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The 10 Best Camping Bug Zappers [2023]

Amar Hussain's image
Amar Hussain

Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 63U.S. States Visited: 9

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury

Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

Countries Visited: 41U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Camping is undoubtedly one of the best parts of summer: fresh air, starry nights, and good conversations over the campfire. But what about those pesky bugs that can drive you absolutely crazy?

A good bug zapper is key to a great outdoor experience. They’ll keep the bugs at bay and are a great alternative (or addition) to bug sprays … not to mention, fewer bug bites mean happier campers.

Things To Consider With Bug Zappers

A good bug zapper is key to a great outdoor experience. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

A good bug zapper should be easy to use, keep you comfortable and out of bugs’ reach, and be suitable for your camping activity. Here are some important features to look out for when purchasing:

Design

Many bug zappers come with hooks or chains so you can hang them up. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

While most bug zappers can stand on flat surfaces, many come with hooks or chains so you can hang them up. Pay attention to this option, as well as the type of hook. Some can be flimsy and may break easily.

You may also want to pay attention to the spaces between the protective cage, especially if you are concerned with young children putting their fingers through it.

Size & Weight

Nobody likes a backpack weighed down by bulky items, so consider the size and weight of the bug zapper you choose. Bigger doesn’t mean better, and many lightweight bug zappers are heavy hitters that can keep you protected without bogging you down.

However, size and weight may not be as much of a factor if you’re in a camper van or glamping. In this case, you could get a larger bug zapper that has the potential to cover a much larger surface area.

Power Source

Bug zappers can be battery operated, rechargeable, or require electricity. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

The power source is vital depending on what kind of camping you do, so pay close attention to this detail. Zappers can be battery operated, rechargeable, or require electricity.

They can also have USB chargers for use with power banks on the go. All have pros and cons, so weigh your options first and decide what’s best for your camping style.

Range

The ideal bug zapper range really comes down to what you intend to use your bug zapper for. Some zappers are less powerful but work well for smaller ranges — think inside of tents, canoes, on the dock while fishing, or hung on backpacks while hiking.

Others may cover up to an acre or more and are better suited for larger areas like campsites and patios. Consider this to avoid a zapper that may be too small for your needs.

Durability and Material

Camping means exposure to the elements, and it’s essential to determine if you need a weatherproof zapper or one that might be made of more durable materials.

If you’re planning on buying a portable one for backcountry camping or camping activities, it might be worthwhile to look into waterproof options.

Sound

Some bug zappers make a low buzzing noise, while others are dead quiet. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Some bug zappers can be even louder than the bugs themselves, which can drive some people nuts. Consider how sensitive you are to noise frequency, especially for zappers used in small spaces.

Bottom Line: Some can make a low buzzing noise that might be annoying, and others are dead quiet aside from the sound of bugs meeting their maker.

Added Features

Many bug zappers also come with LED light features, which can be helpful when camping. However, the LED can also draw extra power instead of being used to zap annoying bugs.

Consider looking at the added features like lights, magnets, and hooks to see if they match your intended use.

The 10 Best Camping Bug Zappers

1. Super-portable Bug Zapper

BEST OVERALL: Zapout Camping Lantern
A rechargeable camping lantern for a bug-free evening. This is a small lantern that you can easily set out of the way without worrying about distracting humming or dealing with swarms of bugs.

Zapout Camping Lamp Zapper Light

Small but mighty at only 3.5 x 5 inches and 10.8 ounces, this bug zapper can keep a 200-square-foot zone bug-free for up to 12.5 hours. With a lithium-ion battery and USB charging cable, it’s a convenient option for backcountry campers or campsites with no electricity.

Using UV light to attract and kill bugs, it also conveniently doubles as a lantern. It has 3 LED light settings offering 50, 100, or 220 Lumens, respectively, and an emergency flash setting, just in case.

It has the bonus of being weatherproof and waterproof, which is great for unpredictable weather or use near water. A handy hanger feature allows you to hang it from your tent or even from your backpack for protection on the go.

What We Like:

  • The rechargeable battery

What We Don’t Like:

  • A little tricky to clean

2. Incredibly Powerful Bug Zapper

UPGRADE PICK: FVOAI Bug Zapper Outdoor
There are multiple uses for this handy lantern. It provides a decent amount of light for camping trips in the middle of nowhere. It also works to eliminate pesky mosquitoes.

FVOIA Bug Zapper

A 4,200-watt grid makes this zapper lethal to the bugs that dare come close to its UV light. A plastic housing protects the grid to prevent anyone from accidentally touching it.

With a range of up to 1,500 square feet, this zapper is an excellent addition to your camping equipment. It requires electricity, but its range gives flexibility for protecting a larger area.

It’s still pretty compact at just 2.03 pounds, so it isn’t too cumbersome. One of the more rugged-looking zappers, it can be placed on a flat surface and has a metal hook for convenient hanging. Cleanup is a breeze with the removable tray and brush included.

What We Like: 

  • The powerful grid

What We Don’t Like:

  • Short cord

3. Bug Zapper With the Widest Range

DISCOUNT: 10%
BLACK+DECKER Bug Zapper
Black+Decker brought the company's signature quality to a new market with this lantern. It's powerful enough to cover an acre of land and keep your outdoor adventures bug-free all night.

Black & Decker Bug Zapper

This bug zapper looks sleek and has an impressive range of 1 acre. You can use it both indoors and outdoors, which is great for camping and also for at-home use.

One of the sturdier options, it weighs around 5 pounds and stands just over 16 inches tall. It also comes with a chain, adding versatility to where and how you can hang it.

A good option for larger campsites or wooded areas with lots of bugs around, it emits a low buzz but is pretty quiet overall. If the sound of bug zappers bothers you, the range is so broad that it could be out of earshot and still keep you protected.

What We Like:

  • Powerful bug protection for up to 1 acre

What We Don’t Like:

  • A bit cumbersome

4. Bug Zapper With Sensors

Bug Zapper Outdoor Dusk to Dawn Built in Light Sensor
You can use this bug zapper indoors and outdoors, and it covers 1500 square feet. It's portable as well. You don't have to worry about finding an outlet to plug it in.

White Kaiman Outdoor Bug Zapper

A handy built-in light sensor sets this zapper apart from the others. That means you can plug it in, cozy up in your tent or camper, and be protected all night, without having to remember to turn it off in the morning.

Weighing around 2 pounds, this is also an excellent option for a camping light. It has a 4,000-volt electric grid and covers up to 1,500 square feet, which is great for enjoying a bug-free campsite.

A sturdy steel grid cage lets the bugs in but keeps your fingers safe. The light sensor also has a cover to disable this feature if you choose.

What We Like: 

  • Dusk to dawn light sensor

What We Don’t Like: 

  • No cleaning brush included

5. Super-compact Bug Zapper

Sahara Sailor Camping Lantern
Not only is this lantern an effective bug-zapper, but it's also a useful light as well. You can choose between 5 different light settings to help illuminate your campsite at night.

Sahara Sailor Camping Lantern

Ideal for hiking and backcountry camping, this bug zapper has multiple features packed into a tiny 8.5-ounce product. The smallest on the list at 5 inches by 2.3 inches, it has a USB rechargeable battery and covers up to 16 square feet.

The bug zapper section of this product is collapsible, making it super compact. In addition, the bug zapper section actually slides in and out, so you can save extra space. Use the zapper and the light simultaneously, or the zapper only for up to 30 hours of bug-free bliss.

Some notable extra features: it’s drop resistant and has a hook and a magnet for even more hanging options.

What We Like

  • Super-compact with extra design features

What We Don’t Like:

  • Limited range of 16 square feet

6. Zapper You Can Use With Power Banks

DISCOUNT: 39%
Electric Bug Zapper
This bug zapper was designed to be discreet. It's not an eyesore like traditional models, and it can fit in with your outdoor decor while still keeping bugs away from you and your guests.

Elechome Bug Zapper

This product is great for campers who might need a broader protection range but don’t have electrical outlets available.

This zapper has a USB-C cable, so you can pack your rechargeable power bank to run it. You can also use a USB-C adapter plug if electricity is available, making it suitable for multiple camping scenarios.

This zapper is rated for both indoor and outdoor use, which is a plus if you have a larger tent, cabin, or camper where you need extra bug protection. And if you forget it outside, no worries — it’s also waterproof.

The 3,600-volt grid will sizzle mosquitos, gnats, or other pests and has up to 1,500 square feet of coverage. Functionality aside, it’s also a very quiet and pretty cool-looking gadget.

What We Like: 

  • USB-C plug-in so you can use a power bank

What We Don’t Like: 

  • Safety cage may not offer the most protection

7. Best Bug Zapper for Small Spaces

DISCOUNT: 18%
Functional Bug Zapper Lantern
This handy little lantern is simple to start using. You don't have to worry about accidentally zapping yourself while you're getting it set up. It's a powerful tool for having a bug-free zone.

Ellasay Electric Bug Zapper

This bug zapper is perfect for any small space — a tent, bedroom, or office. With a noise rating of 20 decibels, it’s quiet enough to be nearby and unbothersome. It only weighs 8 ounces, making it ideal for camping trips where heavy gadgets get left behind.

Less than 5 inches tall and 4 inches wide, you can easily strap it onto your backpack for portable protection from its 600-volt grid. Its rechargeable battery can last up to 6 hours, after which you can simply plug it into a power bank or use an adapter for a wall plug-in.

Although we love it for camping, it also comes in handy for home use. If you’re sitting on your deck or doing some gardening, it’s light enough to tote around to keep bugs at bay for those activities, too.

What We Like:

  • Small and lightweight protection

What We Don’t Like:

  • Cleanup can be a bit of a pain

8. Best Waterproof Bug Zapper

BroElec Bug Zapper Camping Lamp
This lantern can be kept out all year, no matter what the weather is. It's entirely waterproof, meaning you can leave it out while it's raining. That's perfect since rain attracts more mosquitoes.

BroElec Bug Zapper Camping Lamp

This small zapper is entirely waterproof, making it ideal for camping, hiking, and fishing.

It’s only 8 ounces and 8 inches by 3.9 inches, making it perfectly packable with all your camping essentials. This zapper is multi-purpose and can operate as an LED light, bug zapper, or both. It charges up fully in 3 or 4 hours, and the bug zapper can last up to 30 hours.

This bug zapper has a reasonable range of 1,000 square feet and zaps bugs with 1,000 volts. Strap it to your backpack or take it along for camp-related activities like bike rides or canoeing trips. The best part about it being waterproof is that you can just run it under water to clean it — super easy.

What We Like:

  • Waterproof and suitable for lots of activities

What We Don’t Like: 

  • Hook design could be better

9. The Quietest Bug Zapper

Zwiran Bug Zapper
This zapper is a safe option to keep bugs away. There are no chemicals involved for you to breathe in or absorb through your skin. It's also very quiet for nighttime use.

Zwiran Professional Hig- Powered Mosquito Zapper

If you can’t stand that low buzzing of many bug zappers, this one is for you. It’s super quiet and is hardly noticeable even when it zaps a bug. Perfect for peaceful moments sipping on coffee or reading a good book at the campsite.

Quiet doesn’t mean weak, though. A 4,000-volt grid and a range of 1,100 square feet is enough to keep you protected. You can plug it in, enjoy the benefits, and forget it’s even there.

It also comes with a screwdriver to easily replace the 20-watt bulb and a brush to quickly eliminate all the bugs that remain.

What We Like:

  • Super-quiet, even when it zaps bugs

What We Don’t Like:

  • The base could be more robust

10. Zapper With Added Carbon Inserts

DISCOUNT: 13%
OLT LITE Camping Lantern
You can recharge this lantern wherever you are to make sure you're always ready if there are bugs around. The battery can last a long time between charges as well.

BOLT LITE Camping Lanter + Bug Zapper

For some extra bug-killing power, this zapper has added carbon inserts. Since mosquitos are attracted to carbon, it enhances the capabilities of this portable zapper.

You can easily tote this around as it’s only 10.8 ounces with a range of 10 square feet. It’s suited to smaller spaces like tents or even hooked onto a jacket or backpack for on-the-go bug zapping.

This zapper has an LED light on the top and the bug zapper on the lower half. The light alone can last up to 24 hours, and you can get up to 30 hours of bug-zapping power.

A USB charging cable makes this easy to charge up in your car on the way to the campsite or with a power bank while you’re already there.

What We Like: 

  • Added carbon inserts

What We Don’t Like: 

  • Range of only 10 square feet

Final Thoughts

Limiting contact with bugs can help make your camping experience more peaceful, comfortable, and enjoyable. It can also save you from those pesky bug bites. They’re a great way to keep the bugs from driving you crazy during a camping trip!

There are zappers to suit every camper, whether you’re in the backcountry or glamping for the weekend. Zappers that double as lanterns are also a useful multi-tool for time spent in the great outdoors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are bug zappers worth the money?

Bug zappers can be cost-effective and make your outdoor experience considerably more enjoyable. They can save you from painful bug bites and come in handy during multiple activities and in various spaces.

Do all bug zappers require electricity?

No, they don’t, so check the specs of each zapper for power requirements. They can be battery-operated, rechargeable, or require a direct plug-in. Some have USB chargers for use with power banks or USB adapters.

How do bug zappers work?

Most modern bug zappers emit UV light to attract bugs to the lamp, then zap them with high voltage to kill them on contact. The strength of the UV light determines the distance from which bugs will be attracted to them, usually expressed in a square foot range.

Are bug zappers safe to use?

UV bug zappers are a safe option as they attract bugs to the light. No chemicals or harmful rays are emitted, which is why many are rated for indoor and small-space use. Make sure to look at the design of the outer cage of the zapper, especially if you are concerned about small children accidentally touching the electric grid inside.

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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