Hand-Held Bug Zappers

Protect beneficial insects and eliminate unwanted insect pests with this tennis-racket-like bug zapper.

| June/July 2013

Electric Hand-Held Bug Zapper

Practice your tennis swing while zapping garden insect pests.

Photo By Raymond Spencer

I absolutely love this hand-held bug zapper and carry it to my vegetable garden to selectively electrocute a great number of unwanted pests. These “electric bug zappers” (as they are commonly referred to) look very much like a tennis racket but consist of a battery-operated electrical grid that is ready to zap bugs instantly when you press a button on the handle. They operate on two AA alkaline batteries. Simply press the “on” button and swat bugs in the air — or knock bugs onto the grid — and they’ll die instantly.

I have killed hundreds of potato beetles, cucumber beetles, squash bugs, Japanese beetles and many others while simply walking through my garden rows. It also works great as a weapon against biting insects, such as mosquitoes, deerflies, horseflies and black flies. Simply flail away and swat them in the air. Best of all, I can rid my garden of these many spoilers while posing no threat to the beneficial insects!

Raymond Spencer
Lyman, Maine

Readers, if you have tried one of these hand-held bug zappers, please post a report in the comments section below. — MOTHER EARTH NEWS

6/29/2013 11:38:51 AM

I love my zapper.  It is a quick kill for flys.  However, I have learned that when you zap larger insects such as wasps (or even large spiders...I hate spiders) the insect is stunned and falls leading you to think it is dead.  Often it is just stunned and will come back to life within a couple of minutes.  So, when zapping large insects, be sure to dispose of them outside right away.


6/20/2013 3:18:56 PM

I have been using these zappers for years to combat mosquitoes and flies in Fl, inside and out.  It gives the kids something productive to do ;).  Here they can be found at Harbor Freight.

5/27/2013 11:43:00 AM

I purchased my electric bug zapper when my wife grew tired of squished bugs on the freshly painted walls of our house. I also liked the option of stopping the insects in flight as oppossed to tracking them through the house until they opted to land, hoping I would catch them, and then if I missed, following them about once again. The tennis racket zapper has been a game changer, with its quick kill and relatively clean carcass disposal (not much juice left in the crispy bug carcasses). I also spent a few extra dollars and picked up a zapper with a glow in the dark perimeter---chic! 

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