Three best bug zappers
You love entertaining and hanging out in your backyard. So do the mosquitoes. If you're searching for a mosquito solution that does not involve lathering yourself with layers of chemicals, a bug zapper may be right for you. These devices attract and kill mosquitoes and other pests, forming a protective barrier between you and the bugs so you can enjoy your backyard.
Buying the perfect bug zapper involves examining your own particular needs and wading through various zapper features. This guide will introduce you to some of the issues to consider when shopping for a bug zapper, in addition to some of our top picks for this product.
Considerations when choosing bug zappers
Indoor/outdoor: Are you searching for a bug zapper for an outside or inside living area? Some zappers are designed for both, while others are specific to one or the other.
Construction: Outside bug zappers in particular need to be rugged to survive the elements. Bug zappers should be long-lasting and rust-resistant. If space is an issue, consider one that is more compact.
Aesthetics: Chances are that your bug zapper will be a prominent fixture in your living space, so give some thought to selecting one that you find attractive.
Mounting: Bug zappers can be mounted in a variety of ways, from hanging and ground-mounting to even screwing into existing light sockets. Decide how you want to mount the zapper, and then narrow your choices down to the products that meet your mounting needs.
Placement: Bugs will be attracted to both you and your new zapper, so consider where to place the bug zapper for optimum effectiveness. A nice balance is to place it around 15 feet away from where people congregate, while five feet above the ground is the optimum height.
Coverage: Do you just want a bug-free patio, or are you more interested in clearing your whole two-acre property of pests? Bug zappers have different coverage ratings that you should keep in mind.
Power: While some bug zappers run on batteries, the majority are powered by electricity. With these, you'll need an available outlet that is within easy reach of the cord. Note how easy the zapper is to turn on and off, and also find out before making your purchase whether it uses an automatic switch (on at sunset, off at sunrise) or operates continuously.
Maintenance: Research how much maintenance and upkeep a bug zapper will need. Can you just hang it and forget it, or do you need to clean it and replace parts often?
Pricing: Entry-level bug zappers generally begin in the $20 to $40 range. When you start adding features and increased coverage, the price can rise considerably to several hundred dollars.
In addition to the initial cost, take into account any ongoing costs. This may include batteries and any cartridges or bulbs that would need to be replaced. Finally, how efficient is the model that you're considering? A more powerful grid or brighter UV lights will result in higher electricity costs.
Q. Are bug zappers safe to use around pets and children?
A. You are essentially electrocuting bugs, so care should be taken with these products. A quality bug zapper should have an external grid that keeps small fingers and paws from reaching the inner electrified elements. You can also hang zappers high up to put them out of the reach of children and pets.
Q. What else can I do to cut down on mosquitoes?
A. There are a number of steps you can take, both personally and within your space, to keep mosquitoes at bay. As pests are attracted to scents, avoid using perfumes, aftershave, or scented soaps. Keep in the shade to limit perspiration, and wear long sleeve shirts and pants if possible to show less skin.
In terms of your space, remove any items or areas where stagnant water could potentially be used for mosquito breeding.
Bug zappers we recommend
Best of the best: Flowtron Diplomat Fly Control Device
Our take: A top-quality bug zapper for widespread outdoor or commercial indoor coverage.
What we like: Covers up to two acres outside and 2,000 square feet inside. Features a removable collection tray and vertical or horizontal mounting.
What we dislike: On the expensive side compared to other models. Some buyers find it to be less durable than they would like.
Best bang for your buck: Flowtron Electronic Insect Killer
Our take: An inexpensive bug zapper that receives high marks for its rugged design and efficiency.
What we like: Easy to maintain and use. Features a non-clogging grid and easy bulb replacement. Efficient killing grid and bulb.
What we dislike: Only covers half of an acre, which is less than some other models. There have been some claims that it isn't effective for mosquitoes.
Our take: This option screws into an existing light socket and is suitable for compact indoor or outdoor areas.
What we like: Easy to keep out of reach of pets and children. Unique design is simple to use. Offers zapper only or zapper/light modes. Compact design.
What we dislike: Not as long-lasting as other models. Short range.
Rich Gray is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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