The 10 Best Bug Zappers

Updated December 28, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Bug Zappers
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If you get swarmed every time you go outside, or even while indoors when the windows are open, it may be time to invest in a bug zapper. These killer machines use an electric grid to terminate mosquitoes, flies, and other pests, and some use lights to effectively attract their prey. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best bug zapper on Amazon.

10. Dynazap Extendable

The Dynazap Extendable is a flyswatter-style zapper, but unlike some of the racket-style options out there, this one is collapsible. That makes it unobtrusive when it's not in use, and the attached lanyard makes it easy to carry with you at picnics and barbecues.
  • doesn't leave smeared insect remains
  • works well on spiders too
  • not a long-lasting solution
Brand Dynazap
Model DZ30100
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. PestiTech PTH-8

The PestiTech PTH-8 is one of the quietest options on the market, thanks to its whisper operation feature. This makes it ideal for using while you sleep overnight, and it also won't alarm your pets. It's not the best choice if you've got a big mosquito problem, though.
  • attracts bugs from 100 feet away
  • very energy-efficient
  • ugly and industrial-looking
Brand PestiTech
Model PTH-8
Weight 6.3 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. Executioner Pro Swatter

If you really want to take out your frustration on a trespassing insect, then the Executioner Pro Swatter is like a big, electrified tennis racket. It allows you to take the fight to the bugs, rather than waiting for them to be lured towards their doom.
  • large striking area
  • comes with batteries
  • not durable over the long term
Brand Sourcing4U Limited
Model EX-PRO
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Bug Warrior Supreme

The Bug Warrior Supreme is a racket that's constructed from reinforced plastic and channels 4,000 volts of electricity across its grid-wired face. It comes with its own water-resistant carrying case as well, so you can fight pests anywhere you go.
  • lightweight and easy to swing
  • batteries are included
  • easy to accidentally shock yourself
Brand SunGod
Model pending
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

6. Flowtron BK-15D

The Flowtron BK-15D is a lantern-style zapper that gives you up to a half-acre of coverage, and the bars are wide enough to allow large bugs in as well. It has a non-clogging killing grid, which reduces the likelihood of it short-circuiting and extends its life.
  • energy-efficient design
  • open bottom is easy to clean
  • needs to be placed away from house
Brand Flowtron
Model BK-15D
Weight 4.2 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Teza Insect Killer

If you want a zapper that can stand the test of time, then the Teza Insect Killer is waterproof and can last for up to 25 years, so it'll protect your skin for a very long time indeed. The bulbs themselves have a 10,000 hour lifespan, making this a very hassle-free option.
  • cool-running magnetic transformer
  • black light acts as unobtrusive lure
  • large and bulky
Brand Teza Products
Model pending
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. SereneLife Waterproof

The SereneLife Waterproof has a built-in fan that draws curious bugs deep inside the machine - where death awaits. There's a slot hiding in the bottom of the device as well, to lure in any creepy-crawlies that might be lurking deep down in your grass.
  • marine-grade waterproofing
  • no clogged mesh to clean up
  • more attractive than other options
Brand SereneLife
Model PSLBZ25
Weight 3.8 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Aspectek Indoor

The Aspectek Indoor has a double-sized format, giving it a massive attraction range and more lights than other options, which is great if you have lots of pests to destroy. The black light makes it perfect for setting up in a dark corner to draw bugs away from your party.
  • chemical-free solution
  • safe for use around pets
  • works on hornets and wasps too
Brand Aspectek
Model pending
Weight 5.8 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Pest Soldier

The Pest Soldier is odor-free, making it a great choice for eliminating pests that have snuck into your home. The removable tray is washable, so you'll be able to keep things clean after disposing of your prey. It can also be used outdoors, so long as you keep it dry.
  • great for tiny bugs like gnats
  • simple to set up out of the box
  • can be stored easily when not in use
Brand Pest Soldier
Model pending
Weight 3.6 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. PestZilla Robust

The PestZilla Robust is designed for indoor use, covering 6,000 sq. ft. of space, and it also has a fully enclosed metal grid protecting the charged surface, so you don't have to worry about accidentally wandering into it on your way to the bathroom at 3 a.m.
  • ships fully assembled
  • can be used freestanding or mounted
  • bulbs don't get hot to the touch
Brand PestZilla
Model pending
Weight 3.9 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Bring The Bees To Their Knees

It's not an easy thing to understand why bugs creep us out so much. Perhaps there's some reminder of our mortality in their comparatively short lifespans and large presence around the deceased. Maybe the association between insects and plagues that wipe out entire crops and civilizations is at the root of it.

Then again, it could just be that they're a pain in the neck to handle, given their slight stature and nimble patterns of evasion. And let's be honest here, a bunch of them can very easily kill us.

But bugs are also an integral part of our culture, providing us with the pollination resources we need to keep the species alive, as well as balancing out a tremendously complex ecosystem. For the most part, they're our friends.

Well, mosquitoes aren't our friends. Flies don't really contribute anything to the picture, either, and roaches are just jerks. So, there are a few species of insect out there that haven't exactly earned the right to live in our homes with us. That's where the bug zapper comes in.

There are essentially two forms of bug zappers, each of which employs electricity as a means of killing insects. One type is stationary, while the other is handheld.

The stationary type hags or sits in an area relatively close you your house. The idea is for it to intercept bugs that would dare to fly into your space on a hot summer's evening. These units use an insect's navigational instincts against it, luring the bugs in with light, heat, and even pheromones to a shocking and instant death.

Handheld bug zappers are essentially small tennis rackets wired with a charge running through their wickets: you see a bug, you swing, and the little guy gets zapped on contact.

Passive Pest Control

Without knowing there were electric bug zapping rackets on the market, I took on the challenge of eliminating a colony of carpenter bees from my old house with nothing but a traditional tennis racket. They were fat, hungry bees, but they didn't sting so I felt pretty safe going on the attack. They worked more like termites, chewing away at the wood around my door frame.

So, I would wait for them to hover close enough to the earth that I could jump up and whack them out of the air, and, one-by-one, I destroyed them. It was a great victory, but nature of the tennis racket protracted the battle unnecessarily. Larger bugs like these carpenter bees, can often withstand a concussive shock or two in their lifetimes, returning to action mere moments later. With the added surge of electricity in any of these bug zappers, your intrusive insects don't stand a chance.

Still, deciding between handheld and stationary bug zappers will be your first step in whittling our list down to your perfect choice. The rackets provide a kind of thrill, connecting us with our hunters' past like little else besides tracking and killing a large animal. They are significantly less effective, however, and as soon as the novelty wears off, their use becomes a chore.

Among the stationary zappers on our list, the key variables to consider are range and power source. A few of the stationary bug zappers here run on batteries, whole others run power cords to outlets. If you're out camping, battery-operated zappers will serve you best, where you can easily set up a corded zapper at home.

Either way, you'll want to fit your zapper to the size of the area you want it to cover. If you have a tenth of an acre to protect, you don't need a bug zapper that can lure a mosquito from across a football field. That said, it is a good idea to cover a little more than the space you have in mind, both for peace of mind as bug numbers rise and in case you need to use it elsewhere throughout its life.

When it comes down to it, the handheld rackets are cheap enough that you should probably get one of those in addition to a stationary zapper, so you can go hunting whenever the mood strikes you, and sit peacefully all other times.

A Century Of Shocking Insects

An October 1911 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine published an schematic for a special kind of fly trap that utilized four electric lights at the corners of an electrified grid, with a fifth light glowing from within the grid. The design is remarkably akin to the bug zappers on our list, though it was purportedly too expensive to sell very well.

A little over twenty years later, William Frost officially patented the first bug zapper, though a model produced by a professor of parasitology at the University of California would hit the scene two years later and set the standard for bug zapper designs.

All these early designs of bug zappers relied on light to lure the insects to their impending doom, but more recent science regarding insects' sensitivity to pheromones has led some scientists and inventors to incorporate pheromone emission into their bug beaters.

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Last updated on December 28, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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