Depending on where you live, a bug zapper could be a year-round necessity. But choosing which bug zapper is best for you can be difficult, especially with so many variations out there.
While some bug zappers are designed for use indoors, outdoors or both, other insect killers may include octenol attractants to draw in flying pests. Still other bug zappers may have different features entirely, like fly-swatting capabilities or USB power.
Before you buy a bug zapper, it’s important to note the things you need in an insect killer, whatever your particular use may be. Below are some factors to consider when looking at insect killers, as well as the best indoor and outdoor bug zappers available.
While many bug zappers are made to work both indoors and outdoors, there are also many that are made for one or the other. In particular, some outdoor bug zappers are probably too powerful for safe use inside, and alternatively, some indoor-only bug zappers may not be powerful enough to do justice to the insect population in your yard. In either case, it’s important to read any labels on a bug zapper you do purchase, to be sure it correctly fits your needs.
Many bug zappers operate entirely by allowing bugs to fly up to them, and while those work fairly well, others take insect killing to the next level with the use of an insect attractant. An attractant does just what it sounds like — it attracts insects to increase the amount of bugs zapped within a certain area, ultimately bringing the volume of insects down even further. Many of these attractant packages include octenol, which is particularly useful for attracting mosquitoes.
With coverage areas ranging between 1,500 square feet to one acre, outdoor bug zappers often include information on their packaging or listing about the range of the actual insect killer. While those living on a farm, ranch or other plot of land may benefit from models with an acre of coverage space, those using bug zappers on smaller land or indoors can disregard this specification.
Flowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect Killer: available at Amazon
Our take: This electronic bug zapper has a strong UV light, an attractant, and a vast radius of 1 acre, making it very powerful.
What we like: Eradicates pests using UV light and electrified grid work. Includes one USDA-tested Octenol attractant with purchase. Waterproof and clog proof. Replacing the bulb is simple. Includes 2 AA batteries.
What we dislike: Rather loud hum.
Crio Indoor/Outdoor Bug Zapper: available at Amazon
Our take: Super affordable indoor and outdoor bug zapper, complete with a double mesh grid to increase efficiency.
What we like: Super affordable. 800-volt double mesh, high-voltage grid. Features a protective casing made from fire-retardant ABS plastic. Removable cleaning tray makes it easy to clean. Completely weatherproof.
What we dislike: Many users report that the cord is too short.
Innoo Tech Bug Zapper and Attractant: available at Amazon
Our take: Innoo Tech bug zapper is environmentally safe and is waterproof. Its UV light is great at luring outdoor pests.
What we like: Does not contain any pesticides, is non-toxic and smoke free. It has a dusk to dawn sensor to allow users to save energy. The sensor can also be turned off.
What we dislike: It is not as effective during the daytime.
Lulu Home Electric Bug Zapper: available at Amazon
Our take: This indoor bug zapper is known for its quiet standby, despite being loud when zapping a bug.
What we like: Designed to be used inside. Mesh screen makes it easy to avoid touching the grid. No chemicals are used, and it is easy to clean.
What we dislike: Users report that this unit is loud when zapping bugs.
Livin’ Well High-Powered Electric Mosquito Zapper: available at Amazon
Our take: This powerful outdoor bug zapper is versatile, and is particularly designed for use against mosquitos, flies and gnats.
What we like: Affordable. 1,500-square foot range. Weatherproof. Features a UVA bug light. Includes metal hanging hook and a 6-foot hole plug, as well as auto-drain holes to make it hang wherever you need it.
What we dislike: Some users mentioned that the safety cage’s spacing was too tight for larger bugs.
Intelabe Bug Zapper Fly Swatter: available at Amazon
Our take: This combination fly swatter and bug zapper is super affordable and features USB recharging capabilities.
What we like: Can be used as a fly swatter with added bug zapping capabilities. USB recharging. Features safety “on” switch for activating zapper when swatting insects. Includes LED flashlight. 4000-volt grid. Grid includes three-layer safety mesh for optimal safety.
What we dislike: Some users say it’s difficult to push the power switch and swat bugs simultaneously.
Digity Dogs Indoor Plugin USB Bug Zapper: available at Amazon
Our take: Excellent for staving off gnats and other small pests from indoor plants, this tiny USB-powered bug zapper uses UV light and sticky glue boards to catch its prey.
What we like: USB-powered design makes it easy to charge regularly, or to keep it plugged in and running continuously. Features small light to attract mosquitoes and other bugs, then sucks them in and catches them on sticky glue boards.
What we dislike: Works best with mosquitoes and gnats, but not so well for other bugs like cucumber beetles and fruit flies.
Huite Light Bulb for outdoor and indoor: available at Amazon
Our take: This 2-in-1 insect attractant and bug zapper is super affordable and plugs right into a standard light bulb socket, making it the perfect pick for an outdoor patio light.
What we like: Convenient lightbulb socket power. Includes two separate modes – pure mosquito zapper, or both night light and bug zapper. Noiseless.
What we dislike: Only works if screwed into a light bulb socket.
Zachary Visconti is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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