The Best Bug Zappers (Electric Mosquito Killers)

Throwing a backyard BBQ is what summer is all about. And to do it right, you need to get your outdoor pest-control game down.

Bug zappers are straightforward in function. They’re equipped with a UV light that attracts mosquitos, flies, and other flying insects. Once bugs enter the center of the device, they’re swiftly electrocuted.

Cheap, Unremarkable Bug Zappers Abound

mosquitoesIn a world full of difficult choices, it’s comforting to find clear winners every now and again.

There aren’t that many big players in 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, its strongest competitors are lucky to release a model that rises above mediocrity.

The problem with lesser zappers is consistent. Most of it doesn’t last.

When you read reviews online, 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 short-lived bulbs out of the box feels like a trap of its own.

Another much cited issue with cheap zappers is that there is a tendency for the devices to clog. If you have a good number 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 bug zapper’s mess.

Why Flowtron?

Flowtron has offered its popular models for years. They are much the same in design. The key differences are just 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.

  • 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 an effective killer.

It’s pretty much the Rambo of bug extermination. At certain points it zaps with rapid fire like a machine gun as bug tend to move together as a swarm. You`ll see a tiny smoke cloud go up in the air while you smell sweet victory.

The BK-80D efficiently self-cleans since the flies and mosquitos sizzle quicker than with less powerful models. You`ll still have to open it up and clean up bug remains every now and again but less so than with smaller zappers.

Pros: Low-maintenance, extremely powerful.

Cons: Sometimes kills insects that are not pests such as moths and ladybugs.

A powerful 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 around it.

Overall getting a Flowtron is a no-brainer. Just be sure to consider one of the larger models so it can handle any situation that is thrown at it. At times, a swarm of bugs approaches its 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.