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This 3,000-volt bug zapper can be used as a passive device (just stick it in its stand and wait for bugs to fly into it) or as an aggressive device (use it to take swings at flying pests). The built-in purple LED lamp helps attract insects.
The base is lighter than expected and may be knocked over by a stronger breeze.
Simply requires a set of AA batteries for a powerful voltage. Net is designed with 3 individual layers of mesh to catch smaller insects, such as mosquitos. Remains safe to operate indoors or outdoors. No cleaning is required.
Makes a loud noise when shocking insects, which may be inconvenient.
This stylized, portable, electrified racket features ultra-fast USB charging and has a built-in, super-bright LED light. Comes in various sizes.
The electrified grid is rather large, so it is possible for smaller insects to slip through without being hit.
This model is designed to dispense of flies. The device is powered by 2 AA batteries and operated simply by pressing a button. It is manufactured using durable ABS material. A red LED indicator lets you know when the racket is electrified.
Some users do not like that there is no on/off switch, as soon as you press the trigger, it is live.
The design of this battery-powered bug zapper racket feels good in your hand. The device makes a loud zap so you know when contact is made, while the outer layer of safety mesh helps protect the user from accidental shocking.
These are not as strong as other models, and may require a second swat to finish the job.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Sitting outside on summer nights offers ample opportunities to appreciate the great weather and beautiful sunsets. At the same time, having flying insects interrupt your relaxation time can really disrupt your evening.
Unfortunately, the outdoors and insects often go hand-in-hand during the summer. You want to enjoy your time outdoors, so dealing with insects is a top priority. If you prefer to avoid using harsh chemicals and sprays around your home, a bug zapper racket is a nice alternative.
This device works equally well indoors or outdoors. Best of all, you might even improve your tennis swing in the process. (Just don’t kill so many insects that you develop tennis elbow.)
A bug zapper racket, also called an electric fly swatter, is a simple piece of hardware. It looks a lot like a small tennis racket with a handle and a large head (or paddle) area. It uses the same insect killing process – electrocution – that you’ll find in a stationary bug zapper that you hang outside. But this is a fully manual device. It doesn’t attract bugs; you have to swing the racket to hit and kill them.
Bug zapper racket technology
The racket head consists of crisscrossing horizontal and vertical wires that form an electrical grid that carries from 500 to as much as 4,000 volts of electricity. When electricity is moving through the wires, it electrocutes any insect that comes in contact with at least two wires at once. The wires in the grid of the racket are close enough to each other that most insects will touch at least two wires when the racket contacts them.
Bug zapper rackets run off batteries, with a switch to power on the racket. To activate the electrical charge, you press a button as you swing the racket. When you release the button, the grid is no longer electrified. This is a nice safety feature that helps to avoid receiving a slight shock if you should accidentally touch the grid.
Many people make the mistake of trying to use this device like a flexible plastic flyswatter, but the hard plastic racket could crack if it collides with a hard surface.
Instead, you use the bug zapper racket like a tennis racket, swinging it through the air. If you strike a flying insect, you’ll hear the zap that indicates a successful connection. To kill an insect that’s sitting on a hard surface, swing the racket through the air above the insect without contacting it. This will likely cause the insect to fly upward directly into the path of the racket.
Zapped insects will leave a bit of residue that you’ll need to sweep up. If part of the insect sticks to the racket, you’ll need to turn off the device and remove this residue for the racket to work optimally.
Although most of these devices look the same, there are a few differences beyond price that set them apart. These features can help you pick the right model for your needs.
Maximum voltage: A bug zapper racket that delivers more voltage will be able to kill larger bugs, such as wasps. A racket with less voltage may only be effective at killing smaller insects while stunning larger ones.
Power light: Some rackets have an LED light to indicate when the zapper is powered on and ready to use. Some models also use this light to let you know the current battery charge level.
Activation button: After turning on the racket, you press a button to activate the electrical charge on many models. This is a nice feature because it reduces the chances of an accidental shock.
Head size: A larger racket head gives you more killing space, which means your swing doesn’t have to be as precise.
Grid size: The size of the spaces between the horizontal and vertical wires in the grid affects the size of insects you can kill. The insect must make contact with two wires at one time to receive the electric shock. A bug zapper racket with smaller spaces in the grid will be more effective at killing small insects.
Battery type: Some bug zapper rackets use rechargeable batteries, which you’ll typically plug into a USB adapter to charge. Charging can take up to eight hours. Other rackets run off alkaline batteries that you’ll have to replace as needed.
On average, a bug zapper racket costs less than a stationary bug zapper that uses a bright light to attract insects. You can expect to pay between $5 and $35 for one.
Inexpensive: The least expensive bug zapper rackets cost between $5 and $15 and typically carry up to 1,500 volts of electricity. These have a smaller head than more expensive models, and most run off alkaline batteries.
Mid-range: Bug zapper rackets that cost between $15 and $35 carry up to 5,000 volts of electricity. These rackets have larger heads, making it easier to connect with a flying insect. These rackets are also more durable, meaning they won’t crack as easily if you hit a hard object.
Extra costs: The only ongoing cost you’ll have with this product is batteries. Many bug zapper rackets run off of two C or two AA batteries. Models that run off a rechargeable battery built into the racket are more cost effective over time.
Q. Will I receive a dangerous shock if I touch the electrified grid on the racket?
A. If the insect zapper racket is powered on and active when you touch it, you will receive a painful shock. But the racket’s electrical charge isn’t dangerous to humans, so it will only sting for a few seconds. However, small pets or young children could be injured by this shock. And if there is any type of flammable liquid, spray, or lotion on your body when you touch the racket, you could receive serious burns, so care is required.
Q. Will the bug zapper racket work in wet conditions (or if I accidentally leave it outside in the rain)?
A. Most models of zapper rackets will not work as effectively if they’re wet. However, as long as the unit has not been submerged in water and its electrical system still works, it eventually will return to normal. Just allow the unit to air-dry completely and it should work again. If the interior of the battery compartment is wet, remove the batteries and allow the compartment to air-dry.
Q. Do I need to keep the racket grid clean?
A. With most models, you will notice problems if insect residue sticks to the racket. This residue draws electrical charge because the racket treats the residue as a live insect, so it will drain the battery. To clean the racket, turn it off and gently tap it against a hard surface or wipe it clean with a dry towel.
Q. What insects are affected by the bug zapper technology?
A. You can kill most kinds of flying insects using the racket. Commonly, people attack mosquitoes, house flies, gnats, and fruit flies with this type of device. If you have a more powerful racket that delivers a bit more voltage, you can kill wasps, moths, and horse flies, too. To kill small insects like gnats and fruit flies, you need a grid that has small gaps between the wires.