actually Work?
The short answer is there are mixed reviews on whether or not mosquito zappers are actually that effective.
One study showed that of the thousands of bugs zapped in one evening, only a small percentage killed were actually biting insects. But there are also people who say they are extremely effective at keeping mosquito numbers down.
The great thing about zappers is you don’t need to spray chemicals on yourself or in your backyard in order to have some relief from mosquitoes.
Where can mosquito zappers be used?
We’ve all forgotten to close the door during mosquito season and have had to deal with a backyard and a house full of those whining bugs.
Luckily you can buy zappers that would work both indoors and outdoors or find one built specifically for one area or another, depending on where you plan to use it.
Indoor mosquito zappers
As annoying as trying to sleep with those mosquitoes following you down under the covers is, having a zapper in your room could also cause sleeplessness. If you prefer a dark room, the light on the zapper could be just as annoying.
Plus, since the zapper is running constantly with a slight electrical current there is a low humming noise. And there will be small zapping noises as the mosquitoes get zapped.
Bottom line: if you are looking for a zapper for indoors, make sure it’s specifically for indoors as it will have additional (or less) features to make it more inconspicuous
Outdoor mosquito zappers
There are so many reasons why you’d want to use a mosquito zapper outdoors, besides the fact that mosquitoes come from out there.
Think about camping and backyard events during the summer… exactly.
One thing to pay attention to if you are using a zapper outdoors, such as at a backyard BBQ, is what they call ‘scattering’. When an insect is zapped, it could explode into tiny, invisible pieces and if you keep the trap quite close to the people eating or cooking. You do not want any bacteria-carrying insect to be spread all over your spread. That would impress your guests even less than the hordes of mosquitoes eating them as they eat.
Most zapper manufacturers recommend keeping zappers at least 10 feet away from people anyways.
As a rule, try to place them in between the source (ie the forest or hedge) and you so you’re not just attracting them to yourself.
What To Consider When Buying A Mosquito Bug Zapper?
What you should look for in a mosquito zapper of course depends on where you are planning to use it. If you were going to use it camping you’d want something that was durable and portable. If it is supposed to help maintain your backyard as a peaceful, pleasant getaway, it wouldn’t need to be portable but you’d want one with a good range.
A few notes to consider when choosing a zapper would be the following:
Construction and Design
How the zapper is designed and built is important for deciding which zapper will be the best for your situation.
A few questions you should ask yourself while eyeing up a zapper are:
What is the power source?
Battery or plug in?
This will affect portability as well as where you can use it. A battery powered zapper would be perfect for camping (as long as you didn’t bring empty batteries) and a plug in would be ideal for a more permanent spot.
What material the zapper is made out of will affect durability and how well the zapper will blend into your landscape, as well as waterproof-ness and the ability to stand up to some wind, the baking sun and possibly raccoons.
Does the zapper you’re looking at have an insect collection tray of some sort? If your zapper is going to be on a table (without food: remember the ‘scattering’) a removable collection tray for dead bugs is best for quick and easy clean up.
The distances the zapper will work to lure in mosquitoes will have a huge effect on how well you can control populations.
Of course, how big of a range you need will again depend on where you plan to use your zapper because no one will need a zapper with a two acre range for in their bedroom.
Plus, you don’t want to lure in mosquitoes from neighbor Dave either. Find an appropriate range for your space and keep in mind that when the range is listed, usually that’s the radius the trap will work for and most traps will attract from 360o around.
If you have small children or pets, the temptation to touch the pretty light might be something that worries you when you think about getting a zapper. Fear not, the voltage is only high enough to fry mosquitoes and other small bugs and not high enough to harm humans.
When it comes to good bugs, safety is more of a concern. Lots of beneficial insects can also be killed by a zapper, which is not only a blow to nature’s diversity but also to your garden health. Good bugs will pollinate flowers and eat bag bugs on your plants. Considering a mosquito specific zapper with a feature that will draw in mainly mosquitoes is a smart choice.
And of course, price is important. You can go all out or you can go cheap as there are zappers for days out there to choose from. The important thing is that it does the job it’s supposed to do.
That said, here are our top picks!
Bug Zapper Product Reviews
Ready to jump into each of the product we looked at? Great, take a look at the below product breakdowns.
Lulu Home Electric Bug Zapper
This bug zapper from Lulu features a blue UV light that attracts mosquitoes and other flying pests. Then, once inside the trap, the insect receives a lethal shock.
Hang it anywhere you have flying pests indoors. You can also use it on table tops or nightstands for continuous bug-killing action.
The Lulu Home Electric Bug Zapper comes with a safety screen to protect against accidental shock. So, it’s safe to use indoors around children and pets.
The Good And The Bad
- Effective against mosquitoes and most flying pests
- Can be used in almost any room
- Convenient to use and set up
- Outer screen protects against accidental shock
- May not be used outdoors
Aesthetically pleasing, simple, and available in multiple ranges/sizes besides the 40D, this zapper is one of the most popular on the market.
It comes with a cord, has a 1-acre range (smaller and larger ranges are available as different models) is highly rated by its users, and is intended for outdoor use only.
The Good And The Bad
- Zapping grill doesn't clog
- Optional octenol (mosquito attractant) inserts
- Very dependable mosquito zapping solution with great range
- Although it says insects will fall to ground, insects will collect in the bottom of lamp and will be harder to clean out
- Optional octenol attractants pricey if continually replaced