“Powerful” is a word used loosely by many electric insect killer manufacturers, so I recognized the need to compile a list of truly robust models that fry mosquitoes to high heaven. To make the grade all zappers needed have a big, bad electric grid at its core, coverage of at least one-acre outdoors, and preferably utilize multiple 40-watts UV lamps.
Order reflects the level of brawn: best stuff at the top. So let’s take a look at the fairly small pool of high-wattage heavy-weights available today.
1. Flowtron FC-8800 Diplomat
Covering a whopping 2 acres outdoors or 2,000 sq. ft. indoors, the FC-8800 Diplomat is Flowtron’s flagship. And that’s saying something as Flowtron makes more high-coverage, powerful models than anyone else. It’s also a beast in terms of size, measuring 12 x 12 x 27 inches; that’s over 10 inches taller than their other powerhouse, the BK-80D. 120 watts of UV muscle is provided by three 40-watts bulbs.
Although the Diplomat will kill any flying pests including mosquitoes, its specially designed to lure flies with its reflector panels and replenishable pheromone lure.
Flowtron is known for their large, powerful bug zappers that cover a larger area than the competition.
The BK-15D is their most affordable, humble offering for people that need to protect a half an acre from pests, not engage a mosquito armageddon to benefit neighbors. By comparison the BK-40D and BK-80D are a little larger and cover 1 acre and 1 ½ acre respectively.
It’s made with the same high build quality as its larger siblings. Top of the steel exterior acts like the pitched roof of a home: rain water safely drips down the edges far from the electrical grid and UV lamp inside.
The 15-watt black light bulb attracts mosquitos, flies, gnats and other flying pests. Octenol attractant can be used to pull in mosquitos more effectively. Adding lure turns a device that only needs electricity to operate into a zapper that may cost an estimated $2.50 to $5 per month depending on the climate. Hot weather means the attractant doesn’t last as long. But keep in mind, the BK-15D may serve you fine without lure.
Along with the bulb, the heart of a zapper is of course the electrical grid and these are designed not to clog. Bugs go where they should: the pan at the bottom. You’ll be cleaning this puppy often. The thoughtfulness of details in its design puts Flowtron in a league higher than most insect killer stuff you’ll see on Amazon.com.
Although any electric insect killer works inside the home, some models excel at it, and only a few are specifically designed for it.
Since a good portion of bug zappers protect large outdoor areas from insects, these are overkill and will look cartoonishly large indoors. Smaller, less expensive zappers are a better fit.
Indoor/outdoor bug zappers are a viable solution but it’s important to remember to remove any chemical lure before moving it inside. Some of the better bug zappers give you the option to use chemical lure such as octenol which gives off an odor and is potentially harmful as its intended for outdoor use only. Most compact bug zappers are chemical-free however.
1. Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer
In a space where dubious brands are the norm, Flowtron is a family-owned business that has been around since 1920. The BK-15D is Flowtron’s smallest, entry-level bug zapper and yet it still manages to cover 1/2 acre which is way beyond what most bug zappers can do at this price. If you want something you can use both inside the house and in the yard, this may be the only zapper you need.
There’s something diabolically satisfying about silencing an annoying fly with a fly swatter. The Zap It! takes that idea, makes it possible outdoors, then brings it to the next level. Plus, it adds high-tech features such as USB charging, bright LED light and safety mesh to boot!
While practical in function the Zap It! can practically be considered a toy for adults. Who could possibly resist an electrified tennis racket with a cool lightning bolt symbol at the center of the mesh? The sheer novelty of it will inspire curiosity in your friends who will want to give it a swing for themselves.
The unit is powered by a battery which provides 2,000-volts to the grid. This will instantly kill flies, mosquitoes and other flying insects. It can be charged via a micro USB port located at the bottom of the handle (under a small yellow cover). This is a welcome feature in an era where phone chargers and so ubiquitous and USB ports are found in practically any laptop.
Maybe your bug zapper needs aren’t that demanding, or perhaps running a power cable to the right spot on your deck to an insect control device isn’t feasible.
Everybody wants to cut the cord for the sake of convenience, but only certain people should. For people that enjoy hosting backyard gatherings often, a bug zapper that protects the entire yard is a must. Many of us don’t need that and can improvise with Citronella torches when special occasions arise. If it’s that one spot you spend the most time at that matters, your deck or stone patio, for this purpose the Stinger by Kaz is ideal.
The Stinger covers 625 sq. ft., which is approximately 25×25 ft. It’s a modest specification, but if it’s all you need and the idea of battery power appeals to you, it might be worth the tradeoff. On full charge it runs 3.5 hours. This also limits its applications. It will protect you and company while sitting outside for an after-work brew, but you’ll want another product for an outdoor blast.
The unit charges and operates while plugged-in. In a pinch you won’t be out of luck if you run out of battery power as long as electrical outlet is nearby. Recharging time is three hours. The status light is red while charging and it switches to red when it’s ready.