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2009 24 Mar

A mosquito zapper is a bug zapper that attracts and kills insects instantly. The insects are attracted by the light source attached to an electrical grid. When the insects enter this electrical grid they are electrocuted. The name ‘zapper’ comes from the zap sound which is produced every time a mosquito gets electrocuted.

Working Technique Of A Bug Zapper

The zapper is usually kept in a protective cage made out of plastic or metal. This is to prevent the user from coming in contact with the high voltage parts of the equipment.

Inside the apparatus, right in the middle of the mosquito zapper is a light source – a fluorescent lamp. The lamp is designed to emit ultra violet light that attracts insects. This light source is surrounded by electrically charged wire grids. Once a mosquito comes close to the mesh, current flows through its body killing it instantly.

The dead insects are then collected in the shallow trays fixed at the bottom of the zapper.

Drawbacks Of Zappers

  • The count of mosquitoes collected in the trap is often very low as compared to the other insects. This is because mosquitoes are more attracted to water vapor and mammals rather than a light source.
  • The bug zapper instead of killing the pesky insects often destroys those that are helpful to our environment such as the pollinating insects.
  • The strong UV rays attract even those insects that are not in the vicinity.
  • When the bugs touch the zapper, they produce a spray of bug intestines that can be inhaled by humans causing further problems. This aerosol often settles on the food kept close by.

Alternative Methods

There are several alternatives to kill mosquitoes in and around your home. Some safe alternatives are a mosquito attractant and a mosquito catcher. A mosquito attractant is an artificial pheromone especially made for catching mosquitoes. Once the mosquitoes are attracted towards this pheromone, they are caught in a net (mosquito catcher) where they die of dehydration.

You can also make use of plant oils like citronella oil, castor oil, peppermint oil and clove oil as a low-cost substitute of a mosquito zapper. DEET is another excellent mosquito repellent that has hit the market recently.


Now that you are well aware of the pros and cons of buying a bug zapper, give it a second thought before you bring it home. It is always advisable to go for alternative methods instead of the mosquito zapper. The reasons are obvious!

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