Bug Zapper: How Does It Work And Which One Should You Get?

Featured | Blue insect lamp | Bug Zapper: How Does It Work And Which One Should You Get?
As temperatures rise, so do the number of insects, but getting rid of them is simple with the help of a bug zapper. In this post, we’ll discuss the nitty-gritty of how to use them, as well our recommendations for some of the best bug zappers you can buy online. Read on to find out more.

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In this article:

  1. What Is a Bug Zapper?
  2. How Does a Bug Zapper Work?
  3. Where Can You Buy a Bug Zapper?
  4. When Is the Best Time to Buy Bug Zappers?
  5. Why Are Bug Zappers Essential?
  6. What Are the “Buggiest” Cities in the US?

Everything You Need to Know About a Bug Zapper

What Is a Bug Zapper?

Bug zappers are also called “electrical-discharge insect-control systems” or “electronic insect-control systems.” Their purpose is to get rid of unwanted insects by luring them in and electrocuting them.

The first patented bug zapper in the US was invented by Harrison L. Chapin and William F. Folmer in 1934. Since then, the product has seen numerous innovations in terms of lures and safety measures, although its design remains basically the same.

Modern bug zappers come in various styles. Here are some of the most common:

  • Bug Zapper Light Bulbs — This is a lightbulb that doubles as a bug zapper. It’s small and lightweight enough to snugly attach onto an electric socket. Most bug zapper lightbulbs are intended for indoor use since they’re not outfitted with additional protection against rain.
  • Vertical Light Zappers — This bug zapper’s bulb is positioned vertically. This design makes it easier to waterproof so users can use it outdoors or indoors. Most vertical light zappers have a plastic casing and can double as stylish lanterns.
  • Horizontal Light Zappers — Horizontal light zappers are usually used indoors, and look like large boxes with two main surfaces made of mesh grids. Insects are lured into the mesh grids and are zapped via 20-watt electric currents.

There are similar products to bug zappers that are worth mentioning. Bug traps, for instance, lure and trap insects inside its casing but does not zap bugs per se.

Electronic bug repellents, on the other hand, use high-frequency sound to drive away bugs and insects.

How Does a Bug Zapper Work?

Flowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect Killer | Bug Zapper: How Does It Work And Which One Should You Get?

Flowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect Killer Photo by Amazon

Bug zappers have a simple mechanism. Their basic parts include:

  • Housing —This is usually made of electrically grounded metal or plastic. It’s designed to look like a cylinder, lantern, or a cube. This part protects the zapper’s interior parts, as well as pets and children who might inadvertently come into contact with it.
  • Lightbulb — There could be one or more lightbulbs inside a bug zapper. Favored fluorescent lights include black (ultraviolet), neon, and mercury, which attracts insects.
  • Wire Grids or Screen — These electrically-charged wire meshes are responsible for killing bugs and usually envelop the light bulb/s.
  • Transformer — The transformer powers the wire mesh, turning 120 volts to 2,000 voltage or more.

On top of these core components, most bug zappers also come with an insect catch tray, which makes cleanup easier. Lure components, such as carbon dioxide and pheromone emitters, are also added to some zappers to make it more attractive to the insects.

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Where Can You Buy a Bug Zapper?

Bug zappers are available in most home supply retail stores. For shopping ease, however, you can also purchase online, such as via Amazon.

Here are some noteworthy Amazon bug zappers:

1. Flowtron BK40-D Electronic Insect Killer

Flowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect Killer | Bug Zapper: How Does It Work And Which One Should You Get?

Flowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect Killer Photo by Amazon

This bug zapper from Flowtron boasts of advanced insect-killing technology. This product is intended only for outdoor use.

Features

  • Non-clogging killing grid
  • High-voltage insect killer
  • Weatherproof
  • Free 30-day Octenol cartridge

Specs

  • Dimensions: 9.75 x 9.75 x 16.5 in.
  • Coverage: 1 acre
  • Cord length: 9 in.
  • Material: Polycarbonate construction

2. Livin’ Well Electric Bug Zapper Mosquito Trap

Electric Bug Zapper Mosquito Trap | Bug Zapper: How Does It Work And Which One Should You Get?

Electric Bug Zapper Mosquito Trap Photo by Amazon

The Livin’ Well Electric Bug Zapper doubles as a decorative outdoor lantern and can be used indoors or outdoors. It features a base that allows it to stand freely and a loop so it can be hung to save space.

Features

  • Outdoor and indoor ready
  • Safe and high-quality
  • US-tested and approved

Specs

  • Dimensions: 13.8 x 6.7 x 6.6 in.
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs.
  • Coverage: 1500 sq. ft.
  • Light bulb life: 8,000 hours

3. ENKEEO 2-in-1 Camping Lantern Bug Zapper Tent Light

ENKEEO 2-in-1 Camping Lantern Bug Zapper Tent Light | Bug Zapper: How Does It Work And Which One Should You Get?

ENKEEO 2-in-1 Camping Lantern Bug Zapper Tent Light Photo by Amazon

This ENKEEO bug zapper tent light is ideal for camping trips with its retractable hook that allows it to be hung in a tent. Its waterproof design makes it a reliable outdoor insect zapper.

Features

  • Easy and safe to use
  • Portable and compact
  • Long-lasting
  • Expansive coverage
  • Includes a rechargeable battery

Specs

  • Dimensions:.46 x 5.08 in.
  • Weight: 200 g
  • Battery: 2000mAh rechargeable (lasts 20 hours), USB Charging
  • Coverage: 16 x 16 ft.

4. Sunnest Bug Zapper Light Bulb

Sunnest Bug Zapper Light Bulb, 2 in 1 Mosquito Killer Lamp | Bug Zapper: How Does It Work And Which One Should You Get?

Sunnest Bug Zapper Light Bulb, 2 in 1 Mosquito Killer Lamp Photo by Amazon

This outdoor and indoor bug zapper from Sunnest has a simple design that won’t take away focus when added to a lamp or ceiling light. It’s as powerful as it is cool to look at as well.

Features

  • Two modes to choose from — light and bug zapper
  • Toxic-free and eco-friendly
  • Easy installation

Specs: 

  • Dimensions: 6.6 x 3.8 x 3.7 inches
  • Weight: 4 oz.
  • Color: White
  • Bulb lifespan: 50,000 hours
  • Fits 110V E26/E27 light bulb sockets

5. Aspectek Upgraded 20W Electronic Bug Zapper

Aspectek UPGRADED 20W Electronic Bug Zapper | Bug Zapper: How Does It Work And Which One Should You Get?

Aspectek UPGRADED 20W Electronic Bug Zapper Photo by Amazon

This upgraded Aspectek Bug Zapper kills even hard-shelled beetles through its powerful electric grid. It features a protective cage to prevent accidental contact.

Features

  • Has 2 UV lightbulbs
  • Safe and chemical-free
  • Simple activation/installation
  • Easy upkeep — It includes a washable plastic tray at the bottom that collects the dead insects.

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 3.1 x 15 x 11 in.
  • Weight: 2.84 lbs.
  • Power: 2800 volts

When Is the Best Time to Buy Bug Zappers?

It’s best to shop for bug zappers in time for the warm season. During cold months, most bugs and insects retreat to their winter nooks.

As soon as temperatures rise, the metabolism of insects goes on overdrive, which means they start vigorously hunting for nutrition.

Flies and mosquitoes are especially pesky come summertime, hence households better be ready. Outdoor-related equipment, tools, and gadgets usually go on sale during the month of April, so keep this in mind for considerable savings.

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Why Are Bug Zappers Essential?

Bug zappers add comfort to home living. But more than that, it’ll keep household members safe from the many illnesses that can potentially be passed from insects to humans, such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and West Nile virus, to name a few.

These days, optimum health is crucial. That’s enough reason why buying bug zappers is worth every penny.

Homeowners who habitually use their yards, porches, or gazebos for weekend relaxations or gatherings will also find bug zappers quite helpful. After all, an insect bite or a bug crawling on the skin can easily ruin an otherwise fun time.

Lyme Disease Definition: An infectious disease caused by a tick-spread bacterium called Borrelia.

What Are the “Buggiest” Cities in the US?

According to this report from Thumbtack, the buggiest cities in the United States include:

  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Houston, Texas
  • Austin, Texas
  • Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Dover, Delaware
  • Lima, Ohio
  • Indianapolis, Indiana

Thumbtack, which is an online service that matches users to local professionals, gathered their data from the number of requests for pest control services across 159 major cities. The cities on the list received the most number of pest-related requests, including pest inspection and outdoor pesticide application.

Learn how a bug zapper works in this video from ScaperDeage:

Bugs and other insects can be annoying, and worse, bring health risks that can endanger you and your loved ones. We hope this list helped you learn more about this product and provided you with great suggestions of which bug zappers deserve a second look.

Which bug zappers have you used before? Tell us about them in the comments section below.

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Pricing Disclaimer: Prices on this list are subject to change without further notice based on price fluctuations on Amazon. Please refer to the links for actual prices. All prices on this list are accurate as of June 13, 2019.

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