The Best Bug Zapper
A bug zapper, otherwise known as: electric mosquito killer, stinger bug zapper, electronic insect control system – there is a range of names for these devices and a variety of specifications to suit your needs but essentially, electric insect killers lure mosquitoes in primarily through UV light as well as the use of attractants. Let’s investigate this further:
Mosquitoes have poor eyesight and are attracted to you firstly by the scent that you secrete. Humans and animals exhale carbon dioxide; an odor that mosquitoes find extremely irresistible and have the unique ability to detect in the air as low as 50 parts per million. The mosquitoes’ second weapon is detecting humans and other warm blooded mammals through thermal sensory information e.g. the heat that we radiate. Mosquitoes have sophisticated heat sensors that enable them to hone in on the source of heat. An Electronic zapper is a device that takes advantage of the mosquitoes’ heat detecting skills and attracts the mosquitoes in by using warmth as well as ultra-violet (UV) light. The mosquito is lured into the zapper to an electrical grid where the mosquito is then electrocuted by touching two high voltage wires. This causes an audible “ZZZZ” noise of the mosquito being electrocuted.
Unfortunately, not all mosquitoes are actually attracted to UV light and recent studies into mosquito control indicate that bug zappers can be somewhat ineffective if they utilize UV light as the sole attractant. This is due to several mosquito breeds NOT being attracted to UV light. The studies suggest that bug zappers are more likely to kill other harmless insects rather than mosquitoes. To compensate for this, many bug zapper manufacturers have designed their products to entice mosquitoes by using an Octenol mosquito attractant as a supplement to UV light. When human beings breathe, we exhale carbon dioxide; this is what mosquitoes love the most about us. Octenol is a chemical found in the carbon dioxide we exhale. Reports suggest that bug zappers used with the Ocentol lure perform up to 10 times better than those that don’t. Bug zappers with Octenol become a very effective mosquito lure. Octenol is registered with the United States EPA and is not harmful to humans when released into the air. However, there is the potential for toxicity if ingested – so caution must be exercised when using Ocentol.The following bug zappers that we recommend only include those with the additional mosquito attractant feature.
Let’s take a look at what we think is the best bug zapper on the market for 2017.
Scroll down the page for the full review on the Flowtron Bug Zapper
Scroll down for the full review on the Sandalwood Electric Bug Zapper
Flowtron BK80D Electric Insect Killer
- Rugged and weatherproof construction that will not rust, crack or fade
- Minimal running costs
- Incorporates octenol attractant to lure mosquitoes
- Comes with a 2 year warranty
- Power cord is relatively short and may require an extension cord to power the device
The Flowtron BK15d is a highly effective outdoor mosquito killer with extensive features. The model comes in a number of sizes depending on what you require. The BK-15D is designed for ½ acre coverage. The BK-40D is for 1 acre coverage and the BK-80d is for 1 ½ acre coverage. If you’re looking for a safe, insecticide free bug killer, then the Flowtron Outdoor Insect Killer is an ideal choice.
When you purchase a Flowtron bug killer, there is no need to put it together as it comes fully assembled with the Octenol lure included (each cartridge provides approximately 2-3 months of use). Flowtron has designed this outdoor bug zapper with a patented vertical non-clogging killing grid that allows mosquitoes to fall to the ground once zapped. There is minimal cleaning and maintenance and it is a really simple device to operate and maintain. All you have to do is take it out of the box and switch it on and the Flowtron mosquito trap begins to work. Additionally, bulb replacement is an easy process to install and can Flowtron Bug Zapper Replacement Bulbs can be found here.
The electric insect killer requires power to run and the cord is quite short. As a result, it will either need to be placed outside next to an outdoor power switch or alternatively, an extension cord may be required.
RESULT: A low-cost, pesticide-free and easy to operate device. The Flowtron BK model is definitely one of the more popular and arguably one of the best mosquito zappers on the market.
Stinger Cordless Rechargeable Insect Killer
- Cordless and rechargeable with an approximate 3.5 hour run time (3 hour charge time)
- Includes Octentol Mosquito Lure
- One year warranty
- 625 ft coverage area (approximately the size of 25 x 25 patio)
No electricity is required for the Stinger Cordless Bug Zapper and it is a portable and versatile device that can be used and taken anywhere outdoors (note: cannot be used indoors). When selecting a location, ensure you position the mosquito zapper between the source of insects (e.g. the backyard or the woods) and the area you wish to protect, but ensure it is placed no more than 10-14ft from human activity.
The Stinger outdoor mosquito killer has been designed with a protective cage to prevent birds, butterflies and children’s fingers from making contact with the charged grids. The device also contains a bug tray to catch the zapped mosquitoes. The bug tray is also used to store the Octenol lure and the bug tray can be easily removed for cleaning and replacing the lure (approximately every 2-3 months).
Although the battery powered bug zapper comes partially charged, it is recommended that it is fully charged prior to first use.
One octenol lure is included with the bug zapper, and replacement bulbs and lures are easy to install and can be found here. The octenol mosquito lure
RESULT: Cordless and Portability are the resounding features with this device, not to mention the low-cost and aesthetically pleasing design which makes it one of the best insect killers on the market.
Sandalwood Electric Bug Zapper
- Large coverage area (up to ½ acre)
- 2000 volt electric grid
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- Aesthetically pleasing design
- Short power cord and may require extension lead to power the device
The Sandalwood Mosquito Killer packs a punch. It may be small in size (12in x 8 in) but it has a huge coverage area (1/2 acre) and suited to those who require a large mosquito barrier. It is weatherproof and water-resistant and suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
It is designed with a protective easy-to-clean grid and removable base and will complement any outdoor area with its aesthetically pleasing design. But don’t let the looks fool you. The rugged construction will ensure you get years of use out of the Sandalwood insect killer. Similar to other electric insect killers, the attached cord is approximately 3ft long, and unless there is a waterproof outdoor power outlet, an extension cord will be required to power the device.
As with all bug killers reviewed on this site, the Sandalwood mosquito zapper comes with the Octenol mosquito lure to maximize the kill rate which is most effective when the device is hung 5-10ft from the ground.
RESULT: An eye-catching device that doesn’t compromise on quality with a super large coverage area. This mosquito killer won’t disappoint.