Flowtron

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.

It must be hung 25 feet away from you and your guests. You see, it’s so adept at attracting mosquitos you don’t want to place yourself along their path. So chances are hanging it from your rooftop won’t be a good idea. Ideally, get a tall metal rod to mount it to, so you have full control of placement. Then you’ll need to run a long, landscaping extension cord to it.

Flowtron is a recognized brand that’s been around for a long time; since 1920 to be exact. Another reason to go with Flowtron is the parts will be available for a very long time. This is another reason to be weary of competing Chinese products that all look suspiciously similar to each other, and are sold under various names. Not reassuring that when the UV lights goes, you’ll be able to find the right replacement when it’s a potentially fly-by-night operation.

The Verdict

It’s hard to find fault with the excellent BK-15D. Flowtron makes rock-solid zappers. The only baffling item is the price; it often sells for nearly the same as the larger BK-40D model but covers half the radius. It’s a little stockier, smaller and cuter than other Flowtron models in this series so for people with a small yard this is the one to get regardless.

FC-8800There’s nothing better than enjoying a cool beverage on the patio and admiring your own slice of nature in the backyard. If there’s one thing that sullies the experience, it’s bugs. The closer to the wild you get, the bigger, nastier and more plentiful they become.

The Flowtron FC-8800 isn’t for everyone. With up to 2 acres of coverage this puppy is not for city folk. It’s the big kahuna of bug zappers sitting at the top of Flowtron’s line of fly control products.

It isn’t flies homeowners are most interested in zapping however, it’s annoying mosquitoes. So I’m glad to report the FC-8800 handles mosquitoes just as well. In fact this may be the ultimate bug zapper.

Understandably this unit is formidable in size measuring 27” in height and 12” in width and depth.

Due to the effectiveness the bottom bug catcher quickly becomes full. It’s not easy to remove and requires either a very strong grip or a pry tool. You’ll quickly tire of emptying it so most find simply removing the tray to be the best solution if you’re using it outdoors.

Flowtron recommends you place it 50-75ft away from the patio. This is a nice advantage of having such a powerful device. You don’t have to place to so close to your guests to solve the bug problem.

Ironically I’ve found people are amused by it and eventually gravitate towards it, especially when drinking is involved. It’s a sort of retribution for all those unsightly mosquito bites we’ve acquired over the years.

The Verdict

If you own a large plot of land or live near a lake and love chilling outside, you owe it to yourself and your guests to pick one of these up.

Probably the biggest benefit is you’ll never have to hear complaints about mosquito bites from the spouse or kids ever again. And just think how much you’ll save on bug spray (wink).

mosquitoesIn 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.

 

flowtronlgThis 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.