The 9 Best Bug Zapper Lights of 2023 | by Travel + Leisure

Travel + Leisure / David Hattan

Humans and bugs both love the outdoors. This means that your favorite activities — barbecuing, roasting marshmallows around a fire, and lounging on the patio — are often spoiled by uninvited guests: swarms of mosquitoes, flies, and gnats, oh my. They can also travel indoors, and some bugs, like mosquitos, can spread diseases with their bites.

Loads and loads of bug spray isn’t the only solution to your insect woes; a mosquito-killing lamp can help protect you from nasty bites. They work by attracting biting insects with a light and then electrocuting them on the spot with a powerful electrical grid. There are a host of solid zapper choices out there, including handheld, professional-grade, and solar-powered lights.

Our Top PicksBest Overall:Flowtron Electronic Insect Killer at AmazonJump to ReviewBest Solar-powered:Elechome Electric Solar Mosquito Killer at AmazonJump to ReviewBest Outdoor:Black Flag Bug Zapper at AmazonJump to ReviewBest Indoor:Aspectek Electronic Indoor Insect Killer at AmazonJump to ReviewBest Budget:Meilen Mosquito Bug Zapper at AmazonJump to ReviewBest for Large Yards:Flowtron MC9000 Residential Bug Fighter at AmazonJump to ReviewBest for Camping:GooTop Outdoor Mosquito Zapper at AmazonJump to ReviewBest Handheld:Koosa Solar Bug Zapper at AmazonJump to ReviewBest for Mosquitos:Black Flag 2,000-Volt Bug Zapper Insect Killer at WalmartJump to Review

Best Overall

Flowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect Killer



View On AmazonView On WalmartView On Globalindustrial.comWhy We Love It

Waterproof polycarbonate material ensures that this lantern remains an aesthetically-pleasing part of your backyard for many years to come.

What to Consider

Even though it has a non-clogging killing grid, dead bugs will sometimes stick to it.

Humans come alive in the summertime, but unfortunately, so do insects of the biting variety. Arm yourself with the Flowtron BK-40D. Flying insects are drawn to the 40-watt ultraviolet light before the high-charged electric grid kills them on impact. Those who are squeamish about bugs will love that this device is self-cleaning. Zapped bugs simply fall to the ground and naturally decompose into the ecosystem.

The unit provides one acre of coverage, so you’ll always enjoy a bug-free environment, even when you place the light far away from your typical lounging area (which we recommended, as it can be quite loud when bugs meet their demise). A protective grid enclosure prevents pets and children from getting accidental shocks. This is an all-around reliable bug zapper that’ll fulfill most outdoor needs.

Price at time of publish: $65

The Details: 43,560 square feet | Plug-in | Outdoor

Best Solar-powered

Elechome Electric Solar Mosquito Killer


View On AmazonWhy We Love It

It has three lighting modes in one.

What to Consider

It’s best suited for small spaces.

This bug zapper is a shining example of why solar-powered lights are so great; it costs nothing to operate since it doesn’t require electricity. This means that you can take it with you for all your remote summer adventures. It’s also great to use in backyards where outlets are sparse. But on the off-chance that you forget to power it in the sun, you’ll appreciate the USB rechargeable battery that provides up to 10 hours of battery life when fully charged.

The device may be smaller than others, but it has an impressive coverage area of half an acre. It’s also designed with a 360-degree grid, so it zaps all those who dare to fly by it with a 3,000-volt shock. The unit has three lighting modes: the bug zapper light, a flashlight, and a white light that’s perfect for late-night outdoor adventures or emergencies. Since it has a waterproof rating of IP66, it’s built to last, even in torrential downpours. Plus, you can rinse the entire device underwater (just make sure it’s powered off).

Price at time of publish: $43

The Details: 21,780 square feet | Solar power | Indoor and outdoor

Best Outdoor

Black Flag 5,500-Volt Deluxe Bug Zapper

Home De Pot

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It provides coverage up to one and a half acres, making it ideal for medium- to large-sized backyards.

What to Consider

It’s recommended that you sit at least 20 feet away from the unit, which might disrupt some activities.

You don’t have to deal with bugs just because you’re on their turf. This Black Flag model uses an energy-efficient 40-watt LED black light, which the company claims is more powerful at luring insects in than traditional white ultraviolet light. Bonus: it adds a cool ambiance to your outdoor space. The device becomes extra impossible to resist with the clip-in octenol lure, which is a chemical that attracts mosquitoes and biting insects. It lasts for about a month and is relatively inexpensive to replace. Thanks to the dusk-to-dawn sensor switch, you can leave the plug-in unit running 24/7. The sensor will switch on the light at night — the time when bugs are most active — and turn off when it’s dusk. So you can kick back, relax, and enjoy the great outdoors.

Price at time of publish: $81

The Details: 65,340 square feet | Plug-in | Outdoor

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Best Indoor

Aspectek Powerful 20W Electronic Indoor Insect Killer


View On AmazonView On Home DepotWhy We Love It

Cleanup is easy with a self-cleaning electric grid and a removable and washable bug collection tray.

What to Consider

The sound of bugs getting zapped is quite loud.

Give uninvited guests an eviction notice with the Aspectek Insect Killer. Since it has dual UV lights, you can expect double the power to draw in everything from mosquitoes to moths to gnats to house flies. The 2800V high-voltage metal grid then does a quick job of providing you with a bug-free home.

When you need to replace the lights, simply remove the mesh screen to gain access. Another removable part is the washable bug collection tray at the bottom of the machine. You have two different options for where you want the zapper light to live. It comes with hanging hooks so you can keep it out of reach from pets and little ones or you can simply place it on countertop surfaces.

Price at time of publish: $51

The Details: Plug-in | Indoor

Best Budget

Meilen 20W/4000v Electric Mosquito Bug Zapper


View On AmazonWhy We Love It

This wallet-friendly option offers a wide coverage area.

What to Consider

It’s not as good at killing bugs as other options.

There’s no reason to bug out over this affordable option. It’s a steal for being so effective, long-lasting, and weatherproof. It also has some features that you won’t always find on more expensive models, like a coverage area of 1.5 acres and indoor and outdoor use. The hanging hoop on the top makes it easy to hang anywhere, like above the patio, garage, or pool (don’t worry, it’s waterproof). Since it’s portable, you could carry it with you during those late-night camping bathroom runs. Cleanup is easy — you simply remove the bug collection container from the bottom and clean it with the included brush. All In all, this bug zapper light saves you money — and the need to constantly slather on bug spray.

Price at time of publish: $32

The Details: 65,340 | Plug-in | Indoor and outdoor

Best for Large Yards

Flowtron MC9000 Residential Bug Fighter


View On AmazonWhy We Love It

The professional-grade light covers a two-acre radius, making it perfect for large outdoor spaces.

What to Consider

It must be hung 6 feet above the ground and 25 feet away from people.

A bigger yard calls for a heavy-duty (read: professional-grade) bug light. This one by Flowtron is a serious bug-killing machine that provides two acres of coverage. It’s designed with a powerful 360-degree vertical grid, so it can handle swarms of bugs all at once in large spaces, such as yards, barns, or even around dumpsters. It’s also perfect for your large events, like weddings, when you don’t want guests swatting away flies from their food or faces.

An upgraded glow tube reflector intensifies the already-powerful 120 watts of black UV light, as does the free packet of octenol. There are other useful perks, too, like the self-cleaning option so that dead insects fall to the ground and decompose. We do wish that it had more placement options besides just hanging, though. It’s also recommended that you install it six feet above the ground and 25 feet away from where you plan to hang out. But with up to two acres of coverage, the benefits are worth a bit of installation nuisance.

Price at time of publish: $285

The Details: 87,120 square feet | Plug-in | Outdoor

Best for Camping

GooTop Outdoor Mosquito Zapper


View On AmazonWhy We Love It

It’s easy to clean and can be used indoors and outdoors.

What to Consider

The bulb has to be replaced fairly quickly.

Bugs will likely always be a part of camping trips. But that doesn’t mean you have to suffer from itchy red bites. Try this blue-violet bug light instead, which attracts bugs like a bear to honey. You can expect it to work on a variety of bugs you might encounter in the woods, like mosquitoes, gnats, midges, flies, horse flies, and so on. It provides up to half an acre of coverage, and it can be used indoors or outdoors, so you can bring it into your tent or trailer to sleep itch-free at night. Since cleaning is already difficult in the woods, you’ll love that the bottom pops off to be rinsed and that a cleaning brush is included. Finally, the plastic around the grid prevents you and the kids (and any other small animals that wander up to your campsite) from getting shocked.

Price at time of publish: $60

The Details: 21,780 square feet | Plug-in | Indoor and outdoor

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Best Handheld

Koosa Solar Bug Zapper


View On AmazonWhy We Love It

It has an attractive look that you’ll want to carry around with you everywhere.

What to Consider

The solar power and USB battery life aren’t as long as other options.

For all your travels, consider this bug light by Koosa. With new features like solar-powered blue light, rechargeable batteries, and a dimmer switch, it’s an all-around winner in our books and a major step up from the company’s previous version. Suitable for indoor and outdoor use, the 4,200-volt high power grid eliminates bugs within 2,100 square feet. Why have one light when you could have three in one? Use it as a bug light, an LED lamp that is dimmable, and an SOS light. The lantern look keeps you stylish on the go, and the sturdy and fireproof material keeps the device cool on even the hottest of days.

Price at time of publish: $50

The Details: 2,100 square feet  | Solar and USB | Indoor and outdoor

Best for Mosquitos

Black Flag 2,000-Volt Bug Zapper Insect Killer


View On WalmartView On Home DepotWhy We Love It

It comes with octenol, which is excellent at attracting mosquitoes.

What to Consider

The cord is very short, so you may need to use an extension cord.

The summer months are supposed to be about having fun, not being a buffet for blood-sucking mosquitoes. Put a stop to your status as a mosquito magnet with this light that attracts the pesky buggers up to half an acre away. While it attracts different kinds of biting insects, mosquitoes are especially lured in by the 15-watt LED white light. The specialized octenol lure makes the device even more irresistible to the pests. Note that one lasts about a month, so you will need to replace them if you want to get through the season. Lastly, there’s no need to worry about pets, children, or other wildlife, as a plastic guard keeps roaming hands — or paws — safe.

Price at time of publish: $44

The Details: 21,780 square feet | Plug-in | Outdoor

Tips for Buying a Bug Zapper Light

Consider your outlet locations

Take stock of your outlets both inside and outdoors. Since some bug lights have short power cords, you may need an extension cord that’s labeled for outside use. If you want the freedom to move your light around, choose a battery or solar-powered option instead.

Know which insects you’re dealing with

Most bug lights are effective at attracting flying insects such as mosquitos, flies, moths, gnats, and wasps. But if it’s a certain type of insect you’re after, learn what attracts them the most. Mosquitos, for example, are attracted by octenol lures, so choosing a bug light that contains one of those is especially helpful. Other factors to consider when honing in on a certain type of insect are the size of the unit, the color and type of light (UV and LED are common), and the power of the electrical grid.

Remember aesthetics

Since you’ll likely be using your bug light often, choose one that’s nice to look at. There are many styles, colors, and sizes to choose from to meet your décor needs. Brightness is another factor to consider, as you don’t want the light to add harshness to your space or, worse, hurt your eyes. Opt for a light that does a good job of attracting bugs while also adding an aesthetically pleasing ambiance to your home or backyard.

Frequently Asked QuestionsDo bug zapper lights actually work?

Yes, bug zapper lights work. They contain a light that attracts flying bugs to the electrical grid, which instantly kills them.

How do I clean a bug zapper light?

This depends on the kind of bug zapper light you have. Some are self-cleaning, which means that the dead insects fall to the ground and naturally decompose. Others require you to sweep the insects away after they fall. A large majority have bug collection trays, which you remove and wash regularly with soap, hot water, and/or a brush.

Should I leave my bug light on?

The most effective way to kill a lot of bugs is to leave your light on 24/7. This will disrupt the breeding cycle of insects, which, in turn, reduces their population. However, keep in mind that the UV light won’t be nearly as attractive to bugs during the daytime as it is at night. You also risk killing bugs that don’t bother you. In general, the best practice is to leave it on at night when bugs are most active or to purchase a bug light with a dusk-to-dawn sensor.

Are bug lights harmful to people?

Most bug lights come with safety guards and mesh grids to prevent harm to humans and pets, and the UV lights are not strong enough to cause damage. However, some studies have shown that debris from a zapped bug can be misted in the surrounding air. Because of this, it’s recommended that you set up your bug light away from food-prep areas and those where people will be sitting.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

This article was written by Sarah Kester. She has several years of commerce writing experience — and a lifetime of dealing with pesky bugs. For this article, she looked at over a dozen bug lights and researched the factors that go into choosing the best bug zapper light, such as light type and size, coverage, grid power, safety features, and more.

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