A solar bug zapper is essentially a device that “traps and zaps” common flying bugs such as mosquitos and gnats. These bugs tend to be attracted to light sources, which the zapper serves as. Keeping these insects under control makes your backyard a safer and more enjoyable environment to be in.
What makes solar bug zappers different from other traditional electric ones is the fact that their power is converted from sunlight. Often times, there will be a solar panel located at the top of the device where it receives energy in order to work, but the panel can be found elsewhere on the device as well.
Some models even have a UV bulb add-on attached to the battery that allow them to continue receiving energy without natural active sunlight. This feature comes in handy at night or on cloudy days, but is not available on all solar bug zappers.
Best Solar Bug Zappers
Are These The Same As Battery Operated Mosquito Zappers?
Not quite, but almost. While they do work in a very similar way to kill insects, the power source is the difference.
How Much Do Solar Bug Zappers Cost?
As with anything, the price of a solar bug zapper can vary greatly. The cost depends on a number of factors, varying from a brand, model, features, and even the store you purchase it from. They can range anywhere from $10 for a lower-end model, up to a few hundred dollars for a top-of-the-line advanced model.
Keeping cost in mind, think about how long the zapper is expected to last and the cost of energy as the months go by (which shouldn’t be high with solar-powered models). Check the specifications on the box (or product description if you shop online).
What a “reasonable” price for solar bug zappers would be is really up to the consumer’s discretion. Different families (and yards) have different goals and needs.
You may want one that looks nicer and has additional features, or maybe one that just gets the job done. Furthermore, reviews from other consumers can give you insight on if the price seems worth it or not according to them.
How Do Solar Bug Zappers Work?
Zappers come in a few different forms, and some are set on the ground. However, most are hung above the ground and geared toward one of the world’s most dangerous creatures – the tiny, but vicious, mosquito. Starting from the power source, these zappers absorb the sun’s energy through photovoltaic cells on its solar panel.
This lights up the UV bulb inside of the zapper, which is connected to the (now charged) battery. Typically, the bulb can stay lit for 8-12 hours after the device is charged. As mentioned, many insects have a natural attraction to the warmth and/or light that emits from the bulb.
Some more sophisticated bug zappers even give off carbon dioxide or pheromones. All of these features act as bait and draw the insects closer. A key element of most zappers is the mesh screen panels that surround the area of the bulb.
These screens hold a voltage charge. When a bug comes toward the device, usually by flight, they come into close contact with the surrounding screen. It is here that a small electrical charge fires out and zaps the bug.
A small crackle can often be heard when a mosquito or other bug gets killed in a zapper. After dying, it will most likely fall into a small collection tray that stays at the bottom of the device.
While it may seem like a harsh punishment for a curious little bug, consider the fact that mosquitos result in about a million worldwide deaths per year. Flies, gnats, and other insects, on the other hand, maybe considered harmless, but are known to be extremely annoying!
Factors to Consider Before Buying
Choosing the right solar bug zapper for your yard is not difficult when you know what to look for. There are a few determining factors that you want to keep in mind when making this decision.
Price – It is understandable that the cost of any new purchase weighs heavily in a person’s decision on whether or not to buy it. For more information on cost, see the above section (“How Much Do Solar Bug Zappers Cost?”).
Voltage – A higher voltage means a stronger electrical kill. However, you might want not find that necessary, especially if you would rather leave moths and other non-biting bugs alone.
Energy Usage – Not only does this add to the long-term cost of a unit, it is also worse for the environment. This is what makes solar versions a great option.
Aesthetics – While this may not be important to everyone, design matters to a lot of folks. This is especially true with people that aim for perfection in their yard and those that entertain company fairly often.
Placement – If you have small children or pets, you might prefer a zapper that does not stay on the ground. Moreover, not everyone has a spot to easily suspend a hanging model. There are also some models that double as walkway lighting, which decorators love.
Portability – Some may want a zapper they can move to different areas of the yard, especially if there is more than one seating area. If that’s the case, avoid big bulky zappers that are heavy to lug around.
Extra features – Better models might have attractants besides light. Others might have special safety features or even include a USB outlet.
Reviews – There are several online sources with extensive reviews on a variety of solar bug zappers. It can be a good idea not only to read the good reviews but the negative ones too. This can give you clues on what to watch out for when planning your purchase.
Zappers in general are less harmful to our surroundings, as they do not contain scary chemicals like pesticides. Leaving no foul smell or sticky residue, a zapper simply glows and does its job.
With a solar bug zapper, you never have to worry about a cord being too short or a battery running out. It recharges itself in an economical way, which is better for both the environment and your budget.