Bugs are annoying. That’s why they’re called bugs.
Bug zappers solve the problem, eliminating insects, mosquitos, moths, and other critters. Some people install bug zappers in a backyard or on a patio. Others use them around the home. Some use them camping, while others use them when walking around.
As summer approaches, there are more bug zappers available online than ever before. We’ve tested the internet’s buzziest bug zappers. After much deliberation, here are the best bug zappers of 2021.
Our editorial team spent hours debating rankings, comparing pros and cons lists, and testing bug zappers to create the rankings below. Based on our analysis, here are the best bug zappers available in 2021.
Black + Decker Bug Zapper
Black + Decker’s Bug Zapper is the most recognizable brand name on this list. It also frequently appears at the top of similar lists – and for a good reason. The Black + Decker Bug Zapper protects your yard and home from multiple types of pests. You can place it on a table or on the ground. Or, you can hang it from a tree. Place it anywhere you need, and the unit will begin to attract and zap mosquitos.
Like other bug zappers listed here, the Black + Decker Bug Zapper uses ultraviolet light to replicate the appearance of a food source. Bugs fly towards the light, thinking it’s an easy meal, only to encounter the electric coils. It’s a non-toxic, highly effective way to eliminate mosquitos from an indoor or outdoor space. If you want a good-value, durable, top-rated bug zapper from the best-known manufacturer on this list, then the Black + Decker Bug Zapper may be the best option.
Buzz B Gone
Buzz B Gone is one of the internet’s most popular bug zappers. Launched online in 2020, the bug zapper is backed by excellent reviews. It doesn’t have the power of high-end devices listed here, but the effective design makes up for the small frame.
Buzz B Gone has a purple, ultraviolet light to attract mosquitos. They fly towards the light, thinking it’s a food source. Then, once mosquitos encounter the coil, they get zapped by the electricity and fall to the ground. Buzz B Gone is battery-powered, features rotating fans, and even has a collection chamber for easy cleanup. It’s also priced at a reasonable $40 per unit, making it one of the best-value options on this list. For all of these reasons and more, Buzz B Gone is one of the best bug zappers you can buy online today.
The Flowtron BK-40D is an electronic insect killer with tens of thousands of positive reviews online. It’s one of the best-selling bug zappers on Amazon and other retail websites. With average scores of 4.5 stars out of 5 and 13,000+ customer reviews, the Flowtron BK-40D may be the bug zapper you need for your backyard.
Unlike other tiny options on this list, the Flowtron BK-40D has the size to back up its bug zapping capabilities. It’s 17 inches tall, and it weighs around 5lbs, making it the heftiest option on our list of the best bug zappers. You can also purchase multiple attachments for the Flowtron BK-40D, including an additional bulb, a mosquito attractant cartridge, and a timer, among other options. Despite being the biggest and highest-powered bug zapper on this list, the BK-40D has a reasonable price of around $68.
Hemiua Bug Zapper
If you like the idea of the Flowtron BK-40D but want to spend a little less, then the Hemiua Bug Zapper may be the right choice for you. Backed by 19,000 Amazon reviews and a 4.6-star rating, the Hemiua Bug Zapper is around 12 inches tall and features an internal, 4,200V electric grid fenced within ABS housing to prevent accidental contact with people or animals.
We’re also impressed by the coverage range of the Hemiua Bug Zapper. The manufacturer claims the bug zapper can cover 1,500 square feet, making it ideal for larger backyards, patios, campgrounds, or homes. Just place the zapper in a central area, then enjoy effective bug zapping for as long as needed. The unit even has a hook, making it easy to hang the Hemiua Bug Zapper from a tree. At $46, it’s one of the best-value buys on this list. It doesn’t have the brand recognition of other top-ranked bug zappers, but it doesn’t have the brand name price either.
The Dynatrap DT1050 trails only the Flowtron BK-40D as the highest-powered option on our list. Designed for use indoors and outdoors, the $94 bug zapper covers half an acre of space. It’s also made from a structural steel alloy, making it one of the most durable bug zappers you can buy. By using the trap daily, you can attract and trap flying insects around your home.
Once you need to clean the DynaTrap DT1050, just twist the trap on or off for simple operation and no-touch cleaning. The near-silent fan traps insects inside, making it easy to clean as needed. The main drawback to the Dynatrap DT1050 is that it plugs into a standard outlet – it doesn’t have the portable battery power of other units. However, other high-powered units have similar power requirements, and the Dynatrap DT1050 remains one of the best-rated bug zappers you can buy today.
Anysun Solar Powered Bug Zapper
The Anysun is the first bug zapper on this list that’s powered by solar energy. It’s a rechargeable bug zapper you can leave in your backyard for as long as needed. The bug zapper runs as long as you have solar power, attracting and killing bugs within a radius.
The lantern specifically claims to attract gnats, flies, mosquitos, and other pests. It’s also one of the lightest-weight units on our list, making it easy to carry around wherever you need to go. And, with three lighting modes available, it’s easy to dim or brighten the Anysun Solar Powered Bug Zapper for use during the day or at night. A must-have for campers who are away from electricity, the Anysun Solar Powered Bug Zapper weighs just 2lbs while covering 538 square feet and carrying a waterproof rating of IPX65.
The Fuze Bug is an insect zapping system and lamp designed to hang in your backyard, stand on your patio, and passively zap insects around your home or property. Priced at $40 per unit, the Fuze Bug has similar value to other top-ranked options on our list.
The Fuze Bug uses a unique design to zap bugs. It also covers up to 375 square feet, providing up to 20 hours of protection on a single charge. Whether protecting your backyard or using the Fuze Bug on a camping trip, you can zap insects anywhere you go. Like other basic bug zappers on our list, the Fuze Bug features a purple LED light. You flip the switch to activate the device, and the light turns on and begins attracting bugs to the electric coils. When bugs get too close, the Fuze Bug zaps them. A double-layered electric grid makes it easy to clean the device while also preventing the zapper from contacting pets or kids who may slide against it.
Aspectek Electronic Insect Killer
The Aspectek Electronic Insect Killer isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing bug zapper on this list, but it is one of the most effective units. The bright lights attract bugs to fly towards the unit. Once bugs get too close, they get zapped by the electric coils.
At under $41 p unit, the Aspectek Electronic Insect Killer is surprisingly affordable. Plus, all purchases come with two replacement bulbs, making it easy to run the Aspectek Electronic Insect Killer as a long-term insect zapping solution. To attract flies, moths, mosquitos, and other flying insects in a chemical-free way, the Aspectek Electronic Insect Killer may be the best option for you.
The Moskinator is a unique mosquito killer that, unlike other top-rated bug zappers on this list, uses more than just a light to attract mosquitos. The device also sucks mosquitos in using a fan. As mosquitos fly towards the light, they eventually get close enough to enter the fan’s radius. The fan sucks mosquitos into the trap, and then they can’t escape. Mosquitos fly around the inside of the Moskinator’s trap until they dry out and die, bombarded by the winds of the fan.
The chemical-free bug zapping system successfully eliminates mosquitos from backyards, patios, and homes. It also eliminates other whirring insects. Despite the surprisingly small size, the Moskinator trap can fill with dozens of mosquitos after a single-use. That means dozens of mosquitos that aren’t feasting on your skin.
The aptly-named Mosquitron is the second device on our list that claims to specifically target mosquitos over other flying insects. The device also works similar to the Moskinator, using a combination fan and light system to attract and kill mosquitos.
The Mosquitron is also the first device on this list with intelligent controls. Most devices have a set-it-and-forget-it design. You flip the switch, and the device gets to work. With the Mosquitron, you get a USB-powered, intelligent device that attracts mosquitos while still being easy to clean. It’s also one of the smallest devices on this list, taking up little space on your desktop, patio, or anywhere else you need to use it. The small size makes it easy to take the Mosquitron on your travels. At $89, it’s not the cheapest unit here, but it could provide effective mosquito zapping capabilities. Steep discounts are also available when ordering multiple units, nearly dropping the price in half from its normal retail rate.
The MosQiller uses a bright light to attract, trap, kill, and dry flying insects, removing them from the air around you. It’s effective on mosquitos, fruit flies, gnats, and drain flies, among other flying insects. Like other bug zappers on this list, it’s also ridiculously quiet, offering library-level noise while trapping and killing dozens of mosquitos.
The MosQiller isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing unit on this list. However, it’s easy to carry and clean, and its small size makes the MosQiller ideal for home, garden, and camping use. It’s also safe to use around family members and pets. The light only affects flying insects. At $79, it’s not the cheapest mosquito killer on this list. However, the price drops as low as $45 per unit when ordering multiples, making MosQiller ideal for those who want to install multiple zappers around their home.
1TAC Zapper Mosquito Zapper Lantern
The 1TAC Zapper Mosquito Zapper Lantern is a 180-lumen LED camping lantern that lights up your backyard to attract mosquitos. It’s one of the smallest units on this list, making it ideal for smaller spaces and backyards. However, it’s surprisingly durable, offering a shockproof 2,000mAh battery and 20 hours of life in lantern mode.
We also appreciate the price tag of the 1TAC zapper. At just under $30 per unit, it’s one of the most affordable bug zappers available online today. Despite the small size, the equally small price tag makes it easy to buy multiple 1TAC zappers to hang in multiple spots around your home. We also appreciate the fact that the 1TAC has a real ultraviolet light – not a fake blue or purple LED light seen in cheaper units. The coil zaps all mosquitos and insects that come into contact.
The MoskiX Band is the most unique mosquito zapping system on this list. Sold online by eCommerce company Hyperstech, the MoskiX Band is a smartwatch that repels mosquitos wherever you go. If you want to repel mosquitos while you run or walk around outside, for example, then the MoskiX Band may be the right choice for you. It’s also ideal for moving around a campsite, sitting in a backyard, and doing anything else where you don’t want to be annoyed by pesky mosquitos.
Priced at $89 per band, the MoskiX Band is one of the costlier items on this list of the best bug zappers. It’s also not technically a bug zapper: it’s an insect repellant system. However, using the power of smart technology and wireless frequencies, the MoskiX Band may be the insect repellent system you need to stay safe all summer long. Some also use it to complement the effects of other devices listed here.
How We Ranked
Every bug zapper claims to kill bugs. But only the best live up to that promise. Many are too small to cover an area larger than a dorm room. Some break within weeks of use. We tested each of the bug zappers above to verify they worked. After testing each bug zapper outdoors and indoors, we ranked the best bug zappers based on all of the following factors:
Bug Attraction Rating: Some bug zappers use cheap blue or purple LEDs to attract bugs – and they don’t work as well. Others use ultraviolet lights that can’t be seen in the visible spectrum. We tested each bug zapper in a summer in the southeastern United States to verify it attracted, zapped, and killed bugs effectively. You’re buying a bug zapper to get rid of bugs, which is why we weighed these more heavily than any other item on our list.
Coverage Area: Many bug zappers are too small or weak to cover an area larger than a dorm room. Other bug zappers cover a large backyard or spaces up to 2,000 square feet. The more coverage, the better: even in smaller spaces, high-powered devices attract more mosquitos. If you want maximum mosquito-killing capabilities, then you need a high-powered device.
Ease of Cleaning: Nobody wants to spend an hour scraping bugs from an electric coil. Some bug zappers come with a brush to make cleaning the electric coils easier. Other bug zappers avoid electric coils altogether, trapping and drying mosquitos in a wind tunnel to kill them. We weren’t biased towards electric coils or wind tunnel systems, but we always appreciated bug zappers that were easy to clean.
Battery or Power Supply: Some bug zappers last only a few hours per charge, making them subpar for camping or outdoor use. Others last 10 to 20 hours, making them a better option. Some bug zappers use solar power or an electrical outlet. We considered battery and power supply in our rankings.
Safety Features: Most electronic bug zappers have safety features that make it hard to zap a nearby human or animal. Some have a dual-layer grid, for example, that prevents the coil from zapping someone who touches it. Bugs only encounter the electricity when they fly to the second layer of coils. Other bug zappers have tip-over shut-off systems or other safety features to prevent injury.
Durability: Most people use bug zappers outdoors – like in patios or backyards. Others bring bug zappers camping. Durability is important. Some bug zappers are made from stainless steel. Others use cheap plastic and shoddy bulbs that die within weeks of use. We preferred bug zapper companies that invested in durable parts.
Discretion: Some mosquito zappers are too bright to comfortably use in a dark area – like the ones that use cheap purple or blue LEDs instead of ultraviolet light. They blind you when used at night, for example, or ruin the ambiance of your dark patio. The best bug zappers are more discreet, using bars and grids to protect your eyes from the light. It wasn’t the most important ranking factor, but we considered discretion in our rankings.
Price & Value: Whether wanting to spend $10 on a bug zapper or $150, there are multiple options for you at different price ranges. Our list includes bug zappers for all different budgets, including cheap zappers and high-end devices. At all prices, we emphasized good value, making sure you get the best value for every dollar you spend on your bug zapper.
Who Should Use a Bug Zapper?
Anyone can use a bug zapper to get rid of annoying bugs.
Some people use bug zappers when sitting on their patio or in their backyard. Others take bug zappers when camping overnight. Some use bug zappers indoors to combat fruit flies, drain flies, and other annoying insects.
Some of the people who can benefit from a bug zapper include:
- Campers and hikers
- Anyone who enjoys spending bug-free time in their backyard
- Someone with bad bug problems around their home or area
- Someone who lives near a lake, creek, swamp, or other area with bug problems
- People concerned about the safety of their family, including the spread of disease
- Anyone who wants to avoid toxins, sprays, chemicals, and other bug-killing solutions
Thanks to modern technology, it’s cheaper and easier than ever to buy a bug zapper with smart features, UV lights, fans, and other features. Instead of spending $100 for a bug zapper with all of these parts, you can spend as little as $40.
How Bug Zappers Work
Bug zappers work using a combination of two systems:
- A blue, purple, or UV light to attract bugs to the device
- An electric coil or fan-based system to kill the bugs
Bugs see the light and think it’s a food source. When bugs see the light in the ultraviolet spectrum, they associate that light with living creatures, including animals or humans. They fly towards it, thinking it’s an easy meal. By the time bugs realize it’s a trap, it’s too late: they’ve hit the electric coils or been sucked into the fan-based system.
Some people add bait to a bug zapper to enhance its effectiveness. Octenol, for example, is a mosquito attractant liquid that mimics the scent of human sweat. By applying octenol or octenol pads around your bug zapper, you could increase its ability to attract mosquitoes. Similarly, some people add cat food, tuna, or other pungent foods around their bug zappers to attract flies.
Other bug zappers use wind or fans to kill bugs. They have fans that create suction, drawing bugs inside a container when they fly too close. The wind is too powerful for the bugs to escape, and they remain trapped in the container until they dry out and die. This is a more hassle-free way to eliminate insects from your home or backyard, and the right wind-based units can be as effective as electric coil systems.
Generally, however, most high-powered bug zappers use electric coils or grids to eliminate bugs in your backyard.
Scientific Evidence for Bug Zappers
Most bug zapper companies don’t invest in clinical trials to verify their products’ work. However, many bug zapper companies stand on the shoulders of giants, using years of scientific evidence to attract and kill mosquitos.
In this 2017 study, for example, researchers used pulsated light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to attract and kill mosquitos. By pulsating the lights, researchers were able to reduce power consumption by 26% to 40%. Mosquitos, meanwhile, were more attracted to pulsating lights: researchers trapped 250% more mosquitos with pulsating lights compared to standard LEDs.
Similarly, this 2019 study found that ultraviolet insect light traps were effective for mosquito control when installed in coastal areas of a mosquito-prone region of Thailand. Researchers used UV light traps for a one-month period, finding the UV traps were significantly more effective than other mosquito control methods. Each night, the UV insect light traps trapped an average of 41 mosquitos. Based on this research, researchers found UV light traps to be an effective, non-invasive mosquito control method in coastal areas of Thailand.
Have you ever wondered why bug zappers seem to work more effectively at certain times of the day? In a recent study, researchers found that day and night-biting mosquitos respond differently to colors of light and time of day. Some mosquitos are attracted and repelled by different colors of light and different times of day, which has implications on the bug zapper and insect repellant industry.
Technically, ultraviolet light is a type of radiation – but so is all types of light. As this 2016 study demonstrated, ultraviolet light has repeatedly been proven to be safe for human exposure. In that study, researchers analyzed evidence on humans and animals exposed to significant amounts of UV (‘black’) lights over extended periods of time and found no connection between ultraviolet light and negative health effects.
Mosquitos aren’t just annoying: they’re deadly. Mosquito-borne diseases kill thousands each year. As explained by the CDC, the Zika virus, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, dengue, and malaria are all common mosquito-borne diseases. Depending on where you live – like, say, in the southern United States or any humid place – you could be at a particularly high risk of developing mosquito-borne illnesses.
Overall, there’s ample research supporting the use of ultraviolet lights when attracting and killing mosquitos, flies, gnats, and other bugs.
FAQs About Bug Zappers
Q: What is a bug zapper?
A: A bug zapper is any device that uses electricity (like electric coils) to zap mosquitos, flies, gnats, and other small flying critters. Some people also refer to any insect-killing systems, including fan-based systems, like bug zappers.
Q: How do bug zappers work?
A: Most bug zappers use a combination of light and an electric coil. The light attracts mosquitos to the device, while the electric coils kill the mosquito. Mosquitos are naturally attracted to ultraviolet light because they think it’s a food source. By the time mosquitos realize the light isn’t a food source, they’ve already contacted the electric coils and been zapped.
Q: How do you clean a bug zapper?
A: Some bug zappers clean themselves, which means bugs fall out the bottom of the device. Other bug zappers come with a brush you can use to clean the coils of dead bugs after use. Other zappers come with special containers that make it easy to remove any bugs after each use.
Q: Why should I use a bug zapper over a spray or repellent?
A: Insect repellants force bugs away from your property, which could be effective in solving your bug problem. Sprays, meanwhile, often use chemicals or pesticides. Both of these solutions could work for your bug problem. However, many people want to avoid using chemicals around their home. Bug zappers also kill the bugs – they don’t’ just repel them. Others use bug zappers to complement the effects of a spray or repellent.
Q: How much area does a bug zapper cover?
A: A good bug zapper, including any of the options at the top of our list, will cover a half-acre of land. Other bug zappers cover around 1,500 square feet of space. Smaller bug zappers are designed for smaller spaces, including bedrooms, small patios, and apartments.
Q: What’s the best bug zapper available today?
A: The best bug zappers include any units at the top of our list, which are among the top-rated bug zappers available today. Units like the Black + Decker Bug Zapper are backed by thousands of positive reviews showing they work as advertised to eliminate bugs and mosquitos.
Q: Why do mosquitos fly towards light sources?
A: Mosquitos fly towards ultraviolet lamps and other light sources because they associate them with food. Humans emit UV light, and mosquitos have evolved to associate this UV light with food. Bug zappers take advantage of this system to attract and kill unwanted bugs. Some bug zappers have additional tools, like an octenol attractant cartridge, for even more effective mosquito luring.
Q: Will a bug zapper bother my pets?
A: Bug zappers are designed to be safe to use around children and animals. In fact, many people prefer bug zappers to pesticides, sprays, and other solutions. Cats, dots, and birds do not typically react to the sounds or scents of a bug zapper.
Q: Is a 2,000V or 5,000V bug zapper dangerous?
A: Some high-end bug zappers have 2,000V or 5,000V electric grids to zap bugs. That may sound scary. However, bug zapper grids have a high voltage and a low current. When you contact the grid, it causes an electric shock – similar to a car battery or electric fence. However, this shock is unlikely to harm anyone in normal health. Most bug zappers also have safety cages or dual-layer designs to prevent you from easily touching the electrical grid.
Q: How do I attract more mosquitos to my bug zapper?
A: Some people add an octenol to their bug zapper to attract mosquitos. Octenol works by mimicking human sweat. Mosquitos fly towards the soaked pads, then contact the electric coils. By lining a bug zapper with octenol-soaked pads, you could significantly boost the effectiveness of your unit.
Q: How do I attract more flies to my bug zapper?
A: If flies are a problem around your home, consider baiting your bug zapper with food, honey, sugar, or other foods. Some people use cat food or mincemeat, spreading it on the cage to attract flies. Flies love pungent, rotting foods. The more of these foods you can place on or around the bug zapper, the better it will be for catching flies.
A good bug zapper can transform your home or backyard. Bug zappers use a combination of lights, electric coils, and fans to kill bugs around your property. A good bug zapper can eliminate mosquitos in minutes, then protect you for hours.
However, not all bug zappers are made equal. Some bug zappers use cheap light and don’t attract mosquitos very effectively. Other bug zappers use science-backed wavelengths, testing different levels of radiation to verify they work as advertised. Some use electric coils, while others use fan systems.
Check out any of the best-rated bug zappers on our list to enjoy all-day protection in your home or backyard.
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