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10 Most Effective Bug Zappers of 2020 (That Actually Work)

Every spring when the weather warms up, bugs start hatching everywhere and people resume their never-ending quest for an answer to their whining and itching bites.

It’s an annual problem and you should get a jump start on it!

Many of them are stationary devices that lure bugs in, while others are handheld devices that you use at will on any of the little flying pests that come near you. 

Best Bug Zappers

If you’re interested in knowing more about bug zappers keep reading our full overview and review of bug zappers.

Otherwise, you can click here to find our top reviewed outdoor bug zapper, or click here to find our favorite handheld swatter.

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

(updated as of 2/11/2020)

Flowtron BK-40 Electric Bug Zapper

  • Stationary Zapper from Reputable Brand
  • Various Coverage Options Available (0.5 - 1.5 Acres)
  • 10,000+ Customer Reviews

Out of all of the bug zappers we reviewed, we really liked the Flowtron BK-40 as it boasts very positive reviews and has the backing of a very strong brand in Flowtron.

The rugged construction of this zapper, makes it a no-brainer pick for your outdoor needs. In order for an outdoor zapper to be effective, it needs to be able to "weather" the environment. The weatherproof frame provides solid protection to the 15 watt , high intenstiy bulb. 

Additionally, this zapper provides a USDA tested attractant in Octenol, which is a proven mosquito lure. You will have to refill these every 30 days or so; however these are super affordable like these ones by Black Flag.

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Rating: 97.50

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Rating: 97.00

Our #1 Ranked For: Termites, Bed Bugs, Fleas, and Larger Infestations

Rating: 95.70

Our #1 Ranked For: Mosquito Removal And Preventative Yard Treatment

What Are Bug Zappers?

Bug zappers are electric devices for killing flying bugs. They can be manufactured as hanging lanterns, plug-in night lights, heater-like panels that sit wherever you place them, or handheld devices that you swat the mosquitoes with.

Read More: How to Keep Flies Away

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How Do Bug Zappers Work?

Bug zappers consist of a UV light, an electric power source (cord or battery), and a metal grid. The UV light attracts mosquitoes. When they see it, especially at night, they are attracted to it just like the bugs you see flapping around football stadium lights.

The electrified grid or mesh sits in front of the UV light source. When the bugs encounter the grid they are electrocuted by it, producing the characteristic snap, crackle, and pop associated with bug zappers. A tiny spark of light usually accompanies the pop when a flying pest is killed.

The dead bugs that are killed by the zapper, fall into a catch tray at the bottom of the zapper. In the case of handheld bug zappers, the dead bugs simply fall to the ground wherever you killed them.

Read More: Best Stinkbug Traps

Bug Zapper Facts

Are Bug Zappers Effective?

This is where it gets a bit dicey. Without exception, researchers all advise people not to use bug zappers – for mosquitoes.

The reason is that mosquitoes are more attracted to heat and carbon dioxide than to UV light. Since people emit body heat and carbon dioxide, we’re more attractive to them than the bug zapper is.

Mosquitoes can detect carbon dioxide, created when we exhale, at levels as small as 50 parts per million. They may be attracted to the UV light from the bug zapper, but as soon as they detect our exhaled carbon dioxide, they change direction and head for us.

Even Octenol packets, which contain a chemical that mimics human breath, can’t compete with the real thing as an attractant. Given a choice, mosquitoes pick us every time.

Bug zappers kill huge numbers of non-mosquito bugs though because many of them are attracted by UV light. Research has demonstrated that mosquitoes are only 4.1% - 6.4% of the total number of insects killed each year by bug zappers. The rest are other flying insects.

If you’re buying an electric bug zapper to kill mosquitoes, it won’t be as effective as you’re hoping it will be. If you’re buying a bug zapper to kill flying pests such as moths, gnats, fruit flies and so on, then you’ll be well satisfied with the results you get from it.

For more information about bug zappers, check out the video below!

How to Use Bug Zappers

There are two main types of bug zappers; stationary zappers and handheld ones. Each type is used differently.

  • Stationary

The stationary bug zappers can either be the plug-in type or run on batteries, which are often rechargeable ones. These are the ones with a black light in them, either from a light bulb or LED light. They lure and kill insects who are attracted to ultraviolet light.

Some of them are designed exclusively for outdoor use and general pest control while others are only meant to be an indoor bug zapper. Some of those actually double as a night light as well as an insect killer.

  • Handheld

A handheld bug zapper, sometimes known as an electric fly swatter, typically looks like a tennis racket. When you see a flying insect headed your way, just grab it and swat them.

You don’t have to mash them against a hard surface the way you do with a regular fly swatter because in places of strings in the “racket” there is another electrified grid. This turns it into an electronic bug zapper for killing bugs in midair.

You can use handheld bug zappers inside for insect control or use it as an outdoor bug zapper. Because you can pick and choose what to swat, you can kill a large number of insects without killing beneficial insects in the process. You get a bug zapper you can aim.

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10 Best Bug Zappers Reviewed

This hanging lantern-style bug zapper has a 1-acre killing radius. It contains a 40-watt bulb for maximum black light attraction. An added attractant, in the form of an Octenol attractant packet, helps this mosquito killer draw in mosquitoes.

Zapping bugs on the non-clogging electronic grid is what this lantern is all about. It’s always on due because it’s a corded model, so you never have to worry about changing batteries. The power cord is only 9 inches long you’ll need an extension cord to use it.

This is not an inside device though. It’s designed for outdoor use only.
This lightweight tennis racket style bug zapper only weighs 8 ounces so you can swing it like a pro. Pop in two AA batteries (included) and you’re ready to go without having to wait for it to charge. It comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty.

There is a convenient activation button on the side right where your thumb would naturally go when you’re holding it. Press the button when you swing the swatter and you’ll kill those pesky critters on contact.

It’s easy to clean because there is only one layer of metal wires. Bugs won’t get caught between the layers like they do with some other electric fly swatters. If any bugs become stuck to the wires, just run a paper towel over it once and the dead bodies are gone.
This high voltage swatter from Black Flag delivers 2750 volts of power to electrocute bugs on contact. Safely eliminate biting flies of all kinds, bees, wasps, yellow jackets, and more. It can be used either inside and outside.

An LED safety light indicates when it’s on so you won’t accidentally zap yourself or someone else and it comes in three colors; black, green, and pink. It’s about a foot long, roughly the size of a racketball racket and lightweight as well, coming in at 9.6 ounces.

It requires 2 AA batteries (not included) but as soon as you install then there is no waiting around. Start killing bugs right away. You can even take it camping or boating.
This mini bug zapper, the Stinger, packs a powerful punch. The grid delivers 3200 volts of knockdown power to eliminate flies, mosquitoes, and other pests with just one swing. Get rid of your old fly swatter because this one is all you’ll need.

It comes with 2 AA batteries, so you ready to start zapping bugs as soon as it arrives. There’s an LED safety light to let you know when it’s on, but if you or someone else touches it by accident, there are three layers of safety mesh to protect you from getting a jolt.

Zap It! gives you a 100% lifetime replacement warranty so you never have to worry about it breaking down. Plus, swatting bugs and hearing them die is more fun than playing video games.
This electric indoor insect killer from Aspectek uses two powerful UV lights to attract flies, moths, gnats, and other flying pests. The lights are 10 watts each, for a total of 20 watts of attractant power. The killing grid delivers 2800 volts, enough to kill just about any insect.

The washable tray at the bottom can be removed to dispose of dead bugs and the bulbs can be replaced without the need for any tools. There’s also an outer safety grid to stop children’s inquisitive fingers from touching the metal grid and getting a shock.

The zapper is open on both sides to pull in and kill bugs from any direction. You can hang it from the wall or set it in the middle of your patio table. It works great either way.
This indoor bug zapper emits 365-nanometer wavelength light, which falls exactly into the spectrum visible to most bugs. Moths, flies, gnats, and other bugs are drawn to the light where they run into the powerful 2800-volt metal grid and get zapped.

It has a safe and effective wiring cage to prevent accidental shocks to you or your family, along with an easy to remove and clean the insect collection tray. It includes a hanging chain so you can hang it where it will do the most good in your house.

A 2-bulb replacement pack is included. There is also a manufacturer’s 90-day warranty. You can return it for a full refund if you’re not satisfied.
This stylish outdoor bug zapper defends up to 1500 square feet of space and fits in with any outside décor on your patio or deck. It’s weatherproof and can sit on the table or be hung from a beam and delivers 4000 volts of a lethal shock to any flying bug that approaches it.

It has an 18-watt UVA light and a galvanized steel grid around it to zap the bugs. It has a flat base for standing, a hanging hook on top, and a 6-foot electric cord. It is designed to work for up to 8000 hours.

The insect collection tray unscrews from the bottom to be emptied and cleaned. Just rinse it off and reattach it. It can also be used indoor if you want.
This bug zapper lantern has a UV light that attracts all kinds of bugs with a special 365-nanometer wavelength light. Then, it zaps them with a powerful 800-volt metal grid. Around the outside is a sturdy plastic grid that shields children and pets from getting hurt by it.

There is a hidden bug collection tray at the bottom. Simply unscrew it and dump out the dead bugs. Rinse it off and dry it, then screw it back in place. Nothing could be simpler. There’s even a cleaning brush included with it as well as a metal hook for hanging it.

If you don’t want it hanging, you can set it on any flat surface. It’s perfect for outdoors and indoors alike. All you need is an extension cord and the bugs start dying.
This 10-inch tall cylindrical bug zapper comes with a 3.5-foot cord and 350-nanometer wavelength UV light bulb. The metal grid delivers a powerful 1000-volt shock to any bug or flying pest that wanders too close and gets drawn in by the light.

The aluminum body is shielded by a rugged ABS plastic grid to prevent unintended electric shocks to you, your children, or pets. It comes with a built-in hook for hanging and a flat base if you want to put it on a table or shelf.

The ultra-modern design is sleek and elegant, fit for inside or outside duty to keep away the bugs. The bug collection tray is as easy to clean as the zapper is to use.
This is a nice little package from Sandman Crafts. You get two nightlights that double as plug-in bug zappers or two bug zappers that double as nightlights. Either way, it kills bugs and provides a gentle illumination at night.

It has a plug on the back and an automatic mode for adjusting the intensity of the light. When the bug collection tray at the bottom needs to be emptied, unplug the unit from the wall and gently shake it out, then use a small brush to finish the job. When you’re done, plug it back in.

There are two bug zapper night lights in the package. Both of them have an anti-shock protection cover, a brightness sensor, and a light opening button.

Final Thoughts On Bug Zappers

When flying pests are in your face, hair, and clothes, and you don’t want to take a chance on spraying chemicals into the air, an electronic insect killer may be your ticket to a better life.

Do you agree with the order we’ve listed them in? Or do you think your favorite deserves to be higher on the list? Let us know. We always value your feedback.

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