In a world full of difficult choices it’s comforting to find clear winners every now and again. There aren’t too many makers of electric bug killers out there. Flowtron, Koolatron, Stinger, Dynatrap and Westinghouse products make up the majority of the market. Out of the bunch, Flowtron consistently makes zappers that get the best ratings in user reviews. Meanwhile the strongest competitor Dynatrap* is lucky to release a model that rises above mediocrity.
The problem with lesser zappers is consistent. Most of the stuff out there doesn’t last. If you read the reviews on Amazon.com you’ll find that offerings from Stinger and Koolatron in many cases don’t last more than a few months before the bulb burns out or the unit dies completely. Replacements are not cheap so including such shoddy bulbs out of the box is unscrupulous.
Another much cited issue with cheaper zappers is that there is a tendency for the devices to clog. If you have a good amount of bugs around your property you may need to clean it out every half hour. That just isn’t practical. You’re outside to enjoy the weather and relax, not mess around with a crappy bug zapper.
Flowtron offers three popular models. They are much the same, the only difference being size and coverage. The priciest and most powerful model covers 1-1/2-Acre while the smallest member of the family covers 1/2-Acre. Prices range from about $40 to $85.
- Flowtron BK-80D 80-Watt Electronic Insect Killer, 1-1/2-Acre Coverage
- Flowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect Killer, 1-Acre Coverage
- Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer, 1/2-Acre Coverage
This is one of those cases where more power is better no matter the size of your lawn. Since the biggest model has a powerful 80-watt bulb it is a more effective killer. The BK-80D more efficiently self-cleans since the mosquitos sizzle quickly. You`ll still have to open it up and clean up bug remains every now and again but less so than with smaller zappers.
The big one is the Rambo of bug extermination. At certain points it zaps with rapid fire like a machine gun as bug tend to more together as a swarm. You`ll see a tiny smoke cloud go up in the air and will smell sweet victory.
A good zapper is a cheap source of entertainment when you are enjoying a few drinks on the patio. Yes it is a touch sadistic but you can`t help but be amazed at how eager mosquitos are to die. Just make sure to keep it far from the door so you don`t have a bug convention swamping around it.
Pros: Low-maintenance, extremely powerful.
Cons: Sometimes kills insects that are not pests such as moths and ladybugs.
Overall getting a Flowtron is a no-brainer. Just make sure to get one of the larger models so it can handle any situation that is thrown at it. Tons of bugs often approach the light all at once. The 80-watt version is the best if you can afford it. If not, the BK-40D is pretty good too.
*It’s important to note that the popular Dynatrap DT1000 is not a zapper but a trapping device. A fan blows downwards to trap insects inside the retaining cage.