BHG Real Estate

2022-06-16 21:19:28 By : Ms. Lisa Cheng

If you're not able to enjoy your home's outdoor space without getting bothered by flying pests like mosquitoes and flies, we get it. Luckily, there are a few devices that can kill flies, mosquitoes, or other flying bugs that insist on getting in our faces, and most annoyingly, our food. Once set up—which usually entails just plugging them in and letting them get to work—these handy machines will leave you with one less thing to worry about.

It's important to note that the products on this list aren't meant to repel mosquitoes and other flying insects, they are meant to kill them. This process usually works by drawing them to the device and zapping them, so you'll want to set up whichever device you choose a ways away from where you and your friends and family will be sitting to prevent yourselves from being in the insects path as they flock towards the light. 

Our top pick, the Livin' Well Bug Zapper, is excellent at drawing in buzzing nuisances, is reasonably priced, works excellently both indoors and outside for a radius of up to 1,500 square feet, and has UV bulbs that efficiently work for up to 8,000 hours.

Here are the best bug zappers of 2022.

Why You Should Get It: This affordable insect zapper works well both inside and out.

Keep in Mind: The cord is only six feet long, so you'll probably need an outdoor extension cord if you want to hang it up.

With its respectable 1,500-square-foot effective radius, the Livin' Well Bug Zapper lets you spend time outside without having to continuously shoo flies away from your snacks or have to slap yourself silly going after mosquitoes.

This weather-proof machine will remain damage-free even if it suddenly starts to rain and you forget to bring it inside. It has a hanging ring so you can hang it up out of the way on your patio or deck, allowing it to get to work while you hang out a few feet away.

This machine has powerful UVA light bulbs that attract all manner of insects into its plastic housing. Once inside, they get zapped and fall into a collection tray that is large enough not to need emptying throughout the day. It is also quiet when in action—there's no annoying buzzing coming from the machine.

The cable on this zapper is six feet in length which, although longer than some other similar models, still means that if you want to hang it up in a larger outdoor area, you will most likely need an outdoor extension cord.

Why You Should Get It: You have a large open-plan space to protect from flying insects.

Keep in Mind: It's for indoor use only.

Granted, it's not the most attractive device you could have in your home, but if you're fed up with being inundated by swarms of flies and bugs every time you crack a window for a little fresh air, you will love this machine.

Bigger than your average home bug zapper and often used commercially, the ASPECTEK electric insect killer looks a bit like a heater and has two extra-large UV bulb tubes going across its length that are just too tempting for any flying bug to resist. 

With its effective radius of up to 6,000 square feet, this zapper is ideal for large, open-plan areas and especially kitchens or anywhere where flying insects are a real nuisance and perhaps even a danger. You have the choice of either keeping the machine freestanding somewhere on a countertop or table, or you can hang it up on a wall by its incorporated chain.

The bug tray that collects the dead insects is large, spanning almost the entirety of the 15.6-inch length of the machine, and is extremely easy to clean, as it just slips out and back in again.

Why You Should Get It: You don't have to plug it in or even remember to switch it on—it turns on automatically as soon as the sun goes down.

Keep in Mind: This solar option is very sensitive to rain, so you'll need to find the right spot for it.

This bug zapper, which comes in a set of two and uses green energy, does everything for you. It charges on its own, turns on by itself, and even has a motion-activated light for your outdoor space. With just one rechargeable battery and no need to get plugged in, this solar-powered device charges all day with the sun and turns on automatically at night, zapping bugs till the sun comes up again.

The best part about this insect killer is that it doesn't really look like a bug zapper; for all your guests know, it could just be your typical motion-sensor outdoor light.

Since this device is not waterproof, it needs to be kept out of the rain but somehow still be in direct sunlight. This could prove to be quite a feat, but placing it somewhere that gets sun for part of the day, but it still covered is best. The zappers come with all the hardware required for wall installation—either with both screws or adhesive tape.

The kit also comes with a cleaning brush for getting the dead bugs off the wire grids. There's no tray collection for dead bugs, so you'll have to sweep them up from the floor underneath the zapper every morning if you have these devices near the house.

Why You Should Get It: If you need a mosquito zapper in a small room that doesn't have access to an electrical outlet, such as for camping, this cordless, battery-powered option is ideal.

Keep in Mind: It only works for up to six hours on one charge.

Slightly better looking than some of the other zapper models on the market, the stylish CherryPig fly killer and mosquito zapper is a cordless and rechargeable model that you can take camping or traveling with you and charge in the car or via a laptop or power bank.

Ideal for smaller spaces, this device comes with a USB charging cable and a cleaning brush and there's even a hanging loop—perfect for hanging it up in the middle of a tent. This option is not made for killing bugs larger than a housefly and works best on mosquitoes.

It's made for indoor use, so if you take it camping make sure it's in a covered area and won't be subjected to potential rain. This machine emits hardly any noise and no radiation so, although it should be kept out of reach of children and pets, it is safe to use around them; the gap between the plastic vents is too small for little fingers or paws to get through so they can't be zapped.

It comes apart easily for cleaning purposes and is small and super light, too—just half a pound to make it easy to carry with you while traveling.

Why You Should Get It: It's a great option for those who don't have a massive fly problem but want to deal with unwanted buzzing visitors immediately upon arrival. 

Keep in Mind: This isn't a passive bug zapper—you will always have to do the "hunting."

If you don't really like the idea of having an unsightly fly killer on display and plugged in at all times, you could opt for a handheld bug zapper and fly swatter like this one from Faicuk. If you don't mind having to physically take care of the situation yourself, this super-charged swatter can be a very effective (and dare we say it, fun) way of seeing to any unwanted flying visitors.

Available as a single item or in a pack of two (which actually works out a little more cost effective), this electric fly swatter has a large racket head that simply shocks the flying insect upon contact with an electrical current, rendering it dead on the spot.

No wires, no charging, and no plugging in of any cords are involved. For anyone who has already taken the necessary precautions against flies, i.e., fly screens on windows, this type of bug zapper might be the only thing needed to get rid of any strays that slip in through the cat flap or when you open the door.

Another differentiating factor about this model compared to other zappers is that it works on all types of flying insects including moths, gnats, wasps, mosquitoes, and jumbo flies that otherwise would not be able to get through traditional zappers in order to be zapped.

It is easy to clean with a soft cloth or brush and, because you only need to switch it on for the duration of each zap which is about a second, the battery lasts an impressive amount of time. 

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Why You Should Get It: If your bug zapper must be visible, it might as well look nice (or at least not look like a bug zapper).

Keep in Mind: This device made for indoor use only.

With its modern white and grey design, not only is this BLACK+DECKER bug zapper more attractive than its competitors, but it can also tackle all manner of bugs including flies, gnats, mosquitoes, wasps, moths, beetles, and yellowjackets.

It covers an impressively large area of 6,000 square feet, so it's ideal for large open-plan areas or entire floors, but you can also use it in large, covered conservatories, balconies, patios, or verandas, as long as it is in no way exposed to the elements and is brought in at night. 

You can use it as a freestanding unit on a table or a countertop or hang it up on a wall via its hanging chain. The 4-foot cord is disappointingly short and means you have to place the machine either right near an electrical outlet or use an extension cord with it, but that's a small price to pay for the powerful bulbs with their large surface area that do an excellent job of attracting insects.

The machine has a large collection tray that is easy to remove and empty to get rid of all the dead bugs.

Why You Should Get It: It is simple and easy to use, lightweight, and you can take it with you while traveling to keep bugs at bay.

Keep in Mind: For the best efficiency, you'll need one of these in each room which might work out to be a bit pricey (they are available in 2-packs which works out a bit cheaper). 

Possibly the most simple-to-use of all the bug zappers on the market, the BRISON device works by simply plugging it in and leaving it there in the outlet. When you want to turn it on or off, you can do so by flipping the switch on the side of this super lightweight device.

To clean out the dead bugs, there's a flip-down, washable tray at the back of the zapper that you can simply brush down, rinse off, wipe dry, and put back in the device before putting the whole thing back in the outlet. 

Also available in white and as a pack of two, these plug-ins are quiet (apart from when the bugs make contact with the electric current—you can definitely hear when that happens!) and they are efficient for attracting and killing smaller flies, gnats, and mosquitoes. Their small size means that they are inconspicuous and don't stand out as eyesores. They will do the job you bought them for, and you'll practically forget they exist. They work best, however, if there is at least one of them in each room.

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Why You Should Get It: If you need some serious bug-killing capabilities for either inside or outside (or both) over a large area, this is the zapper to go for.

Keep in Mind: It is overkill for smaller areas and needs to be hung 6 feet above the ground and 25 feet away from people.

If you love spending time outdoors and hosting friends and family, but are inundated with flies, mosquitoes, and wasps, this completely weatherproof machine might be just what you need.

This professional-grade bug zapper by Flowtron is the type of machine that is used in commercial kitchens, butcher shops, and for events like weddings and outdoor parties with catering. These machines are also commonly used in barns and stables too, and anywhere that flies and mosquitoes could be a health and safety concern. 

The MC9000 is a heavyweight, durable item that weighs 13 pounds and was built to last. Though it is designed for professional use, it works if you have a big back yard, as well. 

Unlike other zappers, there is no bug collection tray in this USA-made machine as all dead insects simply fall to the ground, so you'll want to keep it at least 25 feet away from people and hung 6 feet up in the air.

Its 2-acre radius sees to it that flying insects from all over your property are properly seen to, leaving you and your guests to enjoy your day without having to swat flies away from your food and faces.

Why You Should Get It: This bug zapper is as inconspicuous as they come; it just replaces any regular lightbulb in your house and can be used both indoors and out.

Keep in Mind: You'll need one in each room for the most efficiency.

Your patio or porch light and even your bedside lamp can be transformed into a bug zapper simply by changing out the lightbulb and replacing it with one of these handy LED bulbs by Kaocomo.

Relying on newer LED technology rather than UV light, these bulbs have a high wavelength that lasts much longer without needing to be replaced and attract many types of flying bugs to their electrically charged metal core within the plastic shell. 

The bulb has a sloped design so once the bugs have been zapped, they simply slide off and onto the floor so there's no clean-up of the actual bulb (only of the bug pile that has collected under it). There are different modes to choose from too. You can use it as a combination of both a bright 1,200-lumen light and a blue-light bug-attracting zapper, or you have the option to turn off the bright light and use it as an insect-killing device alone.

While $15 per bulb seems economical, you'll have to budget for a bulb for each important room (unscrewing/screwing the same bulb for every room you go to is not very practical).

Why You Should Get It: It's small and lightweight, works both indoors and outdoors, and is affordable to boot.

Keep in Mind: The 35-inch cord means an extension cord is a necessity.

Whether you find its name amusing or are a bit grossed out by it, the fact remains that the budget-friendly BBQ Bug Zapper does the job. An endless number of bugs are mesmerized by its UV light and lured into the high-voltage electric grid where they are promptly zapped (falling conveniently into the collection tray below).

This thing can attract flies, mosquitoes, moths, and many other winged bugs but successfully manages to keep kids and pets out thanks to the sturdy plastic outer frame.

There is a hidden tray at the bottom of the device that collects all the dead bugs and keeps them out of sight. To clean the insect tray, simply brush off any bug debris with the included cleaning brush and rinse the tray under a tap with warm water.

The device also comes with a hook for hanging it up, but you will need an extension cord if you want to place it any further than 35 inches away from an electrical outlet. It is also best to keep this zapper around 10 feet away from you and approximately 3 to 5 feet off of the ground.

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With no need to change its powerful insect-attracting UV bulbs for up to 8,000 hours, and with an effective radius of 1,500 square feet, the Livin' Well Bug Zapper is our top pick for the best insect killer available to buy now. It is reasonably priced and is excellent at drawing in and killing flies, mosquitoes, moths, and wasps both inside and outside.

The main types of bug zappers used in residential and commercial settings are freestanding or hanging versions. Plug-in zappers and handheld electric swatters are also available, but these are designed more for low-scale and domestic use. All bug zappers use some type of light to attract insects, most commonly UV-emitting light bulbs, but more recently LED light technology has entered the scene.

Within the pest control industry, electric bug zappers are known as EFKs, or electronic fly killers. EFK machines work by attracting insects to them via a fluorescent light provided by light tubes. This light is surrounded by wire grids that are electrified via a transformer that increases the voltage significantly as soon as an insect passes through the wire grids. When the electronic pulse zaps them, they drop either into the machine's tray (which should be emptied every day), or onto the ground. 

Most commonly, bug zappers are corded and need to be plugged into an outlet to work. However, battery-powered and rechargeable options are also available. Solar-powered bug zappers are an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative that uses green energy. They charge all day with the sun and usually have enough power to work all night long.

The area that each bug zapper can cover is usually written in the product's descriptions, but as a general rule, the larger the machine and the more wattage it has, the more area it will be able to cover. "A bug zapper's effective radius depends on the size of the machine," Andrew Frost, founder of Wild Things Pest Solutions, tells BHG, "but in relation to the average unit for domestic use, you'll need one per room."

"Looks-wise, bug zappers are not the prettiest machines around and people tend not to want them on display," Frost tells us. "The design of EFKs has improved somewhat over the decades and you can now find many that are small and inconspicuous or have a contemporary chrome and steel look."

Unless specifically stated, bug zappers should not be used outside. Zappers designed for outdoor use are weatherproof and made to withstand the elements. For use in a kitchen, a bug zapper with a tray that collects the dead insects is necessary.

"For the most efficiency indoors, you'll need a bug zapper in each room," says Frost. "Unless used in commercial spaces like restaurant kitchens, or butcher shops which are regularly audited for health and safety, there are many good small and economical devices that will suffice for home use. These units are great at attracting insects and keeping them away from you."

"Bug zappers are predominantly used for flies," says Frost, "but they work just as well on all types of flying insects." To minimize flies in the house, Frost suggests installing fly screens on the windows. "This way, you can still keep your windows open without letting in hundreds of flies and mosquitoes," Frost adds.

For mosquitoes, Frost suggests using a mosquito repellant instead of an attractant like a bug zapper. "Mosquitoes are a whole other issue to which bug zappers are a temporary fix," he says. "If you have a big mosquito problem, it's best to spray bodies of water to deter the breeding process and put out a repellant near you and on you when you're sitting outside to keep them away from you."

Bug zappers are still effective during the day as insects will still be attracted to the light, just not as much as at night. In an indoor environment, the light will be more visible to the bugs than outside when the sun is shining so the effective radius of outdoor bug zappers may be reduced somewhat during the day.

There are many theories as to why insects are attracted to UV light. One of the most popular is that, since flowers have nectar and flower petals reflect UV light from the sun, insects are drawn to UV light because they think that's where the food is. Another is that UV light has a shorter wavelength than regular light which attracts night-flying insects that cannot see other types of light. For this reason, Frost informs us that "bug zappers predominantly use UV light technology with shatterproof UV tubes.

But as technology is evolving, a lot of companies are starting to bring in new LED light zappers that are just as efficient at attracting insects. These are convenient as you don't have to change the light tubes every year."

Frost says that unless you stick your fingers directly inside the zapping mechanism, bug zappers are not harmful to humans or pets, but it's unlikely that you'll be able to fit them in there. "Bug zappers must be kept away from children's little fingers," he says, adding that indoor zappers should not be used outside. "If used as instructed, and within reason, bug zappers are not harmful to humans."

This article was written by Kat de Naoum, who has over 10 years of commerce writing experience. Kat is also the commerce editor-at-large at Thomas-Xometry, the leading U.S. online platform for supplier discovery and product sourcing. For this article, Kat reviewed and tested multiple bug zappers and spoke to Andrew Frost, founder of Wild Things Pest Solutions. She also researched factors such as each bug zapper's type, power source, style, effective radius, and value for money.