The 10 Best Bug Zappers for Keeping Flies, Gnats and Other Winged Hellions at Bay (2024)

PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. You can learn more about that process here. Yahoo Inc. may earn commission or revenue on some items through the links below.

Picture this: You're enjoying a gorgeous night in the backyard with your family, taking in the starry sky, the smell of the bonfire and ... the sound of bugs whizzing by your ear? Alas, nothing dampens a nice, relaxing evening quite like the buzz of a tiny pest—and the inevitable itchy lumps that come with them. While citronella sprays may throw an insect off your scent to a small degree, they've largely been proven ineffective (and have a tendency to stink up the family barbecue). In order to save your sanity, and in some cases, your skin, you may consider the best bug zapper to take flies, gnats and their other winged cousins out of the equation.

The Best Bug Zappers at a Glance



The 15 Best Mosquito Repellents to Keep Those Pesky Bugs Away

What Is the Best Bug Zapper?

If you choose to take your chances on a bug zapper, you'll want to look for one that has a strong voltage, is durable to the elements, easy to clean and effectively lures and removes bugs from your space. Below, find options from top brands such as Gootop ($36) and Black + Decker ($52) that shoppers say are the cream of the crop.

How We Chose the Best Bug Zappers

We chose our top picks for bug zappers based on our research into what types of zappers and traps work best, ratings and reviews from customers who have tried the items and actual product testing. We also considered each one's voltage, durability and aesthetic.


1. Gootop Bug Zapper

The 10 Best Bug Zappers for Keeping Flies, Gnats and Other Winged Hellions at Bay (1)


When it comes to bursting a bugs’ bubble, look no further than this zapper from Gootop. It has a 4,200 voltage bulb that glows a bright blue hue and zaps insects that get too close. We also love that it comes with a carabiner on the top that makes it easy to hang from your porch, pergola, deck or even near your camping site to put an end to the whine of gnats at night. As it added bonus, it features a lantern-like design that isn’t terrible to look at.

$60; $36 at amazon

2. Bite Shield Racket Zapper

The 10 Best Bug Zappers for Keeping Flies, Gnats and Other Winged Hellions at Bay (2)

The Home Depot

This bug swatter has seriously changed our lives for removing flies that have snuck into the apartment. Gone are the days we would run around like madwomen, whipping a plastic fly swatter around. Instead, we just press a button on this racket to activate the electricity on its mesh surface, corner the bug in question and zap it. Typically, we do need to vacuum up any remains, but we've found it to be a much quicker option for larger bug removal in the home.

buy it ($13)

3. Livin’ Well Bug Zapper


Designed to cover spaces of up to 1,500 square feet, we like the Livin’ Well bug zapper for those with larger outdoor areas. The weatherproof gadget uses a powerful 4,000-volt bulb that both attracts and zaps nearby pests. We're also fans of the removable tray, which has a particularly large holding capability, though you’ll still want to empty it every few days or so. It has a modern lantern shape that can stand on its own or hang from its top loop, but note that the 72-inch cord needs to be plugged in for it to glow.

from $27 at amazon

4. Aspectek Bug Zapper

The 10 Best Bug Zappers for Keeping Flies, Gnats and Other Winged Hellions at Bay (4)


The brand of choice of Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, this one has a box shape that offers the ideal surface area to trap indoor pests when resting on a counter or hanging from the wall. (Read: Fruit flies and gnats don’t stand a chance against it.) Two 20-watt UV lights attract and zap 'em without any work on your end, and we adore that the mesh grate provides some protection from curious little hands while still allowing flying insects to sneak in. Cleanup is easy, too, since the bottom tray can be pulled out to be dumped and washed.

from $45; 39 at amazon

5. Black + Decker Electric Bug Zapper

The 10 Best Bug Zappers for Keeping Flies, Gnats and Other Winged Hellions at Bay (5)


This one's sleek, black design and removable tray make this bug zapper a winner, but we think it's the extras that set it apart from the pack. In addition to its standard high-voltage light, which reportedly offers dependable coverage for more than 43,000-square-feet, it comes with accessories (namely, a chain for hanging and a small brush to clean up any debris that may have been lodged in the holes and a user's guide). Shoppers say it's also quiet while it's zapping away. With consistent use, you will need to change the bulbs out every few months or so, but that’s easy to do, according to reviewers.

$52 at amazon

6. Zap iT! Racket Bug Zapper


This handheld zapper is popular for a reason. Like the Bite Shield, it can destroy flying pests with a flick of your wrist, and we think using it is honestly quite fun. (Well, as fun as killing bugs can be.) It's got a bit of a leg up, however, thanks to the built-in LED light that will act as a siren's song for your intended targets. It's rechargeable via a USB cord (though you'll want to note that the charge doesn't hold for long) and the mesh safety net helps to ensure that you don't accidentally zap yourself. Better yet, it comes in a two-pack, so you can stash an extra in areas where bugs always seem to be lurking.

from $29


7. Zevo Flying Insect Trap

The 10 Best Bug Zappers for Keeping Flies, Gnats and Other Winged Hellions at Bay (7)


We love the fact that this pint-sized insect remover plugs right into an outlet, like an air freshener, albeit with a deadly effect for the flying creatures in your home—without the use of chemical insecticides. Bugs will be inclined to check out the glow, only to find themselves stuck onto adhesive backing. Removal is as easy as taking out the sticky paper, and it can be plugged in anywhere there's an outlet for pest prevention.

buy it ($21)

8. DynaTrap Glow UV Bug Trap

The 10 Best Bug Zappers for Keeping Flies, Gnats and Other Winged Hellions at Bay (8)


For some serious buzzing destruction, this cordless option is no joke. Between the UV bulb, CO2 trail that's meant to mimic human breath and its quiet fan, it reportedly attracts unwanted and annoying mosquitos, moths, flies, beetles, wasps and yellow jackets on multiple levels from up to an acre (that's more than 43,000-square-feet) away. From there, the bugs are held in a retaining cage, where they'll dehydrate. It doesn’t zap per se, but it also doesn’t require an electric zapper or cords (something we always think is a win). For best use, the company recommends keeping it about 20 to 40 feet away from where people will be sitting.

buy it ($200; $180)

9. Shieldeck GlowTrap

The 10 Best Bug Zappers for Keeping Flies, Gnats and Other Winged Hellions at Bay (9)


Yes, even bug zappers have entered the smart home category. The Shieldeck GlowTrap uses a UV light to lure in pests, a fan to suck said bugs in and sticky paper to render them trapped. However, the gadget takes things up a notch with a smart sensor that’s aware of both nearby pests and when it’s dark enough for the UV light to automatically turn on. It’s also quite small, making it easy to put in your living room or carry out to a table outside. The light comes with five replacement papers ($11), but we don't love that you'll need to continually buy more after that.

buy now ($60; $50)

10. Katchy Bug Trap

The 10 Best Bug Zappers for Keeping Flies, Gnats and Other Winged Hellions at Bay (10)


Mosquitoes and fruit flies are some of the smallest (and most annoying) pests, which make them especially hard to catch and remove. We included this trap because it functions a little differently from other zappers. It has a purple UV light to attract the bug, plus a small-yet-powerful fan to suck it in and sticky boards at the bottom to trap it. Its design is incredibly easy to clean and the fans ensure no buzzards get out. While it's only intended for indoor use, it’s great for trapping houseplant killers, like gnats and aphids.

$35 at amazon

How Does a Bug Zapper Work?

There are two main things that bug zappers do in an effort to put a swift end to winged pests: lure and kill. Most of these gadgets feature a glowing light that is particularly attractive to bugs at night and electrically charged coils with a high enough voltage (around 4,000 volts) to stop them in their tracks. There are also handheld zappers, which look like tennis rackets, but feature electric strings that can zap the fly you’ve been chasing with the swatter for the past 60 minutes.

So how effective are they? That all depends on what kind of pests you're trying to eliminate. While a bug zapper will undoubtedly kill bugs by the tons, they may not be the ones you're after. According to a 1982 study from the University of Notre Dame, an electric zapper left on for eight consecutive nights yielded a haul of just 3.3 percent female mosquitos (aka the biggest biters).

Another study from the University of Notre Dame found in testing that while bug zappers do attract thousands of insects, only approximately 4.1 to 6.4 percent of their average daily catch is made up of mosquitos. More unfortunate, these electrical devices did not lower the number of these blood-sucking insects from a yard.

The pests you are killing with shockers (roughly 71 billion each year nationwide, according to a 1997 study from the University of Florida Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences), including beetles, moths, ants, midges and parasitic wasps, may even have some beneficial properties, such as pest insect control and nourishment for songbirds.

That said, there are still thousands of reviewers who swear by these gadgets for peace of mind, including celebs like Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, who have "a bug zapper the size of a flat screen TV," according to a Father's Day Instagram post the Bad Moms actress shared. "Even though we don’t have many bugs in our house, though maybe with that sentence I’ve just proven [a] point," she joked.

Bug Zappers vs. Bug Traps

While bug zappers attract bugs via light and electrocute them, bug traps, which can look extremely similar, use attractants that claim to be particularly enticing to female mosquitos. Many also have fans that suck bugs into a sticky net or electric grid. The first experimental study on their performance, which took place in 2017, observed a 70 percent mosquito nuisance reduction when using 16 Techno Bam traps spread out over 1.5 kilometers.

How to Clean a Bug Zapper

Bug zappers tend to produce a lot of waste (namely in the form of dead pests), which can get extremely gross if they're not cleaned over time. Most of these gadgets feature compartments that can unload right into a garbage can. You can also vacuum them to remove loose debris and dislodge any miniature legs or wings that may be stuck to surfaces with a toothbrush or hair dryer (though we recommend wearing a pair of gloves to avoid any potential bacteria found on these buggers that a zap cannot destroy). You'll also want to make sure they aren't kept close to any food items, like an outdoor grill, or areas where your kids might play.

Do Mosquito-Repellent Plants Work? Here's Why and What You Should Try Instead

Want to know which buzzy products are *really* worth buying?Sign up for our shopping newsletterto uncover our favorite finds.

Why You Should Trust Us

PureWow is the best friend you never had when it comes to finding the best, most useful lifestyle products online. Founded in 2010, our company’s editors and writers have spent more than a decade shopping online, digging through sales and putting our home goods, beauty finds, wellness picks and more through the wringer—all to help you determine which ones are actually worth your hard-earned cash. From our PureWow100 series, which sees each and every item we test being ranked on a 100-point scale of awesomeness, to the painstakingly curated lists our fashion, beauty, cooking, home and family editors create as vertical experts, you can trust that our recommendations include some of the greatest items you’ll find on the internet. Whether you're looking for travel-size hair dryers you can take on-the-go or women’s walking shoes that won’t hurt your feet, we’ve got you covered.

The 10 Best Bug Zappers for Keeping Flies, Gnats and Other Winged Hellions at Bay (2024)


What is the best bug zapper for gnats? ›

Best Overall, Indoor

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, boxelder bugs, moths, gnats, and even wasps.

Do bug zappers work on flies and gnats? ›

Gnats can be zapped with electric bug zappers. Although they won't get rid of all of them, these devices will kill a lot of gnats, and help keep their population down while you attack them in other ways. Gnats are attracted to bright colors.

Why do people not use bug zappers anymore? ›

They simply do not work as advertised. In fact, bug zappers actually make things worse by attracting more mosquitoes into your yard, and they end up killing thousands of beneficial insects that don't bother people. Be wary of zappers that market carbon dioxide as an attractant, too.

Which is the best fly zapper? ›

Bug zappers also lure insects with their ultraviolet light, and once flies land on it, they are electrified and killed. Zappers work best at night when the light is most visible, but they're also effective during the day. Our top choice in this category is the Flowtron Bug Zapper, which provides coverage up to an acre.

Is there a zapper for gnats? ›

BLACK+DECKER Bug Zapper Electric Lantern with Insect Tray, Cleaning Brush, Light Bulb & Waterproof Design for Indoor & Outdoor Flies, Gnats & Mosquitoes Up to 625 Square Feet.

What is the top rated gnat killer? ›

6 top-rated products to get rid of gnats this summer
  • GreenKeeper Sticky Traps.
  • Dynatrap DT152.
  • Neatmaster Ultrasonic Pest Repeller.
  • Zevo Indoor Flying Insect Trap.
  • Katchy Duo 2-in-1 Indoor Fruit Fly and Gnat Trap.
  • Kate's Garden Fungus Gnat Killer Spray.
Jun 14, 2023

What smell do gnats hate? ›

The only way to get rid of gnats without killing them is to repel them with scents they don't like: vinegar, vanilla, pine oil, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, and lavender. Even dryer sheets could help. Of course, the first line of duty would be to get rid of the infestation's root cause.

What color do gnats hate? ›

Bugs are naturally attracted to bright colors like white, yellow or orange. Colors like green and blue won't register as vividly when seen in the UV spectrum, deterring bugs away from these colored objects.

How do you stop gnats from flying around you? ›

You can use nearly any type of cooking oil to keep gnats away. Choose olive oil, coconut oil, or vegetable oil for instance. Then, soak a cotton ball in the oil, and dab it over your forehead, behind your ears, and down your neck. The oil masks your scent from the gnats so they are less likely to notice you.

What is the downside of bug zappers? ›

The only problem: They aren't killing the bugs that bother you. “Bug zappers are good for attracting insects that are attracted to bug zappers,” Leslie Vosshall, a neurobiology professor at the Rockefeller University, told us. This often doesn't include mosquitoes or any other biting insects.

Is it bad to leave bug zapper on all night? ›

Do I need to turn my bug zapper on and off each time I use it? The most efficient and effective way to run a bug zapper is to leave it on 24/7. By doing this, you help break down the insect breeding cycle. Alternatively, run your bug zapper from dusk to dawn.

Why do bug zappers need to be 20 feet away? ›

Ideally, place this device 20-40 feet away from areas where people gather. This gives room to draw bugs away from you while eliminating other light sources that might be near the zapper. Hang this device about 6 ft above the ground to ensure it's in insect flight paths.

What is the best fly catcher to buy? ›

DynaTrap DT3009-1003P Flylight

The DynaTrap Flylight Indoor Insect Trap is our overall choice for the best fly trap, combining quick and efficient pest control with a sleek design.

What is the best fly deterrent for indoors? ›

Hanging bunches of mint or basil and growing scented flowers such as marigolds and pelargoniums at doors and windows will help deter flies. To stop flies buzzing at the windows, rub the panes with a little liquid paraffin.

Do blue light fly killers work? ›

The answer is that fly killers typically require black light types of light bulbs, which emit a special electric blue colour that attracts flies. This is because, unlike humans, many flying insects are attracted to certain wavelengths of ultraviolet light, which the black light bulbs emit.

How do you attract gnats to bug zappers? ›

Gnats are attracted to moisture and organic material, not just light. You should really look for one that uses UV light and has an octenol attractant. Those can increase the catch rates for gnats and mosquitoes. I've heard that zappers with finer mesh screens can be better at dealing with small insects.

What is the best indoor gnat catcher? ›

The DynaTrap Flylight Indoor Insect Trap is our overall choice for the best fly trap, combining quick and efficient pest control with a sleek design. By using light as a lure and a sticky card to catch the insects, this trap isn't smelly or noisy and is safe for use around children and pets.

Do electric fly traps work for gnats? ›

The bug zapper will zap any flying insect that is attracted to UV light such as flies, fruit flies, mosquitoes, wasps, gnats, moths, etc.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kimberely Baumbach CPA

Last Updated:

Views: 5412

Rating: 4 / 5 (61 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kimberely Baumbach CPA

Birthday: 1996-01-14

Address: 8381 Boyce Course, Imeldachester, ND 74681

Phone: +3571286597580

Job: Product Banking Analyst

Hobby: Cosplaying, Inline skating, Amateur radio, Baton twirling, Mountaineering, Flying, Archery

Introduction: My name is Kimberely Baumbach CPA, I am a gorgeous, bright, charming, encouraging, zealous, lively, good person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.