The 7 Best Bug Zappers of 2023

The Flowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect Killer is our top pick

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Flowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect Killer, 1 Acre Coverage

The Spruce / Kimberly Holland 

A quality bug zapper kills mosquitos, flies, and other flying insects that are attracted to UV light.

We researched and tested the best models on the market, ranking them on ease of setup and maintenance, durability, and coverage. Our top choice, the Flowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect Killer, is a powerful outdoor option that attracts bugs from up to an acre away and is easy to clean.

Here are the best bug zappers available.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall, Outdoor

Flowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect Killer

4.5
Flowtron BD-40D Electronic Insect Killer

Amazon

What We Like
  • Large coverage area

  • Attractant cartridge included

  • High-intensity UV light

What We Don't Like
  • Louder than other models

  • Very Bright Light

Designed for outdoor use, the Flowtron BK-40D electronic insect killer uses a high-intensity UV light bulb to attract pests from as far as an acre away. Mosquitoes, biting flies, and other annoying bugs are zapped immediately on the electrified grid. Our at-home tester noted that this big and powerful zapper did an outstanding job eliminating flying pests in their backyard. "It takes about 30 minutes for the bugs to find the light attractive once it’s turned on," she said. "But when they do, the zaps start coming. In 2 hours, this machine killed several dozen mosquitoes and smaller flying bugs."

The zapper comes with an octenol (an active ingredient in many pesticides) attractant cartridge to lure mosquitos. While each one only lasts for 30 days, replacement cartridges are available. Our tester noted that the bug zapping seemed to escalate more with the cartridge, but the lantern still works without it.

This durable, polycarbonate, lantern-style bug zapper plugs into a wall. We recommend hanging it out of the way to attract nearby bugs away from your outdoor seating area—you'll probably need an extension cord since the power cord is short. Although it is brighter and louder than some other models, we think its coverage area and effectiveness make it the best choice for your outdoor space, especially if you're looking for something that covers a large area.

Price at time of publish: $65

Type: Lantern | Coverage Area: 1 acre | Power Source: Plug-in | Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoor

Flowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect Killer

The Spruce / Kimberly Holland

Best Overall, Indoor

Aspectek 40W Electric Indoor Insect Killer

4.2
Aspectek 20W Electronic Indoor Bug Zapper

 Courtesy of Home Depot

What We Like
  • Easy to clean

  • High-voltage metal grid

  • Attracts a variety of insects

What We Don't Like
  • Zapping sound can be loud

For an indoor solution, your best bet is the Aspectek Bug Zapper, a grid-style contraption boasting 40 watts of power and a one-acre range. The high-voltage metal grids eliminate houseflies, mosquitoes, boxelder bugs, moths, gnats, and even wasps. "The zapper’s ultraviolet light appears to be quite attractive to bugs of many sorts," our at-home tester reported, "from gnats and flies to mosquitoes and beetles. In 2 hours, our test collected nearly 20 bugs."

As long as there's an outlet nearby, you can set this insect killer on your counter, shelf, or floor or hang it up with the included chain and hooks. We also like that it's easy to clean—remove the plastic tray from the bottom and wipe away the leftover debris. The light bulb's lifespan is impressive and can last up to 5,000 hours.

Our tester did note that this indoor zapper is a bit loud and very bright, so they placed it in an area they could avoid and limited its use to a few hours at a time.

Price at time of publish: $63

Type: Hanging | Coverage Area: 1 acre | Power Source: Plug-in | Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor

Best Budget

Gloue Bug Zapper Light Bulb

Bug Zapper Light Bulb

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Easy to use

  • High-wavelength light

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't work as well for houseflies

With the Gloue Bug Zapper Bulb, you can turn virtually any old lamp into an insect-killing device. This is a great option for any areas inside your home where you don't want to use pesticides, poisons, or chemical sprays.

This bulb emits LED ultraviolet light at a high wavelength and delivers an electric charge through its built-in metal grid—a fatal attraction that kills mosquitoes, fruit flies, gnats, and other insects on contact.

Price at time of publish: $21

Type: Light bulb | Coverage Area: Not listed | Power Source: Electric | Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor

Best Racket

Zap It! Electric Bug Zapping Racket

4.2
Electric Bug Zapping Racket

Courtesy of Zap It!

What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Rechargeable battery

  • Ergonomic design

  • Safety features

What We Don't Like
  • Not as effective for larger insects

When it comes to electric swatters, Zap It! is tough to beat. This ergonomically designed mesh racket runs on a rechargeable lithium battery and switches on with the press of a button. You can swat the occasional housefly or wasp that wanders into your home and kill it mid-air.

When the 4,000-volt grid activates, extra-bright LEDs will ignite to attract vexing insects. We like its three-layer design to prevent accidentally shocking yourself or your loved ones. All the same, leave the swatting to adults to protect kids from a painful jolt.

Price at time of publish: $40

Type: Racket | Coverage Area: Not listed | Power Source: Rechargeable battery | Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor/Outdoor

Best for Mosquitoes

Black Flag 2,000-Volt Bug Zapper Insect Killer, Includes Black Flag Mosquito Octenol Lure

Black Flag 2000-Volt 1/2 acre Bug Zapper Insect Killer, Includes Mosquito Octenol Lure

Courtesy of Home Depot

What We Like
  • Special mosquito lure

  • Powerful

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Short power cord

Mosquitoes can be a real nuisance, and they aren't lured in as effectively by UV light alone compared to other flying pests. If you're mainly looking to reduce the number of mosquitoes in your space, consider a zapper that uses octenol, like this Black Flag 2,000-Volt Bug Zapper. One lure will last about a month, so you should only need to replace it a few times to get through the season.

One unit can cover about half an acre. The company recommends placing the zappers about 20 feet away from where you spend your time—so not only are you zapping bugs, you're also attracting them away from you, your family, and your guests.

Price at time of publish: $43

Type: Lantern | Coverage Area: 0.5 acres | Power Source: Plug-in | Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoor

Best for Flies

Black + Decker 36W Electric Bug Zapper

36W Electric Bug Zapper

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Large coverage area

  • Easy to clean

  • Works day or night

What We Don't Like
  • Small holes may not let large bugs through

Got flies? Say, "Shoo, don't bother me," with Black + Decker's Electric Bug Zapper. This high-voltage lantern can be placed on any flat surface on your patio, porch, or deck or hung up using the included chain and ring hook.

The UV light lures in flies and other bothersome bugs, day or night, and kills them instantly. Cleaning is a breeze: Just pull out the tray, empty it out, and wash as needed with the included brush.

Price at time of publish: $47

Type: Lantern | Coverage Area: 1 acre | Power Source: Plug-in | Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoor

Best Solar

Elechome Electric Solar Mosquito Killer

Elechome Electric Solar Mosquito Killer

Amazon

What We Like
  • Cleans easily without disassembly

  • Delivers 10 hours of power

  • Three lights in one

What We Don't Like
  • Hard-to-find charge indicator

  • No automatic activation

A solar bug zapper is a good take-along on a camping trip, when you can't necessarily find an outlet. The Elechome model charges in about 3 hours and can deliver up to 10 hours of lethal functionality, according to the manufacturer. It's effective against most flying pests, including mosquitoes and wasps, disposing of them with a 300-volt electric shock. Those who aren't campers can deploy it in any indoor room, setting on a surface or hanging it with the included hook.

The manufacturer says the solar panel charges the unit within 3 hours, but we recommend an all-day charge before using it. Also, you can charge the product with a standard USB cable (not included). An indicator lets you know when it's fully charged, but it is difficult to find.

We like that this product is three lights in one: a purple 365 Nm wavelength UV zapper; a white light without zapper for a bright night light; and a flashlight. There's also an SOS light light 3 in 1 Pests Killer Lamp: The electric bug zapper have 3 lighting modes, bug zapper light, white light, and flashlight. Perhaps because of this multi-use capability, the light doesn't turn on automatically at dusk, when flying pests abound, or off when daylight dawns. Instead, you need to turn it on and off with the simple pair of buttons.

All bug zappers require cleaning, but this one is simple, requiring no disassembling. It comes with a small brush to assist in the chore.

Price at time of publish: $37

Type: Lantern | Coverage Area: .5 acre | Power Source: Solar | Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoor

Final Verdict

The best bug zapper for outdoor use is the Flowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect Killer. With a high-intensity UV light, an octenol cartridge, and an electrified grid, bugs are effortlessly lured in and immediately zapped down. If you're dealing with indoor pests, your best bet is the Aspectek 40W Electric Indoor Insect Killer. This versatile zapper can be hung or placed on any flat surface and kills flies, mosquitoes, moths, and gnats with ease.

What to Look For in a Bug Zapper

Type of Insect

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 better than a UV light does. 

Coverage Area

The efficiency of a bug zapper is 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. If you have a small backyard, you may not mind a smaller range, since a large range will actually attract bugs from neighboring homes into your space before zapping them.

Indoor or Outdoor

Although many manufacturers make bug zappers that can be used indoors and outdoors, some machines are only suitable for one or the other. Indoor-only bug zappers are not powerful enough for outdoor use, and outdoor models often don’t have a tray to catch dead insects (yuck!). Be sure to check the packaging to ensure that the bug zapper you’re buying works for your space.

FAQ
  • How do bug zappers work?

    Bug zappers emit bright light (usually from UV bulbs) to attract flying pests. Insects are lured into a high-voltage metal grid at the center of the device, where they're killed through electrocution. Some bug zappers also use octenol, a known mosquito attractant, to help draw in biting insects and cover a larger range.

  • When should you use a bug zapper over a bug repellent?

    You should use a bug zapper instead of insect repellent anywhere you want to avoid pesticides or other chemical formulas. For this reason, they're great for inside the home. Additionally, a bug zapper can kill certain pests that a repellent may not keep at bay, so it's a great way to increase your protection both indoors and outside.

  • Can bug zappers harm you?

    Many bug zappers have multi-layered mesh grids to prevent accidental shocks and burns to humans. As for the ultraviolet light, the wattage is strong enough to attract bugs but typically not strong enough to be harmful to humans, especially when you keep roughly a foot or more from the light.

  • How do you clean a bug zapper?

    Some bug zappers are self-cleaning, meaning the bugs drop out from underneath, so all you have to do is sweep them up from the floor or ground. Many lantern-style insect killers have removable trays on the bottoms, which you can pull out and wash with soap and water.

Why Trust The Spruce?

Theresa Holland is a seasoned commerce writer with several years of experience covering outdoor living and cleaning products. She's been contributing to The Spruce since 2019, where she writes about a wide range of home goods.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Shimoda M, Honda K. Insect reactions to light and its applications to pest managementApplied Entomology and Zoology. 11 October 2013; Volume 48 (4):413-421. doi: doi.org/10.1007/s13355-013-0219-x

  2. FAQ: Do Bug Zappers Work? The American Mosquito Control Association.

  3. Ultraviolet Radiation. Health Physics Society.