Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Best Overall, Outdoor: Flowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect Killer
Winning the war against insects on their own turf requires an effective outdoor bug zapper. The best model available for outdoor use is the Flowtron BK-40D. This corded bug zapper will attract and eradicate mosquitos and other flying insects in an area up to an acre in size (or more, depending on model purchased). It works by drawing pests in with a UV light (and optional bait attractant), then zapping them by means of an electrified grid.
The housing is made of a durable polycarbonate, so it won’t rust when exposed to the elements. You will likely need an extension cord to connect the unit to the power supply, since the included cord is short and generally not long enough to reach an outlet once the unit is hung up or installed.
The Flowtron BK-40D is a great choice for homes on larger lots that want to enjoy an insect-free outdoor environment. It’s also a great choice for barns, utility sheds, or garages where mosquitos and other flying insects are a nuisance.
Best Overall, Indoor: Aspectek Bug Zapper & Electric Indoor Insect Killer
For indoor mosquito and flying insect control, the Aspectek 20W Bug Zapper is a top pick — thanks to its versatile design and high-power electric grid.
The Aspectek is able to be hung on the wall with the included chain, or sit upright on any flat surface. This unit is powered by electricity, and needs to be plugged in for operation. The Aspectek’s biggest claim to fame is its 2,800-volt electric grid. This is the most powerful grid available on the market for bug zappers. Safety is a top priority in the design, however, and the Aspectek has a tight metal grid that doesn’t allow for fingers to pass through to the electrified grid below.
To keep your home or office free of pesky flying insects, set the Aspectek on a shelf or counter. Or, for more permanent installations or to keep it out of the way, hang it on the wall. The dual-sided design will allow insects to be caught from either side. The Aspectek is an affordably-priced electric bug zapper that will keep insects at bay when indoors.
Best Cordless: Stinger Electric Insect Killer
You may need a cordless bug zapper for outdoor insect control where there is no available power source. If so, the Stinger Cordless Rechargeable Insect Zapper is a great solution.
Powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, this lantern will run for several hours on a single charge. It can also be operated while plugged in (if you do happen to have a nearby electrical outlet available). The Stinger Insect Zapper uses a UV black light instead of a UV white light like many bug zappers on the market today. The UV black light doesn’t emit as much light as its white light counterpart, but black lights are shown to attract up to 40 percent more insects.
Additionally, the device has a lantern-like aesthetic that easily blends into a variety of décor styles. It features two white LED lights for ambient light when the bug zapper is not in use.
Best Rechargeable Racket: ZAP IT! Bug Zapper Twin Pack
If you love the idea of a bug zapper racket, but don’t like the hassle of changing batteries, then the Zap-It! Rechargeable Bug Zapper Racket is a great option.
The racket is powered by a rechargeable battery housed inside the base of the handle. To recharge the racket, simply plug in a USB cord connected to a power supply. When operating the racket, you’ll need to turn the unit on, then press a yellow button to activate the grid. This is a safety feature to prevent accidental shocks.
One other safety feature that differentiates this racket from the battery-operated model is the three-layer design with protective mesh to prevent contact with the electric grid. However, some find that the additional protective layers can be a small hindrance in killing some insects.
Best Bulb: GLOUE Bug Zapper Light Bulb
If you want to turn any 110-volt light socket into a bug zapper light, there are a number of specially-designed lightbulbs that will do the trick. The GLOUE Bug Zapper Light Bulb is a top choice for this purpose and makes a great defense against flying insects.
The Bug Zapper Light Bulb has three modes and also features a specially-designed LED light wave trap that draws flying insects in and then eliminates them by means of an electrified grid. The bulb can be operated in lighting-only mode, bug-zapping only mode or both functions can be activated.
This is a great choice for insect control, since it uses light sockets already found in your home. It also is a budget-friendly method of reducing mosquitos, gnats, flies, and other household pests.
We bought three top-rated bug zappers and our reviewers tested them for six hours. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these bug zappers, from their coverage area to their versatility. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
Indoor or outdoor Although many manufacturers make bug zappers that can be used both indoors and outdoors, some machines are only suitable for one or the other. Be sure to check packaging to ensure the bug zapper you’re buying works for your space. Indoor-only bug zappers are not powerful enough for outdoor use, and outdoor models generally don’t have a tray to catch dead insects (yuck!).
Coverage area The efficiency of a bug zapper is, of course, the most important measure of success. In general, the more powerful the wattage of the UV light, the wider the range of the bug zapper.
Insects Contrary to popular belief, bug zappers aren’t very effective tools for eradicating mosquitoes. If this is the goal, make sure you choose a model fitted with an octenol packet, which attracts the insect more than a UV light does.