Our Top Picks
Best Overall, Outdoor: Flowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect Killer at Amazon
"A great choice for homes on larger lots that want to enjoy an insect-free outdoor environment."
Best Overall, Indoor: Aspectek 20W Indoor Bug Zapper at Amazon
"An affordably-priced electric bug zapper that will keep insects at bay when indoors."
Best Cordless: Stinger Cordless Rechargeable Insect Zapper at Amazon
"Powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, this lantern will run for several hours on a single charge."
Best Racket: Elucto Electric Fly Swatter at Amazon
"Powered by two AA batteries and delivers a zap of about 2500 volts."
Best Rechargeable Racket: Zap-It! Rechargeable Bug Racket at Amazon
"Powered by a rechargeable battery housed inside the base of the handle."
Best Plug-In: Electronic Insect Zapper Night Lamp at Amazon
"A great choice if you want a plug-in device for in the home, office, RV or during travel."
"Features a specially-designed LED light wave trap that draws flying insects in."
01 of 07
Best Overall, Outdoor: Flowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect Killer, 1 Acre Coverage
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.
02 of 07
Best Overall, Indoor: Aspectek 20W Electronic Indoor Bug Zapper
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.
03 of 07
Best Cordless: Stinger Cordless Rechargeable Insect Zapper
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.
04 of 07
Best Racket: Elucto Electric Fly Swatter
For a battery-operated bug zapper that you can hold in your hand to protect yourself from flying insects, choose the Elucto Electric Fly Swatter. This racket-style bug zapper is powered by two AA batteries and delivers a zap of about 2500 volts.
It kills even very small flying pests (such as gnats or fruit flies) with a single contact. The electricity is activated by pushing a small button on the handle as you take a swing at the bug to be eliminated. There is no continuous ‘on’ mode – though we find this to be a safety feature rather than a nuisance. It will prevent accidental shocks and also preserve battery life.
Though the swatter has an almost toy-like appearance, thanks to its yellow color and racket shape, it should be noted that this is not suitable for use by children and can deliver a sting if contact is made with the electric grid of the swatter. When used properly, though, this fly swatter will knock flying insects to the ground dead with one stroke.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Best Rechargeable Racket: Zap-It! Rechargeable Bug Zapper Racket
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.
06 of 07
Best Plug-In: Electronic Insect Zapper Night Lamp
This Electronic Insect Zapper Night Lamp is a great choice if you want a plug-in device for in the home, office, RV or during travel. Its small size and effectiveness make it versatile and easy-to-use anywhere.
To use the Zapper Night Lamp, simply plug it into a standard electrical outlet and the unit begins to attract bugs with its UV light. When in use, the night lamp gives off a pleasing blue glow. For maximum effectiveness, the night lamp should be the brightest source of light in the room. If not, bugs may be drawn to other light sources and the eradication of pests will be slower.
The Electronic Insect Zapper Night Lamp is priced at the low-end of bug zappers and offers effective indoor relief from mosquitos, gnats and house flies.
07 of 07
Best Bulb: Bug Zapper Light Bulb with LED light
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 Bug Zapper Light Bulb with LED light is a top choice for this purpose and makes a great defense against flying insects.
The Bug Zapper Light Bulb has a 12-watt LED light for standard illumination, but 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.
Products Tested by The Spruce
How We Tested
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.
What to Look for in a Bug Zapper
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.
Test Results: Flowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect Killer, 1 Acre Coverage (Best Overall, Outdoor)
Big coverage area
Can be used with or without the lure
Light is too bright
Tough to clean stuck-on bugs
Requires a hook system to hang
“This bug zapper will kill anything that comes near it,” raved our tester. “In two hours, it killed several dozen bugs, even on a relatively cool, low-humid night that often doesn't have a lot of bugs.” She also liked that using its lure was optional: “I'm not a fan of chemicals, so any chance I have to get away from them, I usually take it. It seems this bug zapper didn't even need [the lure].” In terms of negatives, she noted that its light was very bright: “You will see it—and of course the bugs will, too—but it's not going to be a form of mood lighting.” She also reported that “cleaning the bug bits is a bit hard,” but that she “finally found a soft-bristle brush that worked.”
Test Results: Aspectek 20W Electronic Indoor Bug Zapper (Best Overall, Indoor)
High-voltage grid attracts bugs
Easy to use
Light is very bright
Isn’t as effective with larger bugs
Bugs get launched around device
Our tester liked that it was possible to use this bug zapper right out of the box: “There's no assembly—you'll need an extension cord—and there's no bait lure to worry about,” she said. She also liked that it was possible to leave it on the floor or hang it up: “This makes it more portable if you need to move it between rooms,” she said. On the other hand, she wasn’t a fan of its big size: “It's a bit large and fairly cumbersome, and you will need to plan a spot for it,” she said. “If you're hanging it, you'll need to secure a spot on a wall.” She also noted that its light was very bright.
Test Results: Stinger Cordless Rechargeable Insect Zapper (Best Cordless)
Can also be used as white-light lantern
Battery may not last all night
Dead bugs get trapped in grid
Not as effective with big bugs
According to our tester, a big highlight of this bug zapper was its portability: “It’s great for people who move from their porch to their yard to a swing—or even people who want to take a bug-zapping lantern to the campground,” she said. “Plus, you can use it as a normal lantern if you don't want the UV lights.” She also liked its removable tray: “This makes cleaning up dead bugs hands-off,” she said, “which is much appreciated for people who don't want to have anything to do with the bugs.” In terms of downsides, she wished its battery life were longer: “The manufacturer says one charge lasts 3.5 hours, which is not quite enough for a full night.” She also noted that since the electric grid is close to the lightbulb, “some bigger bugs get trapped and don't fall to the tray at the bottom.”