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Top Bug Zappers - Updated December 2015

With your comfort and safety in mind, we present five of the best bug zappers on today's market.

Best of the Best
Flowtron FC-8800 Diplomat Fly Control Device
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Electronic Indoor Insect Killer Zapper
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Best Bang for your Buck
Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer
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Stinger Cordless Rechargable Insect Zapper
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Stinger 1/2 Acre Flat Panel Zapper
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The Good
A commercial-grade pest control system that can eradicate large swarms of nighttime flying insects with ease.
Designed for use in smaller indoor areas. Includes on/off switch. Hanging chain included.
Grid is "clog resistant." Works outside or inside. Can be suspended from branch or ceiling.
Cordless and rechargeable. Also functions as an emergency flashlight.
Quieter than many of its competitors. Rated for indoor/outdoor use.
The Bad
Expensive, but its effectiveness makes it well worth the investment.
Occasional consumer concerns about the effectiveness of the grid.
Shorter range (1/2 acre) and shorter power cord (18 ft) than some competitors.
Small range (625 feet). Recharging can be a nuisance.
Limited zapping capacity. Shorter range (1/2 acre) than some competitors.
The Bottom Line
A heavy-duty, commercial-grade zapper. The best on the market today.
A quiet, indoor bug zapper for a low price. Some owners buy two or three for maximum effectiveness.
A low-cost, hanging lantern that is both unobtrusive and effective. The best deal for the lowest price.
An economically priced, cordless zapper that is designed primarily for moderate indoor use.
An entry-level, "bare bones" zapper that is best for casual users who want to control insects in smaller outdoor areas.
When it comes to wholesale pest control, electronic bug zappers have become popular alternatives to chemical-laden insect foggers and potentially hazardous citronella candles. These devices use ultraviolet light and other attractants to lure flying insects to a charged grid, where they are then dispatched efficiently. We examined dozens of electronic insect killers. Here are our top five contenders for Best Bug Zapper:
Flowtron FC-8800 Diplomat Fly Control Device
Electronic Indoor Insect Killer Zapper
Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer
Stinger 1/2 Acre Flat Panel Zapper
Stinger Cordless Rechargable Insect Zapper
Construction and Design
User safety, durable construction, and ease of maintenance are top priorities in the bug zapper world. A high-quality bug zapper should protect users from accidental contact, but it should still be enticing for all varieties of flying insects. Some bug zappers are designed for either outdoor or indoor use exclusively; others can handle both environments. We compare all five of our top contenders and discuss their similarities and differences in terms of construction and design.
Effective Range
A rule of thumb when shopping for bug zappers: buy only as much killing power as you need. Some of our top contenders have effective "ranges of protection" that are measured in acres. Others are measured in square feet. We encourage potential buyers to measure their preferred coverage area and shop accordingly. The addition of insect attractants or repellents can also impact a bug zapper's range of protection. Another consideration is the number and wattage of light bulbs required by the appliance.
Additional Features
Some top bug zappers include chemical attractants and/or repellents. Others provide the means to install these chemicals after purchase. Still others feature a timer unit for "set it and forget it" simplicity. Consumers tend to appreciate quiet bug zappers that are easy to maintain. Included installation hardware is another plus. In this section of our ratings, we point out notable "additional" features offered by our contenders.
Price
The retail price points of our top bug zappers vary significantly, but each product delivers on one essential promise: insect control. Generally speaking, more expensive electronic bug killers offer more extensive coverage zones and utilize more types of attractant and/or repellent. Lower-end bug zappers, by contrast, tend to use the same "charged-grid" technology. All of our shortlist contenders are effective products, but in this section of our ratings, we discuss each zapper's quality as it relates to price.
The Flowtron FC-8800, with its chrome-coated electronic grid and heavy-duty plastic shell, is designed for commercial insect control.
Flowtron FC-8800 Diplomat Fly Control Device, 120-Watt, Indoor/Outdoor
Measuring a substantial 12-by-12-by-27 inches, the Flowtron 8800 Diplomat is definitely designed for commercial insect control. The unit's outer shell is made of heavy-duty plastic that has been rated for both indoor and outdoor use. The electronic grid itself is coated with chrome. As such, it is extremely resistant to rust and should provide reliable service for years. The Flowtron 8800 Diplomat is designed to handle large swarms of night-flying insects with ease.
Electronic Indoor Insect Killer Zapper - 15.5 Inch, 20W
Aspectek's Indoor Insect Killer Zapper uses two black light bulbs to attract almost every common flying pest, from mosquitoes to stink bugs. A charged metal grid dispatches unwanted bugs quickly and quietly. The outer shell is constructed of heavy-duty plastic and includes a protective casing that prevents accidental contact with the inner grid. The unit can be suspended from a chain or placed directly on a flat surface.
Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer, 1/2 Acre Coverage
The Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer, designed for both indoor and outdoor use, employs a lantern design that attracts flying insects from all directions. A 15-watt UV bulb resides at the heart of the unit and is surrounded by a charged, "clog-resistant" grid. (Some lower-end bug zappers have a tendency to short-circuit if the inner grid collects too many insects at one time, but not the BK-15D.) One of our main concerns about this unit is the shortness of the power cord; the manufacturer recommends a minimal distance of 25 feet from human activity, but the cord is only 18 inches long. Users will need to consider an extension cord or professional installation.
Stinger 1/2 Acre Flat Panel Zapper
The Stinger Flat Panel Zapper uses a different configuration than our other top contenders. Instead of placing the UV white light bulb inside a charged grid, the Stinger Flat Panel's light source is at the top of the shell; a charged flat plate lies beneath it. This arrangement does reduce the chances of accidental contact, but some users say it renders the electric grid ineffective. Insects are attracted to the light, but they often fail to make final contact with the zapper. The unit is rated for both indoor and outdoor use, but the consensus among users is that it is much more effective outdoors. We would describe this model as weather-resistant but not completely weatherproof. It may need to be moved to drier ground during rain events. The unit's short power cord also means that users will need to purchase an extension cord rated for all-weather use -- and possibly a timer for nighttime use.
Stinger Cordless Rechargable Insect Zapper
Because it requires no extension cords or other external power sources, the Stinger Cordless Rechargeable Insect Zapper is truly the most portable of our top contenders. Made of weather-resistant plastic, this lantern-shaped bug zapper contains a UV black light to attract flying insects and a low-powered (but effective) charged grid to dispatch them quickly and quietly. However, potential buyers should note that the rechargeable lithium-ion battery has a limited lifespan of approximately three hours. This short battery life could reduce the Stinger Cordless' usefulness for long-term insect control. At best, it could be used in place of tiki torches or citronella candles during outdoor events. However, the unit will work indoors when tethered to its charger. This product is advertised as suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, but we note that it must be moved indoors during inclement weather to avoid damage to the transformer.
The budget-priced Flowtron BK-15D covers a range of 1/2 acre, providing enough protection for a typical backyard, commercial kitchen, or barn.
Flowtron FC-8800 Diplomat Fly Control Device
The Flowtron 8800 Diplomat's advertised outdoor range is an impressive two acres, due in large part to the amount of attractive light generated by its three UV light bulbs. When used indoors, the 8800 Diplomat's range is around 1,200 square feet, making it ideal for barns, factories, and commercial kitchens. The UV lights are bright enough to illuminate an entire porch or room, so we recommend maintaining a distance of at least 25 feet from any human activity. The unit's range can also be affected by installation height or the use of additional chemical attractants or repellents.
Electronic Indoor Insect Killer Zapper
Aspectek's indoor bug zapper boasts an impressive 6,000 square foot range, making it a great choice for both commercial and personal insect control. The black light bulbs are capable of attracting flying insects under daylight or nighttime conditions, which means it can be used 24/7 in places where insects tend to congregate. However, the unit does not have a designated compartment for additional chemical attractants. If desired, owners could purchase other attractants separately and place them near the Aspectek Zapper. Owners agree that this indoor bug zapper should be strategically placed for maximum effectiveness.
Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer
The Flowtron BK-15D bug zapper has one of the shortest ranges of our top five contenders. While individual results may vary, the advertised coverage is approximately 1/2 acre. However, this is still enough to control flying insects in a typical backyard, commercial kitchen, or barn. The unit could be suspended from a sturdy tree branch in a yard or from the ceiling of a commercial building. We urge users to respect the 25-feet minimal distance recommendation, as many flying insects tend to swarm before entering the charged grid. A few owners have expressed concerns about the UV bulb's lifespan and the durability of the unit's transformer.
Stinger 1/2 Acre Flat Panel Zapper
The Stinger Flat Panel's advertised range is approximately 1/2 acre, which is the same as the similarly priced Flowtron BK-15D. According to some customers, the UV white light bulb is relatively dim and short-lived. Many types of flying insects are attracted to the light (and optional mosquito attractant) packet, but there is a plastic barrier between the light and the charged grid that can discourage contact. The Stinger Flat Panel Zapper can be used indoors under the right conditions, but we urge users to select the location wisely. The light is strong enough to be used as a lantern, and the unit could potentially generate smoke during normal operation. Another common concern among owners is the Stinger Flat Panel Zapper's limited zapping capacity. The Stinger should not be placed in areas where large swarms are possible.
Stinger Cordless Rechargable Insect Zapper
The Stinger Cordless Rechargeable bug zapper has a relatively limited range of 625 square feet. As such, it is best suited it for moderate indoor use. The manufacturer recommends a minimal distance of 10 feet from any human activity. (This prescription makes the Stinger Cordless quite useful as a chemical-free insect killer during backyard picnics and pool parties!) Because the model is completely cordless, it can be placed on any available flat surface indoors or hung from a crook or plant hanger outdoors. Placing any bug zapper at least seven feet in the air will increase its range and efficiency, since flying insects will set a direct course for the light once they see it. Some users report using the Stinger in occupied rooms with few problems (outside of an occasional popping noise).
Unlike many other bug zapper units, the Flowtron 8800 Diplomat can be installed vertically or horizontally. Owners love this flexibility!
Flowtron FC-8800 Diplomat Fly Control Device
Unlike many other bug zapper units, the Flowtron 8800 Diplomat can be installed either vertically or horizontally. Many customers appreciate this flexibility! A special support bracket is available as a separate purchase. Conveniently, the Flowtron 8800 includes designated compartments for optional chemical attractant packs. The unit does not have a power-off switch, which means the user may have to unplug it manually or attach a timing device to the power source.
Electronic Indoor Insect Killer Zapper
The Aspectek indoor bug zapper does not arrive with many additional features, but it is compact enough to work in tandem with fly paper, bug traps, and other pest control products. We appreciate the fact that the Aspectek also has an on/off switch; this addition makes cleaning and bulb changing much easier. A hanging chain is included with the unit, but some users may want to invest in a shepherd's hook or other sturdy bracket for safer installation.
Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer
As a lower-end bug zapper, the Flowtron BK-15D does not arrive with many additional features. The lantern design allows the unit to be suspended from a crook or chain, but neither of these accouterments are included in the original packaging. However, the BK-15D does include a special strip containing a chemical mosquito attractant. Many customers purchase the BK-15D for affordable mosquito control, but it is important to note that mosquitoes are notoriously difficult to attract with UV light alone. Some users report the BK-15D does contain an internal timer, but the manufacturer's description does not confirm this. We would recommend purchasing an extension cord rated for all-weather use to supplement the unit's 18-inch, three-pronged power supply.
Stinger 1/2 Acre Flat Panel Zapper
As an entry-level bug zapper, the Stinger Flat Panel has very few additional features included in the original package. Owners could potentially purchase accessories like a shepherd's hook or plant hanger for permanent installation and a grounded, all-weather extension cord/timer duo for overnight use. The manufacturer does include one packet of chemical mosquito attractant. (Mosquitoes are less likely to be attracted to UV white light alone.) The unit can be placed on a flat surface, hung on a wall, or suspended from a chain for outdoor use. We recommend frequent cleanings with "canned air" or via the blower attachment on a shop vac.
Stinger Cordless Rechargable Insect Zapper
One of the Stinger Cordless' most interesting additional features is that it is, indeed, cordless and rechargeable. This is not a common technology offered by zapper manufacturers! Because the unit is not powered by a standard electrical outlet, no extension cord is required. The Stinger Cordless also has a "lantern-only" feature that disconnects the charged grid and allows owners to use it as a light source -- much like an emergency flashlight. There is a metal ring at the top of the unit that can be attached to a hook or chain for easy installation. No compartment for chemical mosquito attractant is included, but users can place other forms of insect repellents/attractants near the Stinger to increase its effectiveness.
The affordable Flowtron BK-15D is the kind of bug zapper that will provide 24/7 service without drawing much attention to itself.
Flowtron FC-8800 Diplomat Fly Control Device
At $275, the Flowtron 8800 Diplomat bug zapper is definitely one of our more expensive contenders. However, a high percentage of owners report extreme satisfaction with its overall performance. Cheaper units often use a single UV light bulb as an attractant; this limits range effectiveness considerably. The total output of the Flowtron 8800 Diplomat's three UV bulbs is comparable to that of a commercial streetlight. While the initial investment may seem daunting, the benefit of enjoying insect-free nighttime activities is an important consideration.
Electronic Indoor Insect Killer Zapper
The Aspectek's retail price of $34 makes it very affordable for both private and commercial users who need specific insect control in a specific area (entryway, garbage can, food prep area, etc.). A few customers express concerns about the effectiveness of the charged grid, but the majority say that it is capable of killing most flying insects commonly found indoors. For the price, a consumer could potentially purchase and install two or three of these bug zappers at strategic locations in a house, barn, or covered porch.
Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer
The Flowtron BK-15D is a true bargain at $33, especially for users who don't need two acres of coverage or additional chemical attractants and repellents. It's the kind of bug zapper that will provide 24/7 service without drawing much attention to itself. The single UV light bulb is less expensive to replace than the specialized black lights often used in higher-end models. We wouldn't recommend the BK-15D for commercial applications because of its size and power limitations, but it should provide protection from flying insects during backyard activities.
Stinger 1/2 Acre Flat Panel Zapper
At $11, the Stinger Flat Panel bug zapper is remarkably affordable, especially for casual users who need to control pests in small outdoor areas. The Stinger Flat Panel features a much quieter operation than many high-end bug zappers. (This appeals to users who would prefer to miss the fireworks and noises that larger bug zappers can produce!) However, there is a trade-off in terms of overall performance. The Stinger Flat Panel Zapper will dispatch flying insects that make contact with the grid, but perhaps not as reliably as more expensive models. We appreciate the lower retail price point, but we also recommend that users consider their personal insect control needs before investing in a less-powerful bug zapper.
Stinger Cordless Rechargable Insect Zapper
The Stinger Cordless bug zapper is competitively priced at $25, but many owners have expressed concerns about the model's limited range and charge time when compared to traditional bug zappers. The Stinger Cordless will work while it is being recharged, however, which still makes it a viable choice for indoor use. Some owners use the Stinger Cordless indoors to control common houseflies, gnats, and mosquitoes, then unplug the unit and take it outside for temporary pest control. While it might be impractical to use the rechargeable Stinger for overnight outdoor pest control, the fact that it also functions as a cordless light source impresses us. At this low price, some consumers might want to pair the Stinger Cordless with a secondary insect killing system.
The Flowtron 8800 Diplomat puts out an incredible 120 watts of attractive light power. It also features three compartments for the company's powerful blend of chemical insect attractants.
Effective flying pest control is a big job, and the Flowtron 8800 Diplomat bug zapper is certainly up to the challenge. While other insect killers employ 15 or 20-watt UV light bulbs on average, the Flowtron 8800 puts out an incredible 120 watts of attractive light power. Other bug zappers provide space for one or two chemical mosquito attractants, but the Flowtron 8800 Diplomat includes three compartments for the company's powerful proprietary blend. For these reasons, we wholeheartedly declare the Flowtron 8800 Diplomat bug zapper to be the Best of the Best.

Owners love the Flowtron 8800 Diplomat's impressive size. It's a commercial-grade pest control system, which means it can handle large swarms of nighttime flying insects with ease. If you own several acres of property and need to reduce your stinging fly or biting mosquito population on a wholesale level, the Flowtron 8800 Diplomat will not disappoint.

Although we wouldn't recommend the Flowtron for personal indoor use because of its size and lighting power, we believe it would work well in large indoor spaces such as barns, commercial kitchens, and workshops. Some owners have concerns about the Flowtron's effectiveness against mosquitoes, but the use of chemical attractants should address that problem. Overall, if you're looking for impressive results from an ultra-powerful bug zapper, look no further than the Flowtron 8800 Diplomat!
Our Top Choice
Flowtron FC-8800 Diplomat Fly Control Device
Flowtron FC-8800 Diplomat Fly Control Device
The versatile Flowtron FC-8800 can be placed on a flat surface or suspended from a chain or bracket, where it will quietly provide 24/7 protection.
Sometimes the best bug zapper is the one you don't notice, and the compact Flowtron BK-15D does a great job of being inconspicuous. It uses a single 15-watt UV bulb to attract a large variety of flying insects, both indoors and outdoors. There is also room for additional chemical attractants for mosquitoes and other heat-driven pests.

An effective bug zapper does not have to provide a fireworks show in order to do its job! The Flowtron BK-15D can be placed on a flat surface or suspended from a chain or bracket and left on for 24/7 protection. One or two Flowtron bug zappers placed in a backyard would certainly help keep down the insect population during outdoor social events. (This is a much better solution than the use of chemical foggers or citronella torches!) We especially like the fact that the unit's durable outer grid allows flying insects to reach the charged grid while simultaneously protecting humans and animals from accidental contact.

While the Flowtron BK-15D may not be quite as powerful as larger bug zappers, it will definitely do its job discreetly and steadily in the background. The Flowtron BK-15D's incredibly low retail price and reliable performance make it, without question, the Best Bang for Your Buck.
Best Value
Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer
Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer