Written by Terry Smith
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UK’s best fly zappers are electric fly killers that’ll kill mosquitos in your home too
This article was last updated on December 21st, 2021 at 2:20 pm
I once saw a documentary about what happens when a fly lands on your food and is allowed to stay there. I’ll spare you the gruesome details, but let’s just say that it’s something you definitely don’t want to be happening to anything that you will put in your mouth, so much so I wrote an article about how to get rid of flies in your garden!. With this in mind, you need to find something that will get rid of these unhygienic, fly nuisances, and the good old rolled up newspaper might be a classic, but it’s definitely not the most efficient and when a static electric fly killer (you know those nasty sticky looking things) isn’t proactive enough, you look to the very best fly zapper, and did you know there’s racquet to run around the home batting flies and mosquitos! The kids absolutely love them – the littler ones run about swatting all day and I bought them what I believe to be the best fly zapper after EXTENSIVE testing 🙂 Won’t believe the fun the kids have with these.
There’s been an amazing and unexpected bi-product – they are only powered with AA batteries so harmless to us but I’ve still explained to them electric shocks – them seeing a fly fall straight out of the sky after that scary electric sound has also taught them a new respect for electric sockets too! I’ve included a few static fly zappers too incase you’re not so agile for a round look at the products available. And it’s worth understanding the differences as these are mains plugged in and not to be confused with the racquets – check my best fly zappers buyers guide. Here’s a look at the static unit I’ve just tested too:
With that said, I have rated the best fly zappers based on safety for the user, effectiveness at killing flies and mosquitos, price, reliability, sturdiness of the racket, and how long the battery lasts.
Best fly zappers that are electric fly killers – editor picks:
Best fly zapper: ZAP IT! Bug Zapper
Alternative if the ZAP IT! Bug Zapper is unavailable: The Executioner Fly Zapper Mosquito Swatter Racket or the ZOMAKE Detachable Electric Mosquito Fly Swatter
Best fly zappers buyers guide
If you’re still not sure which product deserves your money, take a quick look at our fly zappers buyer’s guide. We have briefly covered a few of the things that you might want to consider. The problem with electric fly killers are they are packing some serious volts, this means serious danger in some cases – particularly the mains electric versions, much less of a concern is the fly swatters.
Serious volts on the mains fly killers so be careful
One thing I have to say about the static electric fly killers is the need for a real sense of care. I’m not kidding – the fact that the units all come with over the top warnings – massive dangerous looking thunderbolts is no game:
You’ll seriously get a shock if you start trying to fish out a dead fly with a metal instrument and the unit is turned on – I am sure you won’t be that crazy 😀 but if you are, don’t say I didn’t warn you in advance – the fly zappers I’ve given the kids I’ve turned on and put my hands in – nothing happens – that’s not advice, that’s an observation of my units 🙂
What type of fly zapper?
The two main types that you are going to see are the tennis racquet style swatters, and the stationary fly zappers come electric fly killers that are most commonly boxed or cylindrical shape, but there are some models that try to get away from this – though not many. Both types have their pros and cons. The swatter types are smaller and lighter, and can be hidden out of sight easily until you need them. You can specifically target insects that you see and chase them down to kill them too. The downsides are that they run on batteries so you will either have to keep the internal battery charged, or keep plenty of spare batteries at hand. You also have to physically swing the zapper around, and while it is fun for some, others prefer to sit back and do nothing. That’s the fun of it for the kids though:
I just sit back and wait for the inevitable ZAP 😀 or crackle if you prefer. It really does sound quite aggressive when you snag one – you can see why they are so effective.
How to use a fly zapper?
The bat em up versions are really easy – you’ve normally got two settings for power on mode – on1 and on2 – setting two almost always turns on a light as well:
Then it’s a simple case of holding in the button that winds up the power on the electric mesh – you may hear a small whine as the power builds up – I did on one of the models I tested but not the other so often:
Then after that you need to get your little ones to bat ’em – make sure they realise not to touch the electric mesh – once they hear a mosquito get sizzled they soon realise just how powerful these are and to treat them with respect!
Electric fly killers
Stationary zappers (or electric fly killers) don’t require you to do any of the running around, but then you are only going to kill the insects that fly into the device by themselves. These machines are larger and can be a bit of an eyesore too, although modern ones tend to be a bit more stylish – they have a blue light and that’s ok for us at night but some won’t appreciate it! It’s pretty easy to put up with in the day though:
The best thing about these zappers is you just plug them into the mains and let them work – then empty the tray of flies and mosquitos in the morning! They always are simple to unclip and reset – here’s a look at the model I used, just a matter of twisting it free, throwing the bugs away and starting again:
I’d recommend doing it outside though, when I took this picture a plume of wings came out that were practically vaporised – not nice 😀 get that dust outside is my tested and proven advice 😀
There is quite a difference in price between the swatter zappers and the electric fly killers, so that is your first decision to make. How much of a problem do you have with flies, mosquitos, etc. and is it worth spending a lot of money on? The electric fly killer of mine really works – no question on that, from personal experience I can tell you at the worst of times I can wake up with a few dozens critters in the cooked box.
Even after you have decided which type of fly zapper you want, there are a lot of different models, again with varying prices. I always recommend not going for the absolute lowest priced model of anything as the chances are it won’t last long. Something mid-range is about right as there’s no need to spend a fortune on these products as they are quite similar to each other.
Although looks are more important if you are going to buy a stationary fly zapper than a swatter one, there are still some design features to look out for on them. Some swatter zappers will have built in lithium ion batteries that you can charge via micro USB cables, and this is always a plus. Having to buy new batteries can be such an annoyance. Then there are models that have LED lights in the handle so that you can use them in dark places. Personally, I only see the advantage of this if you are using it in bed, or if you are going camping, but it can be useful – edit that – after two years of testing you see the silhouette of flies and mosquitos too in the dark!
The electric ‘killing mesh’ in these products can also differ. Some products like The Executionerhave only a single layer, while others have outer safety layers on top. While the idea of safety is great, and necessary if you have kids, it does often limit the performance of the swatter zapper. Of course, the opposite is true of the single layer type; they tend to kill insects, especially larger ones such as flies better, but can also give you a painful shock if you are not careful.
Below you find a selection of the best fly zappers you can buy, complete with a full review about the pros and cons of each. Enjoy.
1. ZAP IT! Bug Zapper - Rechargeable Mosquito, Fly Swatter/Killer and Bug Zapper Racket
The Zap-it! Fly zapper is another best-selling tennis-racquet style insect killer and after long deliberation and two years between now and the last time I reviewed these fly zappers I’ve given this top spot – mainly I feel from extensive use it just about edges the The Executioner to best fly zapper overall. Before we get into it lets take a little look on a big fly:
It has some nice little features to set it apart from most of its competition, but also a few things that I didn’t find quite as appealing. Allow me to explain.
First the positives; the Zap it! Is very sturdy and well made, and looks the part, with the big letter ‘Z’ in the centre of the racquet. It also features a mini flashlight on the handle so it would be handy if you are out camping at night and are getting attacked by gnats and mosquitos.
The best feature, for me at least, is the fact that this fly zapper doesn’t require batteries and can be recharged from the mains. There are lights to show you when the internal battery is running low and needs charging, and to show when it is fully charged. A fully charged battery is claimed to give you approximately 10,000 zaps before you have to recharge via a USB charger.
Now, for the things that I didn’t like. The main issue I had with this fly zapper is the mesh. Unlike the Executioner product that only has a single layer, this one has three.
The reason for this is for safety, which I understand and appreciate. However, the same thing that makes it safe for you, is the same thing that makes it safe for the insects, and so the killing efficiency of the Zap it! Fly zapper isn’t as good as it should be, despite it having a 4000-volt electrified grid. I’m not saying it isn’t effective, it’s just not as efficient as the Executioner product.
So, to sum up, Zap it! Fly zapper, I would say that it has some great features like the USB charging and lithium ion battery, and the built-in flashlight for nighttime use, and it does do what it is designed for. I just wish the makers would have given it a single layer killing grid instead of the enclosed one as it would have made this an unbeatable product.
- Rechargeable battery so not extra outlay
- Full charge indicator
- 10k Zaps before recharge!
- Might not be quite as efficient as the Executioner but all round for me my favourite
2. The Executioner Fly Zapper Mosquito Swatter Racket
You’ve probably seen this type of fly zapper before, either at the supermarket, or more commonly, at pound stores or open markets; they resemble a tennis racquet with electrified wiring in the centre. You might have even bought one in the past and, like me, felt a bit under awed at its actual performance. But, make no mistake. The Executioner is not the same as those low powered, cheaper models, no sir.
First of all, it feels like a much better – quality product before you even turn it on. It has a nice, comfortable handle, and just feels more substantial and a lot less flimsy than ones I’ve bought at the supermarket in the past.
Then there is the power. Once you push in the small button on the handle, you see the charging light come on and can actually hear a whining noise as the fly zapper charges up the shock.
Once it’s ready a light swing through the air in the direction of the flying pest that is bothering you is quickly followed by a visible mini-flash and a loud ‘crack’ as the insect touches the electrolysed 1.5mm zinc steel grid and is killed. Smaller insects like gnats and mosquitos are sometimes vaporised completely, while large ones like wasps might just be heavily stunned by the first shock, and need a second to finish them off.
The makers of the Executioner fly zapper claim that the product has great longevity and will last for 100,000 zaps. I can’t attest to if this is true or not, but the product does seem very well made, and I don’t have reason to doubt their claims. The Executioner fly zapper runs off two AA batteries, and the makers have been kind enough to throw in a couple as part of the price. This fly zapper is available in 5 different colours, and also a slightly more expensive ‘pro’ version which is larger and made from very strong ABS plastic. I was very impressed with this model after being so disappointed with cheaper products in the past. From now on, I’ll be spending a bit more on my fly zappers.
- Made with long lasting ABS Plastic, the Executioner fly swatter by Sourcing4U is the best model of fly swatters yet.
- With its superb build quality, this genuine brand Executioner is ideal for home, office, camping, barbecues and any other outdoor activity.
- Unlike old models, the Executioner boasts of a single zap layer of 1.2 mm zinc steel, guaranteeing death to bugs at first zap.
- Its usage is very simple – just push the on button and swing the racquet at the offending insect.
- It comes with a LED warning light that turns on when the button is pushed and off when it is released.
- The Executioner is given to you only after passing rigorous tests to make sure it meets the standards you expect.
- It is fully CE approved and passes all trading standards.
- It is backed with a 1 year full warranty.
- Along with the handheld zapper you are provided with two branded alkaline batteries
- Flies and wasps need a second hit – that can be dangerous with a wasp!
3. ASPECTEK Fly and Insect Killer
If swinging a racquet around sounds a bit too energetic for you, maybe a stationary fly zapper like the excellent Apectek fly and insect killer might be more up your street. I’d say this is probably the best static electric fly killer available to you at the moment and pretty similar to the Concise in that you’ve got the variable Wattage options, and whilst I’ve picked the mid range to test, there’s no question, the more watts the better after thorough testing:
Available in 20 watt and 40 watt versions, this product leaves you to sit back passively while the zapper does its work, leaving you only to clear out the dead insects from time to time.
The product is a combination of a 2800V electrified grid, and some tubular ultraviolet bulbs, encased in a protective cage for your safety.
The insects are drawn to the machine because of the ultraviolet lighting, and then zapped and instantly killed by the powered grid. It’s simple and extremely effective.
To clean out the fly zapper, you simply turn off the machine, remove the bottom tray and empty it into the bin.
The Aspectek fly zapper can be placed on the floor or any hard and flat surface, or if you prefer, you can hang it up by the metal chain that comes attached to it. Standing 10 inches tall, 15 inches wide, and 3 inches deep, the 20watt version we looked at was a good size for people who prefer something that is a bit more inconspicuous, whereas the 40watt version has larger dimensions of 12.8” x 25.6” x 3.5”.
Overall quality of the Aspectek fly zapper is very high. Even down to the way the LED bulbs slot into their holders and are easy to change – just remove the back panel and twist them out – here’s a quick demo of that – I warn you to turn volume down though really annoying music sorry about that:
The casing feels strong, and there was nothing that gave me cause for concern.
This product comes with a power cable and plug and runs off the mains, but don’t worry, it doesn’t use much electricity to run, and you won’t be seeing any huge differences in your electricity bill. The power cable is only a metre long though, and that might cause some problems with where you can place the zapper unless you use an extension lead.
A great product that is well built, works very efficiently, and really does what the makers claim it does. Available at a fair price point too. What’s not to like?
- Easy to use just turn it on
- Safe if kept up high from kids
- Tray removes easily
- I’d pick the 40 Watt after testing this model next time
4. Exatfina 14W Electric Mosquito Killer Bug Zapper with UV Lamps
Inexpensive and stylish are the two words that spring to mind when I think of the Exatfina mosquito killer lamp. Its modern design really is a nice break from the usual ‘box’ type of fly zappers that are so common. This design also has its practical uses too. Instead of only having one angle where insects can head towards the UV lights, this cage like structure allows for 360 degrees of bug killing opportunity.
Now, I have to state that this is called a mosquito killer for a reason, and that is because it is intended to deal with those bloodsuckers more so than house flies, and even though the shock is between 1500 to 1800 volts, it tends just to stun flies rather than kill them outright remember despite the huge volts, it’s only 14W.
As a mosquito killer it works fantastically, and would be a welcome addition to the bedroom in summer when most of the biting insects seem to be on the prowl.
The UV light emits a wavelength of 365nm over a maximum area of 85 square metres, and it really does do a great job of attracting mosquitos. We tested it on a camping trip to Spain, and the only thing that kept us awake was the crackle of the insects on the zapper. The noise that the mosquitos, flies, etc. make when they are shocked is quite loud, but this is the same for all of these products and you do get used to it quite quickly. The dead bugs are collected in a small tray which can be pulled out from the bottom and removed for emptying and cleaning, and this is a very easy task.
You have the choice of leaving this product free standing or hanging it up, but for some reason the makers have yet again decided to only fit a 1 metre or so power cable, so you might need an extension lead if you are hanging it up high. The bottom of the product has been made to be anti-slip, so you can feel safe to leave it on tile surfaces. The outer cage of the zapper is there as a safety feature and will prevent young kids and pets from accidentally hurting themselves.
Quality-wise, Exatfina has done a great job. The ABS plastic used for some of the components is strong and durable, and this applies to the metal parts of the device too.
If you want something that looks good and kills mosquitoes and other small insects, this is a good purchase. If it’s larger insects such as big moths and flies that are your problem, I’d look somewhere else.
- This model can be hung
- 1 metre cable may be enough – wasn’t for me
- Not the best for bigger bugs – go for the 40W version which is more commercial
5. ZOMAKE Detachable Electric Mosquito Fly Swatte
As far as tennis racquet style fly zappers go, the Zomake electric mosquito & fly swatter is a real bargain. Costing sensible money, it has a build quality that can match much more expensive models, and also a performance that outdoes a lot of them!
The powerful 3000V killing net gives off a fairly loud crack when anything comes into contact with it, and pretty much everything we hit with it dies first time, even large flies. The only downside is you quickly have to get used to the smell of barbecued insects!
Thoughtfully, the killing net is encased in a couple of other layers for the user’s safety, and the materials used feel nice and solid. With this solidity does come a bit of extra weight, but it is not anything to worry about, and actually makes you feel like you have a durable product in your hands.
Zomake’s fly zapper is a good size, with dimensions of 53cm by 22cm, giving you a bigger surface area in which to catch those tricky flies in the kill zone, and more length in the handle so you don’t have to get your hands too close to wasps and other biting/stinging insects. At the top of the handle is a small LED flashlight so you can use the Zomake device in the dark, and even use it to attract the insects. If you want to use it in the daytime, you can save battery power by selecting to have the light switched off at the click of a button. Talking of battery power, this fly zapper comes with a built in 1,000mAh lithium ion battery that you can recharge using a micro USB cable, and a green LED light on the handle will tell you that the battery is charging successfully. A full charge will only take about an hour, and then you will get a lot of use out of that single charge. On the one we tested, we used it for about a week and it still hadn’t run out of power by the end of it.
In short, this is one of the best fly zapper swatters I’ve used and it is available for a very affordable price.
6. Concise Home Insect Killer UV light Attract to Zap Flying Insects Playing Excellent Role as Bug Zapper
Similar in many ways to the fantastic ASPECTEK fly zapper, this model from Concise Home Insect Killer is available at a price that is around 12 pounds lower than its competitor. The Concise Home Insect Killer features the same 2800V electrolysed killing grid too, making it a very efficient killer of flies, mosquitos, moths, and many other flying insects.
Inside the casing and behind the electric grid, there are two tubular UV bulbs that emit a 365nm frequency. This is designed to attract flies and mosquitos in a 50 square metre radius, and I found that it actually does work quite well, as long as you don’t have bright lights on in the same room or fans blowing nearby.
The safety grid on the front of the fly zapper has been well thought out and the spaces between the bars are very small, and not even a small child will be able to get their hands into the dangerous parts.
The white, aluminium casing makes the product lightweight, yet still strong, and resistant to rust should you want to use this outside on the patio or balcony for extended periods.
The easy to slide out collection tray makes getting rid of the dead flies a doddle, and of course makes keeping it clean easy too. There is also a small cleaning brush included so you can wipe any charred remains of mosquitos off the grid and bars. The 1 mere power cable that comes with the Concise Home Insect Killer model isn’t the longest, but it is better than a lot of similar products so I was happy for small mercies. I was also happy to see that it came with a UK three-pronged plug already attached too.
For less than twenty-five pounds you will have to search far and wide to find a better stationary fly zapper. It is well built and performs better than expected.