7 Best Bug Vacuums | May 2017

7 Best Bug Vacuums
Best Mid-Range
Best High-End
Best Inexpensive
We spent 35 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. We go through all that trouble to build houses with the intention of keeping the outside world out, yet insects don't seem to get our perfect system. With a handy bug vacuum, however, you can capture the same stubborn spider a hundred times and release it outdoors humanely until it puts two and two together and learns to stay where it belongs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best bug vacuum on Amazon.
Collect and observe insects and plants with the Elenco Edu-Toys EDU-37310, which also includes a creature net and tweezers to maximize your adventure. It has a sturdy, child-friendly design that can withstand lots of abuse.
  • doesn't hurt detainees
  • three suction speeds
  • not very powerful
Brand Elenco
Model EDU-37310
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0
The simple on/off switch on the Sonic Technology Bugbuster BB100 means that you don't have to hold down a pesky trigger or power button to maintain suction and prevent your captured crawler from clambering out of the tube and up your arm.
  • bright yellow finish is easy to find
  • wide tube for large prey
  • battery not included
Brand Sonic Technology Produc
Model BB100
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
The Nature Bound Eco-Friendly Catch And Release is designed for kids to capture insects for study, educating them about a world they might find repulsive or, at least, take for granted. It runs on four included AA batteries.
  • integrated led light
  • large viewing chamber
  • not very durable
Brand Nature Bound
Model NB500
Weight 13.6 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
The suction power on the PlayGo Science Kit outperforms most of the market's electronic options when on its high setting, and that includes models built for both kids' play and adults' insect removal. Its low speed works better for smaller critters.
  • comes with two observation jars
  • runs on 4 aa batteries
  • cup is hard to detach
Brand PlayGo
Model 5710
Weight 9.6 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
Adventure awaits with the handheld cordless Uncle Milton Nat Geo Critter Catcher. It is ideal for adventurous kids who want to learn about insects without hurting them, as it allows for safe collection and close-up observation through the viewing cup.
  • magnifier included
  • explorer activity guide
  • easy to use for ages 5-15
Brand Uncle Milton
Model 16154
Weight 13.4 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0
Rid your home of critters quickly, easily, and humanely using the innovative Wyers WB100 BugZooka. It features a removable catch tube with a simple push-button release, and its long handle keeps you far away from the pests.
  • lightweight and simple to use
  • powerful suction
  • no batteries needed
Brand Wyers WB100 BugZooka
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 5.0 / 5.0
The handle on the Redeo Rechargeable Catcher gets a little wider toward its base, giving you a pistol-grip-like body to grab onto, and helping to ensure that your arachnophobia doesn't cause you to drop the unit at the moment of truth.
  • built-in flashlight
  • easy to clean and maintain
  • releases bugs quickly
Brand Redeo
Model VS-200E
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Removing Pests Without The Mess: The Bug Vacuum

With the exception of the insects your child might have in his or her ant farm, no one wants there to be bugs in their home. When confronted with an insect in the home (or the classroom, office, or shop), most people have a few options at their disposal, none of which are all that pleasant. You can squish the bug, causing a mess and ending a life, albeit one rather far down the food chain; you can try to capture the insect with a cup and piece of paper, which requires extreme proximity and a touch of dexterity; or you can lay out an array of traps and hope the insects find their way to their own demise. (Or of course you can always just walk away, leaving the bugs to roam your home at will.)

There is one more option for dealing with insects, and it's both humane and tidy, two things most people value greatly: the bug vacuum. Bug vacuums, as the name rather clearly implies, are tools designed to draw in bugs using suction. But the suction a bug vacuum creates is gentle enough to not injure the insect, so you can release the critter outside, thereby keeping your interior insect-free while doing your little part to keep the eco system balanced.

First, let's look at the features one can expect from a more affordably priced unit. A basic bug vacuum is battery operated, which makes for good portability -- a must for chasing down insects on the move. Look for a model with a clear tube protruding from the front that will aid in placement of the vacuum before you initiate suction. If you're getting a bug vacuum for kids (or adults interested in entomology) to be able to study and examine a captured insect, look for a model with a viewing chamber, some of which are even detachable. If your concern is simply catching the bug and moving it outside, then there's no need for such accessories.

In the higher end of the price scale, you can expect a few enhancements to your bug vacuum. The first thing you'll notice about many of the pricier models is that they have longer nozzles. This both helps you to reach insects high on the wall or on the ceiling, and it helps to keep you away from the creature, as well (important if you just don't like bugs, or if the insect in question is venomous or has a stinger). And for bugs in the attic or basement, look for a bug vacuum with a built in light that can help you to make an accurate capture even in the dark.

Other Useful Insect Accessories

A bug vacuum is a great way to deal with insects on a case by case basis, and the fact that it allows you to humanely capture and release the little fellows is welcome indeed. But in the battle to establish a bug-free home, you will often need more weapons in your arsenal.

You don't have to capture or kill the bugs that never make it inside your home in the first place: using a good insect fogger is a great way to establish a largely insect-free outdoor area, thereby allowing you and your friends and family to enjoy a porch or patio free of mosquitoes, bees, and flies, and to greatly reduce the numbers of bugs that make their way into your home, as well. Just make sure to carefully follow the instructions that come with an insect fogger, as the noxious fogging agents they pump out can have ill effects on people with too much exposure.

A bug zapper -- also sometimes simply called bug light -- is a device that emits ultraviolet light to attract insects and then quickly and painlessly kills the insects using an electric charge. There are bugs zappers designed for outdoor use and there are units made to be installed inside, so no matter where you need to reduce the bug population, a bug zapper can help you do it. Just know that some of these devices emit a constant hum, and some also crackle noisily at the moment of each bug's demise.

Finally, there is always the option to use a good old insect repellent to try to keep bugs away, rather than finding ways to exterminate them. Insect repellent comes in the form of bug spray you can apply to your self or on your clothing, or that you can spray around doors, windows, and other areas to create a border. You can also try citronella candles or oils, which create a scent many insects can't stand and which they will actively avoid.

A Few Words About A Few Bugs

There are lots of insects in your home; that is simply a fact. A better understanding of a few of the more commonly found in-home insects can help you to at least reduce the number of these uninvited guests, though completely avoiding them is rarely possible unless in fact you live in a cleanroom.

Grain moths are, as the name suggests, attracted to grains such as flour, pasta, cereal, and more. While these petite brown/gray fliers are harmless, they are off-putting to find in your foods. Toss any old grains that have been open for a while and store new grains in the fridge or else in tightly sealed containers, such as jars or in plastic containers with locking lids.

Also, as is to be expected based on their name fruit flies are attracted to ripe fruit. They also zero in on vegetables and other foods left out, especially those passing their prime. While keeping fresh fruit out on the counter looks lovely and encourages healthy eating, if your kitchen is plagued with fruit flies, it's time to start keeping fruit in the fridge.

Gnats can be quite difficult to fully remove from a home once they have taken up residence, so try your best to prevent that from happening. If you keep houseplants about, allow the soil to fully dry out between each watering, for it is in moist soil that gnats -- particularly fungus gnats -- reproduce and thrive.

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Last updated on May 30, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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