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Everything you need to know about choosing a bug zapper


Nothing can ruin a barbecue, picnic or pool party faster than a bunch of flying pests such as mosquitoes, flies, gnats and wasps. They make it difficult to enjoy your deck, patio or other outdoor space to the fullest. A bug zapper can keep insects at bay so you and your family can enjoy your yard in peace.

Finding the right zapper can be tough, especially if you don’t know what to look for. Check out these tips for choosing the right bug zapper for your yard as well as the best models you can find to keep mosquitoes and other pests away.


Bug zappers come in several types, each of which operate in different ways. 

  • Insect traps draw bugs to them via light and then suck them into a chamber with a vacuum. The bugs die inside the trap due to dehydration, so you have to regularly empty the chamber.
  • Electronic zappers also draw insects to them with light, but the bugs die when they land on the zapper’s electrified grid. These zappers have a tray that collects the debris from the insects, so they also require emptying.
  • Electric swatters resemble a tennis racket and use batteries to power their electric grid. You use the device to swat at insects and electrocute them when they touch the grid. They’re an excellent portable option for camping and other trips. 

Indoor/outdoor use

Most people want a bug zapper for their outdoor living space, so most models are suitable for outdoor use. You may also need a zapper you can use inside your home if you have a bug problem. Read the product specifications carefully to determine if you can use the model you’re considering in the area of your home where you need it.


A bug zapper’s design determines how it attracts insects to the device to kill them. Many zappers use light to lure in bugs, but this works best for insects like moths, mayflies and beetles. Other zappers feature chemical attractants that are effective for biting pests, including mosquitoes. 


For a bug zapper to be effective, it must have a large enough range to cover the area you plan to use it. Even so, bigger isn’t better for a zapper’s range. For example, models with ranges larger than your outdoor space can attract bugs from neighboring areas instead of only your yard.

Most bug zappers measure their range in square feet or acres. Measure your deck, patio or yard to determine the coverage you need.

Top bug zappers that cost under $25

Black Flag Extendable Handheld Insect Zapper

This portable handheld bug zapper offers 3,000 volts of power to keep your yard and home insect-free. It works on all types of bugs, including flies, mosquitoes and spiders, and only requires two AA batteries for operation. Its handle can extend for a reach of up to 2.5 feet.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

ZAP IT! Rechargeable Bug Zapper Racket

This 4,000-watt electric zapper racket makes it easy to get rid of pests on the go. It features a rechargeable battery you can charge via a USB cord and offers up to 10,000 zaps on a single charge. It has a blue light to attract insects.

Sold by Amazon

Top bug zappers that cost $25 to $45

Livin’ Well Bug Zapper

This bug zapper is suitable for indoor and outdoor use and can cover up to 1,500 square feet. It has a long-lasting UVA light to attract bugs and an easy-to-clean trap that holds the dead insects. It doesn’t make much noise when in use.

Sold by Amazon

Black Flag 2,000-Volt 1/2-Acre Bug Zapper

This weatherproof, plug-in bug zapper can keep flying insects at bay all day. It uses UV white light to attract bugs and can cover up to an acre of land. It also comes with a chemical attractant that provides a 30-day continuous release.

Sold by Home Depot

PIC Portable Solar Insect Killer Torch

This cordless bug zapper can operate for six hours on a full charge and offers an LED flame effect for ambient lighting. It can attract and dispose of mosquitoes and other flying bugs without insecticides. It’s portable and ideal for hiking and camping.

Sold by Home Depot 

Westinghouse Solar Lighting Solar Powered LED Outdoor Bug Zapper Lantern

This chemical-free, solar-powered zapper features an attractive lantern design with a built-in LED light. It comes with a shepherd hook for hanging, but you can also set it on any flat surface. Its UV light attracts insects like mosquitoes and flies. It weighs just over a pound, making it easy to move.

Sold by Wayfair

Top bug zappers that cost $45 to $75

Black and Decker Bug Zapper

This versatile bug zapper hangs from an included ring and chain or rests on a stable surface. It has a UV light to attract insects without chemicals and works well for mosquitoes, flies, gnats, wasps and more. It comes with a brush for easy cleaning.

Sold by Amazon

Pestnot 20-Watt Electronic Indoor Bug Zapper

If you have an insect problem inside your home, this indoor bug zapper gets the problem under control. It has two 20-watt black light bulbs to attract flying insects such as flies and mosquitoes. It has a range of up to 6,000 square feet and features a self-cleaning electrical grid.

Sold by Amazon

Top bug zappers that cost $75 and up

Flowtron BK-80D 80-Watt Electronic Insect Killer

This high-efficiency bug zapper has a non-clogging grid powered by a high-voltage transformer. It uses ultraviolet light and chemical attractants to dispose of more bugs. It’s backed by a two-year limited warranty.

Sold by Amazon

DynaTrap DT1050-AZSR Flying Insect Trap 

This powerful insect trap attracts bugs such as mosquitoes, biting flies, moths and others. It covers up to a half-acre and features all-weather construction to stand up to the elements. You can also use it indoors, and the discreet design means it blends with your decor.

Sold by Amazon

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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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