Summer is the best time to get active due to the fair weather. Bonding with friends and family in a backyard barbecue, walking around the neighborhood, participating in sports activities with like-minded peers—these are fun times that one can only truly enjoy in the summer. However, pesky bugs like mosquitoes, fruit flies, dreaded deer flies and their ilk can put a damper in everyone’s sunny moods. Get rid of these flying critters by placing reliable bug zappers in strategic spots around your property to keep summer fun going. Here are our top choices.
- What does a bug zapper do?
Answer: Bug zappers are not exactly a new thing in the country—it has been used for decades to put off bugs in the summer. The earliest bug zapper used comes with an electric light and a bit of bait hemmed in by a wired-up cage. Insects that are attracted to the bait and the light get shocked whenever they get in contact with the cage. Modern bug zappers still work in a similar fashion but this time, most models make use of UV light, which is more attractive to insects. As soon as they get on the wired cage, it shocks and kills them and their remains are collected on a catch tray. The catch tray makes cleanups of bug remains easier. Bug zappers are often composed of several components—the housing, the light, a wire electric cage and a transformer.
- What are the different kinds of bug zappers?
Answer: There are 3 common types of bug zappers. The horizontal kind are big in size and have a boxy structure on them which makes them ideal for indoor usage. Horizontal bug zappers feature a big mesh grid which covers the biggest sides of the unit—this allows bugs to enter the zapper and get electrocuted. The best horizontal types are often 20W models. The next bug zapper kind is the vertical type—this unit features a vertical placement for its light. They are made waterproof so they are ideal for use outdoors. Lots of vertical bug zapper models come with a plastic exterior casing which guard users from getting in contact with the electrified metal grid by accident. Because of their vertical design, they make for nice lighting fixtures outdoors so it adds to the area’s aesthetics compared to horizontal bug zapper models. Bug zapper light bulbs meanwhile are designed to fit into regular sockets but they have the zapping feature that kills bugs upon contact. They are typically utilized as combination porch lights—while these light bulbs do not really generate sufficient lighting, it does well when it comes to eliminating bugs.
- How do you position bug zappers correctly?
Answer: To guarantee that your bug zapper will work effectively, make sure to put them in excellent locations. A good tip is to put the device 15 to 20 ft. away from spots where you and your family usually hang out. You can make use of a shepherd’s hook to dangle the bug zapper—to use a shepherd’s hook, you only need a lengthy cord and make use of a tape to secure the device with the shepherd’s hook. You can also make use of those ornamental brackets to hang the device—these decorative brackets come in a good range of styles and colors so get one that suits your preferences or garden/backyard aesthetics. Be mindful of how the extension cable is handled though—make sure to fix the extension cords in an organized and safe manner to avoid accidents.
Our Top Picks
Flowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect Killer
- Non-clogging grid
- 15W high-intensity UV bulb BF-35
- USDA-tested Octenol attractant
- Durable and weatherproof polycarbonate built
The Flowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect Killer wants to make your summer afternoons and nights worthwhile by doing its job of zapping pesky insects. It has a durable, sturdy and weatherproofed polycarbonate built that is resistant against cracking, corrosion and fading. The grid gets its power from a high-voltage transformer while its 15W UV light makes sure those bugs will get lured right in. As soon as this one gets heated, it will go to work. It can cover up to an acre of land so you can place the device 15 ft. away from areas where you usually hang about. Wait for a half hour and the insects will come—within 2 hours, it will eliminate dozens of those flying critters. For safety, it includes a grate all over the electrified grid. Test this one out—it’s reliable, safe and efficient.
Katchy Indoor Insect Trap
- 3X bug-trapping power
- Ornamental design
- Good as indoor bug trap
- Attracts fruit flies, mosquitoes, gnats and more
The Katchy Indoor Insect Trap does not make use of chemicals to attract and eliminate insects. Instead, it makes use of a UV light to bait bugs. It presents 3 cycles of trapping actually—first, the insects get lured in by the UV light, then they get drawn into the device and finally get caught on the glue trap located below. The device also comes with a fan which stops them from getting enough strength to get away from the glue trap. The glue trap has enough tack to restrain them until the trapped insects expire. This is a portable bug trapper that is user-friendly and very safe to use since it lacks the electrified grates that standard bug zappers come with. While it’s not really ideal for bigger fly species, its methods are effective enough in eliminating mosquitoes, fruit flies and gnats. Setting up the whole unit was easy as pie as well.
ZAP IT! Bug Zapper Twin-Pack Rechargeable Mosquito
- 4000-volt grid
- Kills bugs instantly
- Great for day and night use
- Allows USB charging
The ZAP IT! Bug Zapper Twin-Pack Rechargeable Mosquito is an excellent choice since there’s no need for you to invest on spare batteries to continue operations. It allows USB charging—just plug the racket in any USB unit with the cable and it’s ready to be juiced up. In addition, this device includes a powerful built-in lithium battery which presents up to 10,000 zaps with just one charge. For safety, the device features an activation button and a lit indicator light for less worries of unintended zapping. The device also includes a triple layered safety mesh for extra protection. The zapper has a lightweight and ergonomic design and its sizable frame allows it to aim directly on bugs. Need to deal with trapped bugs on its grates? Removing them is a snap too since you only need to brush or shake them off. Just switch the device off first before the cleanup.
Flowtron BK-80D 80-Watt Electronic Insect Killer
- Non-clogging grid
- Weatherproof, durable built
- UL and CSA-listed
- Has 15W UV light
The Flowtron BK-80D 80-Watt Electronic Insect Killer is another bug zapper that is user-friendly and works well when it comes to ridding your porch or any part of your property of pesky bugs. Position this bug zapper in your outdoor living quarters to deter bugs from crowding on your home without the use of pesticides or chemicals. It features an electrified grid which uses a high-voltage transformer to eliminate insects. The device also comes with a 15W UV light to attract insects right off the bat and has a USDA-tested Octenol attractant which serves as another effective lure for insects. Durable and weatherproof, very safe to use and is UL and CSA-listed to boot.
GLOUE Bug Zapper Light Bulb
- Has LED blue-violet band
- Made with environment-friendly material
- Has 45-degree slope design
- Safe to use
The GLOUE Bug Zapper Light Bulb is made to lure insects like mosquitoes, clothing moths, flies and other bugs and rid of them by using powerful electrical shocks. It has two purposes as well—you can use it solely as a bug zapper, as a standard light bulb or utilize both functions at the same time. It is made to fit on most standard sockets so installation is pretty simple. The bulb is very bright thus it can serve as a standalone lighting implement but it’s effective in attracting insects too. It has 12W power and generates 1200 lumens—due to its brightness, more insects of course are more attracted to it. Use them indoors in case you want to get rid of mosquitoes flitting all over your living space. The beam angle of the bulb is 200 degrees and it has a lifespan of up to 50,000 hours so this one will do its work for a good while.
Gardner FlyWeb Classic Fly Light
- Made for indoor use
- Has non-toxic glue board adhesive
- Has 9W UV light bulb
- Made in the U.S.A
The Gardner FlyWeb Classic Fly Light baits insects with its 9W UV light and traps them by way of its reliable glue board. It has a portable, compact size so it’s great to use at home, in the office or as a handy bug trap whenever you’re out camping, hiking or participating in beach activities. The whole package is easy to set up too—just take away the protective coating off of the adhesive board, put it in the device and there you go. Look for an electrical outlet to plug it in and it’s ready to work. This UL-listed bug trap catches a neat variety of bugs and the glue it uses is the non-toxic kind too. There’s no need to rely on chemicals to eliminate these pesky critters—just this device’s glue board and UV light are sufficient.
Make your property a great place to hang about in the summer. Shoo away those flies and skeeters by using an effective bug zapper or bug trap. If you’re looking to protect your kids from bugs as they wander about your property as well, you should check out our best bug repellents for kids roundup article that we recently put out. Check out our list for the best names in the industry for bug zappers and repellents and enjoy a virtually bug-free season right away.