Grid resists clogs. Works outside with a half-acre radius. Can be suspended from a branch or ceiling, which is helpful for luring bugs, gnats, and mosquitos to zap.
Shorter range and shorter power cord than some competitors in its class.
Boasts 4,000-volt mesh. Triple-layered to protect against accidental shock. Bright LED light in handle illuminates pests. Safety switch keeps current off until needed. Pack of 2.
Some complaints that they stop working after a short time.
Designed for indoor use. Mesh screen helps keep hands out of electric grid. Can be hung or set on a solid surface. Plastic tray can be removed for easy cleaning.
Loud when zapping an insect. Some reported units suddenly stopped working.
With a 6-foot cord, a metal hanging hook, and auto-drain holes, this model can be placed or hung wherever it is needed most. The light is designed to last up to 8,000 hours.
Some users noted the spacing was too tight on the safety grid to allow larger bugs entry.
The UV light and electrified grid work to eradicate pests outside. Requires an attractant cartridge, and 1 is supplied with purchase. Unit is waterproof and designed not to clog. Bulb is easy to replace.
Rare product-quality concerns.
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.
Nothing beats a beautiful summer night, enjoying a warm breeze on your deck or in your yard with friends and family. Until uninvited guests show up in the form of flies, mosquitos, and other pesky insects, of course. Whether they’re the biting kind or not, bugs can put a damper on a fun evening outdoors.
Bug sprays are laden with chemicals, which can raise a variety of health concerns. Bug zappers are an ideal alternative. Zappers can keep the insect population in your yard under control without harsh pesticides. Finding the right bug zapper can be tricky, though. There are several types to choose from, and certain features and range of coverage can make one zapper a better fit for your yard than another.
With a bug zapper, you can get rid of many different insects quickly.
A zapper requires no personal involvement. You don’t have to worry about accidentally stumbling upon a hive or nest — or getting up close and personal with creepy-crawlies — in your quest to get rid of the pests around your home.
While you can add chemicals to some bug zappers to increase their effectiveness, you can operate a zapper without any chemicals at all.
An insect trap lures insects to the device with light, and then a vacuum sucks them into a chamber. The bugs remain trapped in the zapper until they eventually die of dehydration.
You must empty the inner unit periodically.
An electronic zapper also uses light to lure bugs to the device. However, instead of trapping the insects, an electronic zapper electrocutes them when they touch the unit’s electrical grid. There is usually a tray at the bottom of the zapper that catches the debris.
Chemical-free bug zappers are a safer, healthier alternative to traditional insect sprays.
An electric swatter is usually shaped like a tennis racket and runs on batteries. It features an electric grid that electrocutes insects when you wave the swatter at them. A swatter is portable, so you can take it with you on the go.
While nearly all bug zappers are designed for outdoor use, not all models are meant for indoor use. Choose a zapper that can be used in the area where you plan to install it.
Some models are designed for both indoor and outdoor use.
Because they use electricity to kill insects, many bug zappers emit a low humming noise during operation. When pests are killed, there may also be a popping sound. If you’re planning to use a zapper indoors, you’ll likely want one that’s as quiet as possible.
Because light doesn’t attract all flying insects, such as mosquitos and other biting species, you may want to shop for a bug zapper that comes with a chemical attractant or repellent or lets you add one.
Bug zappers come in a variety of designs, but it’s important to choose a model that is enticing to a variety of flying insects.
Light: Styles that use light attract many flying insects, such as moths, mayflies, crane flies, and beetles.
Chemical: If you want to attract biting insects, such as mosquitos, you’ll need a zapper that lets you add chemical attractants.
Electric: If you choose a zapper that electrocutes insects, make sure it’s designed to protect you from accidental contact, so you don’t injure yourself when it’s in use.
A bug zapper’s range is a very important feature. You need a zapper with a large enough range to cover the area where you want to eliminate bugs. However, many homeowners make the mistake of purchasing a zapper with a range that is too large, which only attracts insects from neighboring yards and areas, instead of killing the pests that are already present.
You can find bug zappers with ranges from square feet to acres. Measure your yard, and choose a model with a range that fits the area you’re trying to protect. Keep in mind that you can increase the range of a bug zapper by using chemical attractants or repellents.
Some bug zappers are equipped with a timer, which turns the device on and off on a programmed schedule.
If you don’t want to worry about forgetting to turn the zapper on or off, this can be a handy feature.
A bug zapper is designed to attract insects in order to trap or electrocute them, so you shouldn’t place it on your deck or in your yard’s sitting area. You’ll only wind up bringing more bugs to the area where you hang out. Instead, place it at least 15 to 20 feet from where you usually sit.
The best height for your zapper depends on the main insects you’re targeting. House flies fly low, so you should position the zapper 3 to 4 feet off the ground to snag them. For small fruit flies, you’ll want to hang the zapper at a height of 4 to 5 feet. Hang traps 5 to 6 feet off the ground to target mosquitoes.
If you’re using a bug zapper indoors, keep it away from the door and window sightlines, but still nearby, to handle any bugs that sneak inside. If the zapper’s light is visible from outside, it may wind up drawing pests into the house.
You should clean out your bug zapper at least once a week. If you leave dead insects in the zapper, they may attract scavenger bugs.
To avoid drawing insects to the very spot you don’t want them, place a bug zapper at least 15 to 20 feet from your outdoor sitting area.
Bug zappers vary in price based on type and range of coverage. In general, expect to pay between $10 and $300.
For a simple battery-operated electric swatter, you’ll usually pay between $10 and $25.
For an electric insect trap, you’ll usually pay between $20 and $50.
For an electric bug zapper, you’ll usually pay between $50 and $300.
A. Unfortunately, mosquitoes and many other biting insects aren’t attracted to light. However, that doesn’t mean a zapper isn’t capable of killing mosquitoes. If they fly close enough to the device, they’ll suffer the same fate as insects attracted to the light.
A. The proper range for a bug zapper depends on the size of your yard. If you purchase a zapper with a range that’s larger than your property, you’ll wind up attracting insects from neighboring yards instead of controlling the population you already have.
A. A timer can be very handy. It will turn on the bug zapper so it has time to work before you actually go outside. Depending on what insects you want to target, you may also want a bug zapper that lets you use chemical attractants to help lure bugs that aren’t drawn to the zapper’s light.