Are Bug Zappers Worth The Jolt?

Are Bug Zappers Worth The Jolt?


It happens as soon as warm weather arrives — bugs, tons of them reappear after a long winter’s hiatus. As temperatures warm up the insect population bug zapperincreases bringing out the ants, flies, fleas, bees, and other bugs we’d much rather not have hanging around us.

Besides a variety of sprays and other potions which can be applied to the skin, ground, or released into the air, bug zappers have an amazing ability to get rid of insects too. Their attractive purple lights beckons insects who fly in and are immediately electrocuted. One less bug, one less nuisance having to swat!

But do bug zappers work? Well, if you haven’t seen one in action you may wonder if they do. However, this 75 year old product continues to fly off of hardware store shelves as homeowners, apartment dwellers, and tenants seek real relief.

According to Howstuffworks, the basic parts of a bug zapper include:

  • Housing – Exterior casing that holds the parts; the housing is usually made of plastic or electrically grounded metal and may be shaped liked a lantern, a cylinder or a big rectangular cube. The housing also may have a grid design to prevent children and animals from touching the electrified grids inside the device.
  • Light bulb(s) – Fluorescent light that attracts insects, usually mercury, neon or ultraviolet (black light)
  • Wire grids or screens – Wire meshes (usually two) that surro¬≠und the light bulb and are electrified to kill insects
  • Transformer – Device that electrifies the wire mesh, changing the 120-volt (V) electrical-line voltage to 2,000 V or more

Bugs attracted by the bug zapper (unfortunately does not include mosquitoes), enter the unit through tiny gaps in an electrical grid. Attracted by the ultra-violet light the 120 volt line is transformed into a 2000 volt killing machine, zapping and frying everything that can get in.

Naturally, if you are wanting to zap mosquitoes only than a bug zapper isn’t worth the investment, but if only flying insects, including gnats, meet their death, then a bug zapper could be a welcome addition to your patio, porch, or other nearby outdoor public area.


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Categories: Home Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".