All About Solar Bug Zappers

By: Peter
Last updated:
Solar Powered Bug Zappers

We may earn a commission for purchases using links on our site. Learn more.

Bug zappers are electricity-powered devices that can kill flying insects in an instant. They are quick-acting, convenient, and usually work well.

The insects fly towards the light that the device produces, and once they come into contact with the unit’s charged grid, they get electrocuted and die. 

There are plenty of available bug zappers and mosquito traps on the market today, so you shouldn’t have any difficulties looking for one. There are insect-killing solutions for every bug problem, and one solution available is the solar bug zapper.

How Do Solar Bug Zappers Work?

A solar-powered bug zapper works the same way as traditional zappers. An ultraviolet light attracts insects such as flies, mosquitoes, and other flying insects. There is an electrified gird surrounding the UV bulb. As the insects try to approach the bulb, they touch the grid and are electrocuted.

The solar bug zapper operates by using harvested energy coming from direct sunlight over the course of the day. The units get their power through solar photovoltaic cells integrated on the top of the device. The solar panels charge the device’s rechargeable batteries, which may operate the bug zapper all through the night after getting 8-12 hours of sunlight in the daytime. The bug zapper may still work for a few hours even if not fully charged.

A transformer changes the voltage from the rechargeable batteries to get an electric charge in the grid powerful enough to kill the flying pests, typically 2000 volts or more.

Most solar bug zappers also come with a USB charging cable for days with no sun or if you forget to put your solar insect zapper in the sun to charge.

Solar bug zappers acquire sufficient energy in the day to enable the UV lights to work through the night. At the same time, several models also include automatic features that switch the UV light on at twilight and then turn it off in the morning, so you don’t have to worry about the unit all the time.

The UV light lures plenty of hovering bugs, and when it’s dark, the insects come to the device and get shocked by the electrical charge of the unit.

They are designed to eliminate flying bugs like flies, gnats, midges, and mosquitoes. Solar bug zappers are also a great way to eliminate insects without harmful chemicals. Thus, users won’t have to deal with toxins and other harsh upshots that often result from the use of certain chemicals.

Where Should You Place Your Solar Bug Zapper?

Your solar zapper can be for indoor or outdoor use. However, there are a few recommendations on the placement of your insect killer. If used outside, it shouldn’t be placed too near areas that you use – it’s best to keep it away from people.

As bug zappers attract many different flying bugs, they may attract biting insects, such as mosquitoes, near you. And as mosquitoes use carbon dioxide to find their next victim, they will follow the CO2 you exhale rather than the UV light once in your vicinity. In other words, a bug zapper placed too near human activity could cause more bites. It is recommended to place your bug zapper about 20 to 25 feet away from the areas you use.

The second point to consider is that when an insect is zapped, parts of its body may be sprayed over an area of several feet. Make sure to place your solar insect killer at least six feet away from places where you prepare food or eat.

Height can also play its part. The ideal height for catching flying insects is 5 to 7 feet above the ground. Placing the solar-powered zapper at this height will also make maintenance easier and be accessible to turn on/off or recharge from an electricity supply if necessary.

Solar bug zappers can be hung on a wall, a ceiling, a tree, a post, a shepherd’s pole, or placed on a flat surface. Some solar zappers come with a pole that can be adjusted to different heights.

Don’t place your solar zapper near open doors or windows if you use it in the house. An insect zapper seen from the outside through an open window will attract more insects into your home. It’s also best to set it as far as possible from where you are sitting in the room.

Will Your Solar Bug Zapper Kill Mosquitoes?

Bug zappers are not discriminating when it comes to insects. It will kill any insect that gets lured into its electrically-charged trap. So that means it will also get rid of harmless ones and even insects that benefit your surroundings.

There are also arguments, and some studies wherein researchers say mosquitoes are not really attracted by the UV light from bug zappers. Instead, they are more attracted to CO2, or carbon dioxide.

Mosquitoes track their prey by following CO2 trails whenever humans and animals breathe out. It has been proven that mosquitoes can perceive rates of 50 parts per million. Thus they can track down prey easily and quickly.

If you have a problem with mosquitoes, you may be better off buying a mosquito trap that works by emitting carbon dioxide to attract these pesky insects.

As an Amazon affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Best Solar Bug Zappers

Solar zappers come in different forms—some in the form of lanterns and others resemble torches.

Here are some of the most popular, but buyers generally seem to be less happy with solar zappers than traditional zappers. This could be because the voltage passing through the grid is less than zappers that work by being plugged into an electric supply. The exception seems to be the torch killer, maybe because it looks so nice.

PIC solar powered bug zapper
PIC Solar-Powered
Insect Killer Torch

PIC Solar Insect Killer Torch

One LED Resembles a flickering flame without the dangers of a real flame, and the other LED produces a UV light that attracts insects.

The lights turn on automatically when it gets dark. You need to press the power button just once when you get the torch to set it up for the bug season. For the off-season, press the power button to turn off the torch before storing. Powered by the sun, zaps insects with 600 V.

It can be used on a flat surface, such as a table, or comes with different height poles. The fully charged battery will run for 6 hours or more.

White Kaiman Solar Powered Insect Killer Lamp
White Kaiman Solar Powered Mosquito Killer

White Kaiman Solar Powered Mosquito Killer Lamp

This attractive insect zapper lantern is made from stainless steel. The UV light turns on automatically at dusk, and the fully charged batteries can zap insects for 40 hours or more while they need just 5 hours of bright sunshine to achieve the full charge.

If you don’t need the insect zapping capability, you can change to the white LED lantern to light up any dark spaces. Zapper has 3000 V to kill insects which is much more than other solar-powered insect killers.

OKK Solar Operated and Powered Electric Mosquito Zapper

OKK solar operated insect zapper
OKK Solar Operated
Bug Zapper

This insect killer accepts both solar charging and charging from an electric supply via a USB cable. To fully charge using just solar energy takes 2 days, or using the USB cable takes 3 hours to charge fully. The fully charged unit will last 8 or 9 hours.

The OKK zapper has both white lights and purple UV lights. You can use it with just the UV lights and insect zapper or with a combination of UV lights/zapper and ordinary white light at varying degrees of brightness. The brighter the light, the more quickly the battery will discharge.

The grid in the zapper has a charge of 1000 volts. It can be hung or placed on a flat surface.

Summing Up

Solar bug zappers are portable, chemical-free, and environmentally friendly. The biggest drawback is that it kills insects indiscriminately. They may not be the best choice for reducing the mosquito population or other biting pests.

But this does not mean that solar-powered bug zappers do not work as effectively as their counterparts. They are effective at killing flying insects. They work fast, and they are pretty convenient since you can get rid of those pesky annoyances within seconds.

The kind of bug zapper you buy will depend on your preferences. Solar-powered bug zappers operate similarly to standard bug zappers, except they do not utilize electricity and instead rely on solar power to charge the batteries. Meaning they are very portable, which is a definite advantage if you are camping or picnicking.

Then again, you have to provide a bit of patience for this kind of setup because of the charging system. The benefits will make you smile since it does not use electricity and is environment-friendly to boot.

Bug zappers, including solar models, are found in your brick and mortar home improvement stores, and they can also be purchased online. If you have a hard time deciding what to buy, you can refer to online reviews to make your purchase easier.

Online reviews are usually unbiased judgments shared by customers, and they can help you with your buying decisions. Overall, most people seem happy whether they use solar bug zappers or traditional bug zappers.

Photo of author


Peter spends most of his time outside in his large garden. He has been fighting mosquitoes for a few years trying different traps and repellents without using agressive chemicals.