A bug zapper is a fairly simple electronic device. It isn’t a rocket ship folks. For that reason it’s surprising that so few companies can churn out a decent zapper. To get it out there from the start, a good portion of Stinger bug zappers are destined for the scrap heap. Although the UVB45 isn’t among the worst mosquito killers out there (that stuff is shockingly shoddy), picking one up a risky endeavour.
The UVB45 has a sleek, futuristic look. This stems from the fact that most zappers currently on the market were designed in 80s. The grill is curved while we are used to seeing straight grills and boxy designs. Unfortunately the build is plasticky and not particularly tough.
A 40-watt black light is employed to attract pests. Stinger claims it attracts 40% more insects than a conventional light. It releases a smell similar to that of a mammal via the Octenol lure. People are often wowed by the lights on bug zappers, not realizing the importance of scent. The UVB45 does a good job of attracting mosquitos.
Since this is a recent design it has some pretty advanced electronics inside. A built-in sensor detects the amount of light outside allowing the unit to turn off during the day (when mosquitos aren’t a threat), and turn on at night.
The Stinger UVB45 covers 1 acre of land admirably as advertised. On an especially humid night it pulled in 20-30 mosquitos, plus a few moths when I tested it. They also offer the UV801S which covers 1 ½ acre and the FP15 which covers ½ an acre.
One advantage this unit has to more classic designs is quieter zapping. Then again that can be a disadvantage if you draw amusement from hearing your mosquito death box at work.
It kills well when it’s working, but don’t expect it to do that for long. The Achilles heel of this unit is its reliability. Commonly it will go dead after only a few months of use. People usually wrongly assume that the light burned out, so they buy another only to find it still doesn’t work. Often the starter is the culprit and since you can’t change it out yourself without and engineering degree, you’ll need to send it back to Stinger. The company is pretty good about the initial replacement but if your second unit dies, you’ll probably be out of luck.
Manufacturing errors and poor electronics aside, the exterior isn’t tough enough to cut the mustard. When a device is sitting outside it has to be able to take a beating. Now of course it is not a good idea to leave your zapper out in the rain, but it does happen. Flowtrons seem to be able to take a moderate shower without going belly up. With a Stinger you probably won’t be as lucky.
The Stinger UVB45 has its good points. It isn’t as obtrusive when it zaps bugs which can be a plus when you have guests. It has a relatively cool feature that turns on and off according to the amount of light outside.
Sadly there are huge reliability shortcomings that negate any of the advantages. You’re playing the zapper lotto when you buy a Stinger. You might get a good one or you might get a unit that breaks down in two months. Why risk it?
I’ll make this simple. There is no reason to buy the UVB45 over a Flowtron.