Last updated on November 28th, 2023
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I have experienced an ongoing battle with flies for years, especially in my kitchen with blue bottles and fruit flies. Outdoors mosquitos always seem to be a problem during the summer months and they always seem to take a liking to me. With this in mind, I thought I would take the opportunity to share what I have found to be the best electric fly killer, taking into account my own personal testing and the fact I’ve had the opportunity to test a few models over the last couple of years.
There are a few differences between the different types of models available, so it might also be worth checking out my buyer’s guide.
In the past, I have tried using fly screens for windows as well as the chainlink screens that hang over doors. The problem is, although they work to an extent, my wife absolutely hates them, plus those pesky blue bottle flies, somehow, still manage to get through the chainlinks.
Spoiler alert, blue bottles don’t seem to be attracted to the blue UV light most models emit, unlike the mosquitos and horseflies etc that are drawn to the blue UV light.
For blue bottles, the only electric fly killer that seems to work is the electric fly racket-type zappers. You can see them (in the photograph below) on my BUGZILLA Electric Bug and Fly Zapper. To be successful, you literally need to hunt them down and take them out one by one. However, once you locate one, the zapper is very effective against them, and this might sound strange, but it is also fun.
My kids enjoy using it too (after being warned not to touch the mesh), however, after seeing the flies frazzled, I don’t think they dare try and touch the mesh now anyway.
This BUGZILLA Electric Bug and Fly Zapper I’ve been testing, as pictured above and below, has worked by far the best on blue bottle flies for me personally. Actually, it’s worth pointing out that I have also used it displayed on its stand and it works on mosquitos because it has a built-in UV light too. So, this in effect, can also be used as a static electric fly killer. Although, unfortunately, it doesn’t have a tray to catch any dead flies.
I have also personally tested this Sahara Sailor Mosquito Killer Lamp as pictured below. This is a mains-powered and more powerful fly killer and it has proven to be an amazing fly killer for both indoor and outdoor use. However, only mosquitos and other bugs seem to be drawn in by the blue UV light. It’s basically totally useless for blue bottles.
Watch the video below to see it in action!
Mosquitoes are easily drawn to the blue UV light, there’s no doubt about that. It’s amazing to see just how many mosquitos this lamp has killed. It has also proved great for placing it somewhere nearby when we are sitting outdoors.
We think that this Concise Home and Insect Killer is a great alternative that is worth considering, although it is worth noting that it is more suitable for indoor use where it is placed in a more permanent location.
House flies (blue bottles) are not attracted to the blue UV lights
As mentioned briefly earlier in this article, the problem with electric fly killers that have UV lights is that the blue bottle flies have no interest in the UV lights whatsoever. Despite what the manufacturers say. I think over the course of a few weeks it killed a couple of blue bottles, obviously by luck because they probably just flew into it.
If you have house flies to kill, the only successful way I have found is using an electric racket-type zapper, like the BUGZILLA Electric Bug and Fly Zapper, (you can read a more detailed review along with features further down) and this brings me to possibly my favourite, electric racket-style bug zapper. I have been using this BUGZILLA Electric Bug and Fly Zapper and what a great piece of kit this thing is.
Not only that, it is safe to use because it’s only powered by a USB rechargeable battery so my children, aged 5 and 12 years old can use them. They now also have a newfound respect for electricity safety too. Don’t worry, I made sure they know not to touch the mesh. I have actually touched the mesh, and although I can feel it, it doesn’t hurt or jolt my arm like my mum and dad’s electric fence does when I catch myself against that!
Compare this to the mains-powered models, I won’t let them go anywhere near them because they can be incredibly dangerous. They probably couldn’t actually get their fingers past the outer cage. However, I’m not taking any chances, and neither should you.
Now, this BUGZILLA Electric Bug and Fly Zapper is the only model that I have successfully killed blue bottles with any reasonable effectiveness. However, you do need to squat them manually and it can be a case of waiting for them to land somewhere suitable before you pounce.
Most flies get caught in the mesh, you actually see them spark and sometimes even start to smoke. That being said, I have actually seen blue bottles before now get zapped, drop to the floor, and then all of sudden, take off again. Sometimes they do need an extra zap to make sure the zapper has done its job.
If you have a problem with fruit flies, this Super Ninja Fruit Fly Trap does a much better job, is much more affordable, and is not electric either. I usually order a couple of packs and place them near the fruit bowl or small kitchen compost bin, basically in spots where I know they are easily drawn to.
Fly Zapper Buyer’s Guide
There are many different types of electric fly killers, so if you are unsure what type is right for you, here are a few things to consider before choosing one. Personally, I go with a combination of a racket-style zapper for house flies such as blue bottles because they are not attracted by the blue UV light and then I use a static electric fly killer with some serious voltage to deal with mosquitos and other bugs that are drawn in by the blue UV light.
Racket style or static electric fly killer?
It’s fairly simple, I use both types, but it depends on what types of flies and bugs you have got a problem with. If it’s large house flies, then a racket-style zapper is the way to go. Chase them down and deal with them one by one. If you have issues with mosquitos and other bugs, then go the static mains-powered electric fly killer route. They are very effective against mosquitoes and midgies. If you have problems with fruit flies, neither of these will be very effective, and this Super Ninja Fruit Fly Trap is what you need.
Power source – mains-powered or battery?
You can get mains powered models, these are dangerous if not used correctly so be very careful. They are very powerful and will kill flies instantly. They are easier to use once set up because there is no changing batteries or recharging.
Then you have the battery-powered and rechargeable models. I personally prefer the rechargeable ones, and they usually have a USB charger, so you can charge them with the plug that comes with your smartphone or even plug them into your laptop’s USB socket for charging, as I do. Racket-style zappers are usually powered by rechargeable batteries.
How to switch on and use an electric fly killer
Most static models have an ON button and sometimes (on more advanced models) a couple of options for the power settings. Some are much more simple and do not have an on/off switch and are always on if plugged into a socket. With models like this, which I have, I simply plug them into a smart plug and set them to come on in the evening when they are likely to prove the most effective. Failing this, you could use a timer or simply turn them ON and OFF at the plug socket.
Racket-style zappers are also simple to use. Usually, you just slide the switch up, the first option is usually a lower power setting or it needs to be used with a button to electrify the mesh, which is how the model above works. You can then usually slide the switch up fully so that it’s on ‘AUTO MODE’ so it’s always ON without needing to press the button, sometimes with a more powerful voltage too.
Some racket-style zappers also have a UV light built in. I like this feature because you can also leave them switched on, on a stand, so that they can also be used as a static electric fly killer too.
Best Electric Fly Killers Reviews
1. BUGZILLA Electric Bug and Fly Zapper
Best Racket Style Zapper
I had previously preferred the mains-powered Sahara Sailor Mosquito Killer Lamp, it did a great job on mosquitos, and although it did kill the odd blue bottle fly, that was it. They certainly weren’t attracted to the blue UV light, (as previously mentioned a couple of times already), which means it’s a waste of money for house flies.
This is the main reason I now prefer this racket style BUGZILLA Electric Bug and Fly Zapper. In reality, they both serve different purposes, but the difference is I now use this racket-style model just like I did the mains-powered Sahara electric bug fly zapper. It’s not as powerful but I have found it to kill all flies just as easily, especially mosquitos. Larger blue bottle flies can take a couple of zaps to kill.
When I say I use it like the mains-powered electric fly killer, what I mean is that I can place it in its stand and leave it on constantly. It also has a blue UV light, so it also attracts mosquitoes when I take it outside, something I can only do when it’s not raining or it is placed undercover.
It’s powered by a lithium rechargeable battery and charges via a USB cable. I’ve not had to charge it very often at all. It seems to last a long time.
So one of the features I really like (that most other models don’t have) is the ability to rotate the racket head so you can easily trap flies against walls and windows. This makes it really effective in comparison to models without this feature. I find it’s much easier to trap the flies because of the rotating face.
There are 2 power settings on the sliding switch and the main button. The first power setting turns it on but only electrifies the racket when you press the button. This is great if you want to specifically target some house flies and it helps to save power because you only need to press the main button when you go to cover a fly against a wall, for example.
Then you have the 2nd power setting that turns the electricity on without needing to press the main button. I can place it in its dock and leave it switched on. This is very useful because I can leave it on a table and due to the fact it also has a blue UV light, it attracts the mosquitoes and zaps them, meaning it also works like a static electric fly killer.
As it has no way to catch the dead flies, I usually just leave a piece of kitchen roll underneath it and then dispose of them the following morning.
This is probably my favourite electric bug zapper. What I like is that I can use it as the racket-style zapper, targeting individual flies in my home as and when needed. I love the way the racket wire head rotates 90°, which I have not seen on any other model.
Finally, I also found it useful for taking outside or even leaving it switched on in its stand with the UV light on. Overall, it’s just a good piece of kit, especially if you looking for a zapper for blue bottle flies. Quality-wise, pretty much all plastic except for the wire mesh but it’s fairly sturdy. I’ve dropped it a few times on my tiled floor and it’s still working fine. Overall, an excellent piece of kit.
2. Sahara Sailor Mosquito Killer Lamp
Best Mains Pick
I’ve used this for just over a year now, so I thought it was time to give an update on what I think so far. I think that these types of static electric fly zappers serve a different purpose than the racket-style zappers (the type I have reviewed previously) and have also tested extensively.
If you’re hoping to kill house flies (blue bottles) this is not what you need. They kill mosquitos etc instantly with a loud crack, which will make you jump as they vaporise. But, for some reason, that sound is so satisfying. The problem is, house flies are simply not attracted to the blue UV light. If they land on the wire, however, it will do an amazing job.
In reality, just from my experience though, a fly can be buzzing around for days and it still won’t land on it. This is where the racket zappers come in, they are brilliant for these large flies which this zapper is ineffective against.
So why do I still have one? Well, mosquitos and other small flies are attracted to the blue UV light like a magnet. It is actually amazing just how many flies this mains-powered zapper will take down.
Something else, it only really works well at dusk or in the dark, and then blue light is visible. In daylight, the UV light is not very visible and because of this, it doesn’t attract the flies. With this in mind, what I usually do is plug it into a smart plug and have it on in the kitchen for a few hours once it goes dark, this usually clears up any mosquitos and small flies. I suppose you could also use a timer to do the same job too.
I have also found this Sahara Sailor Mosquito Killer Lamp to be great for hanging outdoors in the evening. I usually hang it on a hanging basket bracket. However, I’ve also had it hanging from my parasol and gazebo. What I will say, is that the cable is not very long, it’s about 5ft long. This has not been a problem when I use it in the kitchen, but when used outdoors, I need to use an extension lead.
When it comes to cleaning, I simply just empty the slide-out tray and clean it.
Something else I have noticed is that it uses very little electricity. When I check my smart meter, I see a little spike every time it zaps a fly, but I would say it’s very energy efficient.
Another thing to note is that fruit flies don’t seem to be attracted to it either. If this is a problem, I recommend getting this Super Ninja Fruit Fly Trap instead. These are amazing for fruit flies but useless for everything else.
When it comes to the build quality, it seems well built, and I’ve had no issues. When it comes to specs, this fly killer is 4000v, and the UV light is an 18W 365nm wavelength UV light. You can replace the bulb, but this is something I have not yet had to do. I also know it’s rated to an IPX4 rating. This means it can be used outdoors but only when protected from rain, either when it isn’t raining, or when it’s placed underneath some sort of shelter, such as a gazebo or parasol. Basically, any location where it is sheltered. Just be aware you can’t leave it out in the rain.
In terms of safety, it has an external metal cage so you can’t touch the electric part of the UV bulb. These mains-powered electric fly zappers are very powerful, so be careful.
- An outdoor and indoor electric insect killer in the style of a lantern with a protective metal grid on all sides. (Outdoors means somewhere protected from rain, it is splashproof not waterproof).
- Ultraviolet light is 18V to attract flying insects.
- Zaps insects with a 4000V shot from the electric grid inside.
- Made of durable and waterproof high-temp ABS plastic in black.
- The removable tray at the base collects the dead bugs and is easily cleanable.
- Comes with a 1.5m electric cable.
- The holes in the grill large are enough to let moths through.
- No On/Off switch.
The Sahara Sailor Mosquito Killer Lamp has proved very effective for mosquitos. Me, I mainly use it in my kitchen and outdoors in the evening if I’m sitting outside. For house flies, it’s a complete waste of time, for this, you really need a racket-style zapper to hunt them down one by one. For fruit flies, also not worth it, my Super Ninja Fruit Fly Trap does a much better job.
Overall though, if you are looking for a static electric zapper for mosquitos and other small flies and bugs (just not blue bottles), this is a great choice and will do the job. I’m sure I’ve had it for about 2 years now, and it’s still going strong.
3. Concise Home and Insect Killer 40W
The Concise Home and Insect Killer 40W is a long and flat electric fly killer that is a good alternative to the Sahara Sailor Mosquito Killer Lamp if you want something that is a little more advanced. Two 20W UV tube lights run horizontally within an aluminium alloy and plastic structure.
The protective and strong mesh grid on the front and back of the unit is made of metal; the bars of this are spaced fairly closely together, keeping out inquisitive fingers. My review tested the 40W model, but there’s also the choice of a 12W model and a 30W model, all with the same features but in different sizes. All UV wavelengths are the standard 365nm that mosquitos and other flying bugs can’t seem to resist.
Bugs within a 90m2 area are susceptible to the light emitted. When they arrive at the shining glow, they’re greeted by a 2100V jolt of electricity. Their bodies literally vaporise with the sound of a loud crack in the collection tray that runs the length of the unit. It’s easy to remove the tray to dispose of the dead flies and to clean the tray before replacing it.
Unlike the previous model I tested, this one does have an On/Off switch, you can leave it plugged in if you want (with all the usual precautions for electric devices). You can hang the unit from the wall or stand it upright on a horizontal surface such as a table. It’s designed for both indoor and outdoor use but keep it 0.3m away from a wall. Overall, it seems very well built and is a good alternative to many other models that are maybe a little cheaper and more plastic looking.
- Electric insect zapper in the form of two long ultraviolet light tubes arranged horizontally.
- Lights are enclosed in a strong iron mesh grid for safety.
- The light holders are made of ABS plastic.
- The lamp supports are made of aluminium alloy that is easy to wipe down.
- Attracts flying insects from within a 90m2 area.
- The base is a removable plate that holds the dead flies and is easily cleaned out.
- On/off switch so you can leave this unit plugged in (if it’s safe to do so).
- Hang from a hook on the wall or ceiling or stand it on a table or desk.
- The zapping voltage is 2100V.
- Comes with two replacement tube lights.
The Concise Home and Insect Killer 40W is a bar unit with two UV tube lamps operating at the standard 365nm wavelength. While the zapping power of 2100V is half of that found in lantern-style fly killers, it holds its own against similar bar models. I like that this is a unit for both indoors and outdoors, that it’s also available with lower wattage bulbs, and that it comes with two replacement tube lights. This makes it a model where you can choose the size you really need.
The Concise Home and Insect Killer 40W is a great alternative to my Sahara Sailor Mosquito Killer Lamp should it not be available for some reason.
If zapping flies and other flying bugs is not your style, head over to our How do you stop flies coming into the house and conservatory? guide for some less violent ways to deter and kill flies.
4. Palone Electric Bug Zapper
The PALONE Bug Zapper, High-performance, provides the ultimate fly-killing prowess in my review, and is very similar to the Sahara Sailor Mosquito Killer Lamp. The bright 20W UV light attracts flies and then hits them with a 4300V charge of electricity, so it’s very effective.
This fly killer looks like a rectangular lantern with a domed roof. The bars around all sides of the unit let flies, mosquitoes and other flying bugs in from all sides as they’re drawn to the blue UV light. The weatherproof and water-resistant cover (IPX4) is made from black ABS plastic for durability. It’s worth noting that it’s water resistant to splashproof and not waterproof, so it still needs protection from the rain. The hook at the top of the dome lets you hang the unit up, although a hanging chain isn’t included. The unit’s design also allows you to place it on a flat surface such as a retaining wall around your patio.
The round fly collection tray at the bottom is easily removed. Brush out the dead flies with the included brush, and then wash out the tray with soapy water. A power cord is included. However, at 1.2m long, a little shorter than the one on my preferred Sahara Sailor Mosquito Killer Lamp which is actually 1.5 metres long.
- Electric 20W mosquito zapper for indoor and outdoor use.
- Zaps with 4300V to kill trapped insects and bugs.
- Open on all sides so 360° zone of attraction.
- ABS plastic (black) shell that’s water resistant (IPX4 standard).
- The protective grid is too small for children to poke their fingers through.
- The hook at the top lets you hang up this unit or stand it on a table.
- Attracts flies and other bugs from within a 100m2 zone.
- The power cable is 1.2m long.
- The round insect collection tray at the bottom is easily removed for cleaning.
- The power cable is too short.
The PALONE Bug Zapper has a bright UV light to attract mosquitoes and other bugs plus a powerful 4300V zap to kill them when they’re enticed in. The black plastic body of this lantern-shaped unit is durable and easy to wipe down, and the safety bars all around it are spaced safely and closely together. Overall it’s a model well worth considering.
Read next: How to kill flying ants
5. ASPECTEK Fly and Insect Killer 20W
The ASPECTEK 20W Fly and Insect Killer is an electric unit with two 10W UV lights, but it’s worth noting this model is only for indoor use. These lights operate at the popular 365nm wavelength (like the other models I have tested) to attract flying insects. When they arrive, they’re zapped with 2800V of electricity on the electric grid.
This fly and insect killer looks like an old-time bathroom bar heater. The two tube lights are horizontal within a white and black metal and plastic frame. The front and back of the unit are protected by an open metal grid with bars that are quite close together. The bars don’t bend in to touch the tubes or electric element, and small fingers shouldn’t fit between them.
The tray at the bottom of the unit collects the dead flies and is easily removed. Shake off the flies, give the tray a wash with soapy water and replace it. The grid at the front of the unit unlatches and swings down if you need to clean inside – except for the electric grid, which is self-cleaning. But, be careful to discharge any resident electricity from the grid before you touch it.
This ASPECTEK – Fly and Insect Killer stands nicely on its own feet on a flat surface, or you can hang it up with the (included) chain. This is a fly killer for indoor use only.
We review the 20W Aspectek fly killer. It’s also available as a 20w and 30W with the same features.
- Electric 20W fly killer with two UV bar light tubes, works indoors.
- Attracts flying bugs from up to 24m away within a 452m2 zone.
- Delivers a 2800V shock to the trapped bugs.
- Can stand on a table or hung with the (included) chain.
- The tray at the bottom collects the dead bugs and is removable and washable.
- A proactive steel grid is easily removed to clean it if necessary.
- Dimensions: 38.5cm (width); 27cm (height) and 8cm (depth).
- Not waterproof or water resistant.
- The electric cord is short.
The ASPECTEK 20W Fly and Insect Killer is another UV light model but with two 10W UV bulbs for a total of 20W. What I like is that it produces more voltage than most models at 2800V for killing flies. The Aspectek range of fly killers (there’s also a 30W model) is only for use indoors as they’re not water-resistant. This is a great alternative to some of the other mains-powered picks, maybe just a little better-made, quality-wise.
6. FENUN Mosquito Killer Lamp
The FENUN Mosquito Killer Lamp is for you if the ‘crack’ sound of flies being electrocuted disturbs you or your sleep. After attracting the flies, this unit uses an anti-escape fan to draw them further down into the unit where they’re trapped by a sticky pad and held there until they die. The tray holding the sticky pad at the bottom of the unit is easily removed for replacing the pad and cleaning. I got 10 sticky pads with my purchase. However long they last depends upon how many flies succumb to the trap.
This Fenun flycatcher is different in some additional ways from the other models in my review. First up, it doesn’t have a standard plug – you run it through a USB interface. But don’t worry, this flycatcher comes with a 1.3m USB cable and also the adapter to let you plug it into the wall. Or you could run it from your laptop if you’re out camping or even kayaking with a USB power bank.
Secondly, while the UV light operates at the standard 360nm to attract flies, you have the option of automatically cycling through another six wavelengths up to 400nm (the wavelength changes every 15 minutes). This takes into account that not all flies have 360nm light as their favourite wavelength. You should catch a wider variety of flying bugs this way, but it still doesn’t work on blue bottles. There’s a separate button to the On/Off switch to turn the automatic cycling on, although online reviewers report that neither button is labelled.
- Rechargeable flycatcher and killer that’s for indoor use only.
- Charged via USB connection with an (included) 1.3m USB cord.
- On and off switch to operate the unit.
- Optional cycle through seven wavelengths (360nm to 400nm) to catch a variety of flying insects.
- Warms up to human body temperature to further entice the flies in.
- A sticky pad in the bottom of the unit traps the flies when they’re drawn in, and they expire naturally.
- A removable tray at the bottom of the unit lets you replace the sticky pad.
- Very quiet.
- Flies have to be drawn down through the fan to be trapped.
- The fan is not very powerful.
- Poor instructions and the buttons on top aren’t labelled.
The FENUN Mosquito Killer Lamp is a good choice if you’re looking for a quiet fly killer and you don’t have many flying insects to trap. An interesting design and one that works, maybe not quite as reliable as the electric zappers.
Overall, I think I have tested a few models, but I’m a fan of both the BUGZILLA Electric Bug and Fly Zapper for getting rid of house flies and this Sahara Sailor Mosquito Killer Lamp for killing the mosquitos indoors and outdoors.
It’s clear that house flies are not attracted to the blue UV lights, but the mosquitos can’t get enough of it. I hope you have found my testing and review useful.
Last update on 2023-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API