Best Bug Zappers to Help Control Mosquitos both Indoors and Outdoors

With spring comes green grass, flowers and mosquitos. These pesky, whining, biting and disease carrying insects occur all over the world. Scientists have identified 3,500 different strains of mosquito, but have come up short on safe, effective ways to control them.

Mosquitos: the Deadliest Animal on Earth

There are 3,500 different strains of mosquito. Fortunately, only about 200 of them like human blood. The other 3,300 feed on other warm-blooded creatures. What is even more interesting, it is only the female mosquito who buzzes around and bites you – she needs a meal of warm blood in order to lay her eggs. Mama Mosquito secretes an anti-coagulant in her saliva to help her get a good drink before she is knocked off your skin. That is what causes the itchy bump – it is an allergic reaction to her saliva. If that were all, mosquitos would make us miserable, but would not pose a great danger. However, mosquitos also spread diseases such as malaria, West Nile Virus, zika virus, Chikungunya virus, and dengue. Disease spread by mosquitos can cause results ranging from a short-term illness to death.

Controlling Mosquitos

Controlling mosquitos is a big problem. If you happen to be in the southern part of Louisiana, you might hear the drone of a small airplane flying low over cities, especially on foggy mornings. That is the sound of a “crop duster” spraying insecticide in an effort to control the mosquito population. By midafternoon, it is a good idea to wear a long-sleeved shirt if you are going outside. Louisiana has a lot of swampy areas. It is just one of many areas in the world that have mosquito problems.

Spraying chemicals, however, has come under scrutiny by many environmental agencies. They might seem affective at first, but in the long run these chemicals can have devastating effects on birds, fish, and people. Some of them also encourage the mosquitos to breed new strains that are resistant to the chemicals. Worse yet, sometimes the chemicals destroy beneficial bugs, birds and bats that feed on mosquitos.

Proactive Prevention

Mosquitos don’t need a swamp in order to breed. They like any sort of standing water, or even moist clumps of vegetation. One of the best ways to help prevent mosquitos is to eliminate their breeding grounds. That means filtering bird waterers or outdoor pet waterers, covering any water storage containers, and emptying any pan, old tire or similar item that can hold liquid. Keep grass trimmed short, and prune ornamental bushes to allow light and air to penetrate the foliage. That will help, but it isn’t likely to be enough.

Biological Mosquito Control

While insectivorous bats, insectivorous birds, frogs and turtles do eat their share mosquitos and mosquito larva, they aren’t likely to clear your neighborhood of those buzzing, biting mosquitos. A review of the creatures popularly believed to help control these insects reveals that the most effective of all of these was to introduce snapping turtles to ponds of standing water. The turtles happily ate the mosquito larva, and could be fed during seasons when no mosquitos were available.

Bug Zappers

Bug zappers are a sort of instant electrocution for flying insects. The downside is that bug zappers use a light to attract insects, which could attract more insects to your yard than might ordinarily show up, and they won’t necessarily attract mosquitos. Mosquitos are attracted to carbon dioxide, which is exhaled by all oxygen breathers. Even if they do kill mosquitos, they won’t get all of them – especially outdoors.

The other problem with bug zappers is that they are indiscriminate. They will just as happily zap ladybugs, praying mantises, fireflies and honeybees as wasps, gnats, or mosquitos.

There is a wide range of products available on the market today, and below I have reviewed 5 of the very best options.

**Below, you will find more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices and read customer reviews on Amazon.

Some Possible Solutions

Be proactive. Get rid of the standing water in your yard or near your house. Keep hedges and bushes trimmed to admit light and air. If you have outdoor pets or a bird waterer, add a filter to it to destroy any mosquito larva.

If you are comfortable with the idea and have the space, you might put up Purple Martin houses or provide bat houses. While these creatures won’t completely clear the mosquitos, the ones they have for dinner won’t be dining on you.

Wear protective clothing, especially if going hiking or camping. Tuck long pants into the tops of your socks, and throw on a loose, button-down shirt that you can tuck in at the waist. Treat the openings in your clothing – ankles, waistband, wrists, and so on with an insect repellant. Wear loose clothing – you will feel cooler, and the mosquitos will have a harder time biting through it. They tend to drill right through tight clothing. Avoid sweet-smelling aftershave, perfume or deodorant as these can attract insects.

For relaxing outdoors, set up a large fan to blow the insects away, and use citronella based candles or outdoor torches for lighting at nighttime events. Place aromatic wood in your fire pit, brazier or chimenea.

Screen your bug zapper to keep out larger insects, but admit mosquitos, gnats and no see ‘ems; or hang your bug zapper indoors where your window screens or screened porch can limit the number and type of insects and it will have a chance to make a difference. UV lights are not a universal bug attractant – as noted, mosquitos are attracted to heat and to Co2, and they like dark places. You could try adding an Octonel Fragrance Strip to your bug zapper to lure those mosquitos on in.

Product Reviews – The Best Bug Zappers

1. PestZilla™ Robust UV Electronic Bug Zapper

PestZilla is an indoor bug zapper, ideal for home, hospital or school environments where chemicals are contraindicated. It is rated for an area of 6000 square feet. It uses a blue UV light to attract insects, and is highly effective against flies. However, it will kill any insect that lands on its grid – including those pesky mosquitos.

It can be hung from the ceiling or placed on a refrigerator or high shelf. Because it does have a high voltage grid, it is recommended to keep it out of reach of children or pets.

Pros

  • Intended for indoor use
  • Rated for 6000 square feet
  • No chemicals

Cons

  • UV attracts moths
  • Needs an added attractant to entice flies or mosquitos

2. Pest Soldier Bug Zapper

The Pest Soldier bug zapper comes with two UV bulbs intended to attract insects. Its charged electrical bars are encased in a cage to prevent accidental touching. Has a cleanout tray to make it easy to remove dead insects. It is rated as effective to 5,000 square feet. Designed for indoor use, it can be hung on a wall or it can be used as a free-standing unit.


Pros

  • Protective frame to prevent accidental touching
  • Tray for easy clean up
  • Can be hung or be free standing
  • Designed for indoor use

Cons

  • UV used as attractant

3. Hoont Indoor Bug Zapper

The Hoont Indoor Bug Zapper is rated for 6,000 square feet. It is designed to be wall mounted, making it easy to keep it out of reach of children or pets. Uses UV light to attract insects. While it will kill small insects if they touch the bars, one user commented that the little ones just fly right through.


Pros

  • Wall mounted
  • Rated for 6,000 square feet
  • Designed for indoors
  • Can be used outdoors if protected from rain

Cons

  • Electrified bars too far apart
  • Uses UV as attractant

4. UPGRADED - Aspectek 20W Electronic Bug Zapper

Aspectek is one of the older bug zappers on the market. It is rated to kill flies, gnats, mosquitos and more. The electrified bars are surrounded by a cage to prevent accidents – an essential precaution since these babies deliver 2800 volts. They are rated for 5,000 square feet. They are intended for indoor usage, and are a chemical-free prevention method that can be used in cafeterias, warehouses and even in homes. However, like most bug zappers, they use a light to lure the bugs so you are more likely to zap gnats, fruit flies, and similar small insects than mosquitos – although those will sizzle and pop if they actually hit the bars.


Pros

  • Versatile, can be wall mounted or set on a surface
  • Successful against small flying insects
  • Safety grill
  • Rated for 5000 square feet
  • Designed for indoor use

Cons

  • UV lighting lure
  • Some bulb problems

4. UPGRADED - Aspectek 20W Electronic Bug Zapper

Aspectek is one of the older bug zappers on the market. It is rated to kill flies, gnats, mosquitos and more. The electrified bars are surrounded by a cage to prevent accidents – an essential precaution since these babies deliver 2800 volts. They are rated for 5,000 square feet. They are intended for indoor usage, and are a chemical-free prevention method that can be used in cafeterias, warehouses and even in homes. However, like most bug zappers, they use a light to lure the bugs so you are more likely to zap gnats, fruit flies, and similar small insects than mosquitos – although those will sizzle and pop if they actually hit the bars.


Pros

  • Versatile, can be wall mounted or set on a surface
  • Successful against small flying insects
  • Safety grill
  • Rated for 5000 square feet
  • Designed for indoor use

Cons

  • UV lighting lure
  • Some bulb problems

5. Insect Killer Zapper- 40W bulbs Super Strong Zapper

The Insect Killer Bug Zapper is designed for indoor or outdoor use. A useful technique with an outdoor bug zapper is to locate it a distance away from where people will be walking or eating. That way the inevitable cloud of insects that will flock to the light will be attracted away from the event. Light the event with bug candles or tiki lanterns that are filled with insect repellant fuel – you can usually find these in your garden department.

This unit is reported to be exceptionally bright – you could almost use it as a yard lamp. Users also say that it does definitely kill bugs, and that it is built to last. If you have a bumper crop of mosquitos, flies, gnats and other flying pests in your neighborhood, this could be the unit that might actually make a dent in your local insect population.


Pros

  • Built to last
  • Can be used Outdoors
  • Can function as a yard light
  • Unique magnetic transformer for cooler performance

Cons

  • A bit bright for indoor use
  • Zaps bugs indiscriminately

Choosing the Best Bug Zappers to Help Control Mosquitos both Indoors and Outdoors


The sad truth is that no one has found a universal mosquito control. My personal feeling is that for your family’s health and safety that you will want to use a variety of approaches, including an indoor bug zapper. Why indoor? Because bugs are unwanted inside your home – even beneficial ones. Outside bug zappers will zap the useful and pretty bugs as well as the bad, biting bugs. My selection of the indoor bug zappers would be the Upgraded Aspectek, simply because it has been on the market long enough to get all the “bugs” worked out of it. My second choice would be the Pest Soldier, which is a newer – but very similar – unit.

Ona Jo Bass
 

Ona Jo Bass grew up on a small farm in the middle of Missouri. She currently lives in a small town – still in Missouri – where she writes, gardens, enjoys her cats, dog and grandchildren.

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