The Best Bug Lights to Keep Pests Away

The dependable Flowtron BK-40D Insect Killer can keep a massive area covered.

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Indoor/Outdoor Bug Zapper
Courtesy of Home Depot

Unfortunately, when you’re trying to make a s’more by the bonfire or enjoy a barbecue on your patio, mosquitos and other pests may be relishing the opportunity to feast on you. Repelling bugs is about much more than just comfort — insects like mosquitoes can carry dangerous diseases that they pass along to you via bites. Fortunately, bug lights and zappers are among the effective options to help keep pests away, both inside and outside.

 Our favorite bug light, the Flowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect Killer, is a tried-and-true value that provides a wide area of coverage. There are also reliable solar-powered, handheld, and discreet options that might be the perfect solution to your insect woos. We researched the best of the best to cover everywhere from your lush garden to your living room.

 Here’s our breakdown of the best bug lights:

Best Overall: Flowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect Killer

4.5
Flowtron BD-40D Electronic Insect Killer

Amazon

Why We Love It: This powerful zapper is a dependable value that can reduce the presence of insects in an entire acre.

What to Consider: It’s not as aesthetically-pleasing as some more modern models, and it’s a bit more expensive than other options.

The Flowtron BK-40D Electronic Insect Killer provides vast, long-lasting coverage that will allow you to enjoy the warmer months worry-free. Octenol and UV light work together to attract mosquitoes, biting flies, and other insects, which are then killed by the Flowtron’s electrical grid. The lantern-style light is durable, waterproof, and covered by a two-year warranty, so you can just plug it in and enjoy your bugless environment with peace of mind. While the bulb will eventually need to be replaced, it can run for almost 10,000 hours and can easily be swapped for a fresh one when the time comes. The light can be left on all day, every day, or you can use a timed outlet to activate it only during the most necessary hours. A protective enclosure keeps other wildlife from coming into contact with the charged grid. The Flowtron can truly be a summer-saver, especially if you live in a dark, highly infested area where bugs are extremely attracted to light sources.

Price at time of publish: $54

Coverage area: One acre | Power source: Plug-in

Best Budget: Zfitei 2-in-1 Mosquito Zapper for Outdoor and Indoor

ZFITEI 2-in-1 Mosquito Zapper for Outdoor and Indoor

Amazon

Why We Love It: It’s convenient and easy to clean.

What to Consider: It doesn’t have as large of a coverage area as other options.

For the value and effectiveness, this bug zapper is a great bang for your buck. It attracts all kinds of irritating bugs, including moths, gnats, mosquitoes, and flies. The blue light brings in the uninvited guests and gives them a 4,200-volt shock to quickly get the job done. Zfitei recommends turning the light on three hours before going to sleep. It’s equipped with a 4 foot long cable and an over-the-top handle for easy hanging. A protective cover with narrow slats prevents pets and humans from coming into contact with the electric charge, and the zapper is durable enough to withstand weather conditions, including high temperatures. You can clean the light out by removing the tray and rinsing out the dead insects inside, making maintenance quick and easy.

Price at time of publish: $28

Coverage area: 860 square feet | Power source: Plug-in

Best Rectangular: ASPECTEK 20W Electric Indoor Bug Zapper

ASPECTEK 20W Electric Indoor Bug Zapper

ASPECTEK

Why We Love It: It’s a wider version of a bug zapper that covers a larger area than others, making it great for snagging a lot of pesky bugs at once.

What to Consider: It’s effective, but a bit large at 15 x 10.9 x 3.1 inches.

With this bug light being quite a bit larger than some of the other options out there, it requires two bulbs. The product is 15 x 10.9 x 3.1 inches and is very effective at zapping those pesky moths, flies, mosquitoes, and other obnoxious insects. The zapper catches the bugs within its metal grids, and there is a removable plastic tray that you can easily wash out and slide back into place. It provides 360 degrees of coverage, and although it’s large, its unique shape is great for putting it out of the way against a wall or on a shelf. It also comes with a chain for easy hanging. 

Price at time of publish: $41

Coverage area: 5,000 square feet | Power source: Plug-in

Most Versatile: Klahaite Bug Zapper for Outdoor and Indoor

Klahaite Bug Zapper for Outdoor Indoor

Amazon

Why We Love It: This unintrusive bug light is small but covers a large area, making it great for transferring it between outdoors and indoors depending on your need.

What to Consider: It has a generic look.

This bug zapper’s ultraviolet bulbs attract mosquitoes, pests, and flies while you enjoy the fresh air outside or the inside of your own cozy home. Klahaite prides itself on being eco-friendly, and their bug light is EPA-registered. A lot of chemicals on many bug-repelling products come with a very strong scent, but this zapper is completely odor-free. It’s also made of fireproof ABS material, which adds to your peace of mind, especially when using it indoors. Although it’s on the smaller side, this zapper can cover up to 2,100 square feet with its intense 4,200-volt grid. It’s also easy to clean thanks to a removable tray. 

Price at time of publish: $30

Coverage area: 2,100 square feet | Power source: Plug-in

Most Aesthetically-Pleasing: Mosiller 2-in-1 Smart Bug Zapper with Rechargeable Base

Mosiller 2-in-1 Smart Bug Zapper With Rechargeable Base

Amazon

Why We Love It: This bug light is easily transportable and effective.

What to Consider: There is no tray to collect bugs after they’ve been zapped.

This round, white bug light just so happens to be very cute. It comes with a racket on a rechargeable base that attracts bugs. If there’s a pesky mosquito that won’t fly into it, you can pick the racket up and zap it yourself. The powerful 3,000-volt grid kills pests right away. Three mesh layers prevent humans from accidentally coming into contact with the charged area of the light. We love this light’s modern look, but something to keep in mind is that It’s fairly large and it doesn’t have any kind of tray to help pick up dead bugs, so you’ll have to keep cleaning them up. 

Price at time of publish: $27

Coverage area: 1,500 square feet | Power source: USB charge

Best for Indoors: Fvoai Fly Trap Indoor

FVOAI Fly Trap Indoor

Amazon

Why We Love It: This chic, modern bug light won’t detract from your home’s decor.

What to Consider: This device traps bugs with a glue board rather than zapping them.

This sleek and discreet bug light can fit right into your home. It looks like it could be a humidifier or just a fan — most guests probably won’t even be thinking about insects when it catches their eyes. The Fvoai’s 20 UV lights are highly attractive to bugs. Once the lights sucks in the flying insects, they land and get stuck to the glue board inside. Although you might not think glue boards are easy to clean, it’s simple to remove them from the tray and replace them with new ones. This has a USB plug and an internal timer so you can set the device to run for six to 12 hours. 

Price at time of publish: $30

Coverage area: 2,100 square feet | Power source: Plug-in

Best for Camping: GKCI Bug Zapper

GKCI Bug Zapper

Amazon

Why We Love It: Very lightweight at just 10.5 ounces, this bug zapper is an easy one to bring with you deep into the buggy woods and includes a three-mode LED light.

What to Consider: This device will need to be fully charged before your trip and may need to be recharged after a couple of days.

An incredible option for camping, this bug zapper uses ultraviolet light to attract bugs, greeting them with a 500-volt electric shock. The plastic shell makes it durable for rough handling and waterproof for any kind of weather that may come your way during camping trips. It only weighs 10.5 ounces and is 4 x 4 x 6  inches, so fitting it in with the rest of your gear is hassle-free. The cleaning process is also incredibly easy: all you need to do is rinse the collection tray out once a week. It comes with a handy top hook if you’d like to hang it from your tent, or you can simply stand it upright on a table. The ultraviolet light is topped with a separate LED bulb that functions as a three-mode lantern. 

Price at time of publish: $25

Coverage area: 500 square feet | Power source: USB charge

Best for Gardens: Livin’ Well Bug Zapper

Livin' Well Bug Zapper

Livin'™ Well

Why We Love It: Still relatively small with dimensions of 6 x 6 x 13.5 inches, this waterproof bug light is perfect for yard coverage.

What to Consider: Although the cord is incredibly long, there is no wireless option.

Featuring a 6-foot cord, this sleek bug zapper won’t ruin your hard-won garden aesthetic. The device covers a wide range, up to 1,500 square feet, and is waterproof for heavy rains. It’s also suitable for indoor use thanks to its ultra-quiet operation, and it comes with a hook for easy hanging. This bug light is also very long-lasting with an 8,000-hour runtime, meaning you don’t have to worry about changing the bulb or replacing the product anytime soon. It also has an extremely easy cleanup thanks to a twist-off bottom that collects the bugs. 

Price at time of publish: $31

Coverage area: 1,500 square feet | Power source: Plug-in

Best Handheld: Mafiti Electric Fly Swatter

Mafiti Electric Fly Swatter

Amazon

Why We Love It: This zapper is not only pretty to look at but also gives you a little workout.

What to Consider: This handheld zapper doesn’t work unless you’re actively controlling it.

The Mafiti Electric Fly Swatter is not necessarily a lamp or a bug light, but it’s still worth a mention because it’s extremely inexpensive and effective. Other electric swatters can look like a children’s toy, but this actually has a really nice, chic appearance to it, making it easy to incorporate in any kind of decor around the house. The dark green color with a nice matte finish is especially stylish. It’s also available in a light blue and a black and yellow version. The zapper is high-voltage and perfect for killing insects buzzing around your face. There are protective layers — no, you can’t shock your friends — and it can be used indoors and outdoors. Bugs simply get caught in the racket, zapped, and fall to the ground, so there is some cleanup required. The racket runs on two AA batteries.

Price at time of publish: $15

Coverage area: 1,500 square feet | Power source: Plug-in

Best Solar-powered: Elechome Electric Solar Mosquito Killer

Elechome Electric Solar Mosquito Killer

Amazon

Why We Love It: This eco-friendly bug zapper also includes a white light.

What to Consider: It only lasts for 16 hours per full charge.

Equipped with a solar panel, this bug light is perfect for hanging in the sun during the day and bringing along for it to do its magic at night. If solar charging isn’t an option, you can use the USB port to prepare it for use. It lasts for about 16 hours on a single charge and has a lifespan of an estimated five years. Although it’s a rather small device, it still covers about 2,100 square feet. The 360-degree design attracts bugs with an ultraviolet light and gives them a 3,000-volt shock. The device also includes a white light for your basic illumination needs. This product is highly effective at getting rid of pesky bugs on your patio or inside your home. 

Price at time of publish: $34

Coverage area: 2,100 square feet | Power source: Solar power or USB charge

Tips for Buying a Bug Light

 

Consider your outlet locations

When purchasing the bug light, be sure to consider where you need to place it around your home or yard. Each product comes with a different length of cord, so you’ll want to be sure to measure the distance between your preferred placement and the closest outlet. You can also opt for a battery or solar-powered model to avoid location worries.

Choose the right type for your space

If you’re looking for a light with a specific range of coverage, be sure to do your research ahead of time and find a zapper that will cover the entirety of your desired area. Most manufacturers specify their bug light’s coverage range in their product descriptions. 

Remember aesthetics

It’s pretty important, especially if it’s going inside of your house, to pick up a light that is either discrete or aesthetically-pleasing. You don’t want a big eyesore in the middle of your family room, but you do want the mosquitoes that sneak in through your screen door to be taken care of. There are all kinds of modern, stylish options out there, so don’t settle until you’ve found one that fits in with your decor.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do I clean a bug light?

    The majority of bug lights come with a disposable tray right underneath the zapper. It’s just important to remember to clean it out about once a week. Wash the tray with soap and hot water after dumping the bugs out of the tray.

  • Should I leave my bug light on?

    It differs depending on the light. Many of them have a very long lifespan before the bulbs need to be replaced and are designed to be left on throughout the night. For plug-in zappers, you can also consider getting a timed outlet if you’d like it to shut off at a certain time without manually flipping switches.

  • Are bug lights harmful to people?

    According to Home Inspection Insider, “bug zappers are a non-toxic alternative to pesticides and other chemical insect control measures, proven dangerous to human health.” They continue to say, “while much safer than the chemicals that cause cancers and chronic diseases, bug zappers are not without their risks. However, most of the risks are not directly from the zappers’ operation.”

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Jess Kelly is a travel journalist and photographer living in New York. She’s written for publications including Insider, Wine Enthusiast, AAA World Magazine, Food & Wine, Cosmopolitan, Eater, Thrillist, and Lonely Planet. Follow her travel and adventures on Instagram @Adventures.Are.Waiting.

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