A bug zapper racket is a great tool to get rid of bugs in your home without using harmful chemicals. It uses a grid of wires to zap small insects like flies and mosquitoes; in other words, it’s an electronic fly swatter.
I recently purchased the Zap It! bug zapper racket, a compact insect killer that you can easily carry around to kill flying pests. In this review, we’ll see if it’s right for your home, my experiences with it, and what I think of the device.
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What is a bug zapper racket?
A bug zapper racket is a tennis racket-shaped electric fly swatter. They are powered by batteries, either regular alkaline or rechargeable. You press the power button, then swing the racket in the direction of a mosquito or fly, and when they make contact with an electrified grid, they are electrocuted. An excellent no chemical, mess-free way of killing flying pests.
How does a bug zapper racket work?
Let’s look in a little more detail at how these zappers work. When you see that a couple of batteries powers these zappers, you may think the electric shock they give out will not be strong enough to kill anything, but the voltage in the electrocuting grid can be up to 5,000 volts in the most powerful racket zappers. However, most bug zappers are in the range of 2,000 to 4,000 volts.
They achieve these voltages by using a step-up transformer that increases the voltage from the batteries that go to the grid. The grid can either have a protective mesh on either side of the electrified grid or just one layer of electrified mesh.
To zap an insect with a 3 layer mesh zapper, the insect must touch the mesh in the middle and one of the other mesh layers. With a single layer grid, the insect needs to touch 2 wires on the mesh to be electrocuted.
To use an electric fly swat, you press the switch to power the grid and swing the racket in the direction of the flying bug you want to zap. When the mosquito or other insect touches the wires, the current flows through them, creating a spark and destroying them.
Introduction to the Zap It! Electric Fly Swatter
The Zap It! racket zapper is a rechargeable electric fly swatter available in a 2 pack or can be purchased singly. This mosquito zapper is available in 3 sizes large, medium, and small. But to have a larger zapping area, I prefer the large model. The dimensions of the 3 models are below.
- Large – head of racket 8.3 inches/21cm wide and total length 19 inches/48.5cm
- Medium – head of racket 7.6 inches/19.3cm wide and total length 18 inches/45.6cm
- Small – head of racket 6.3 inches/16cm wide and total length 16.1 inches/41cm
The Zap It! is lightweight, easy to use, and has been tested by thousands of buyers. A great way to eliminate a few mosquitoes, and some consider chasing insects with a racket as a form of entertainment.
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Features of the Zap It! Rechargeable Bug Zapper Racket
- Triple layer metal safety mesh to avoid accidental shocks
- Rechargeable lithium battery with USB charging cable
- Powerful 4000 volt grid
- Can be used indoors and outside, but must be kept dry
- LED light to see insects in the dark
- Activation button must be pressed to zap with a red indicator light that lets you know grid is powered. This helps to avoid accidental zapping.
- Only user maintenace is cleaning the mesh from time to time
Using the Zap It!
Charge before use. Connect the device to any USB device with the cable supplied. I have used a telephone charger and PC. A red light on the face of the handle will indicate the battery is charging and turn green when fully charged.
Switch the racket on by pushing the red switch on the side of the handle.
The LED light can be turned on using the on/off switch on the handle.
To power the grid, grip the racket and hold down the yellow zap button on the side of the handle. A red indicator light will show the grid is activated.
Swing the racket in the direction of an insect while maintaining the zap button pressed down. You will hear a zapping sound and may see a spark when you make contact with an insect. The insect should be killed on contact, although with larger insects, they may only be stunned. When using your electric racket zapper, make sure you don’t come into contact with any hard objects, or you risk breaking the zapper.
If the zapping sound and flash are weak, you need to recharge the device.
You may have to clean the electric swatter when insects or parts of insects are trapped on the racket surface. Most can be shaken off; otherwise, you need to turn off the power and use a soft brush, cloth, or a vacuum cleaner to remove any debris. Even though the racket swatter is turned off, there may still be power in the grid; this can be discharged with a small screwdriver.
The Zap It! bug zapper instructions or owners manual are contained on a single sheet of paper, with warnings and operating instructions that are largely sufficient to use the device safely. It’s a shame they don’t have a section that tells you what to do if you have any problems, such as details of their guarantee.
Pros and Cons of the Zap It! Bug Zapper
What We Like
- Powerful 4000-volt grid
- Rechargeable batteries – easy to charge via a USB cable with an indicator light that lets you know when fully charged. Can be plugged into any USB device to charge.
- 3 layer grid will help to prevent accidental electric shocks but little fingers can get through the outer grid and receive a painful shock. Be careful if you have children!
- You have to keep the grid activation button pressed to zap insects and a red light lets you know the grid is active. This is another safety measure to prevent unexpected zapping.
- LED light on the racket can be used to see the insects you want to zap at night or could be great for providing light on camping trips or evening barbecues.
- Lightweight about 9 oz/250g
- Less mess – no squashed insects on the walls or windows, just the dead bodies on the floor that are easily swept up.
What We Don’t Like
- Despite the powerful grid not all insects are killed with one zap
What Purchasers Think About the Zap It!
For a single Zap It!, the overall rating on Amazon is 4.2 out of 5 stars, with a total of almost 12,000 ratings.
For the 2 pack, the overall rating is 4.3 out of 5 stars with over 18,000 ratings. So the vast majority of people like this electric fly swatter!
However, I checked the 1 and 2-star reviews to see why some people didn’t like the Zap-It! and found the main reason was that the racket wouldn’t work or it worked for a short while and then wouldn’t charge anymore.
Another common complaint mentioned above is that it may not kill large bugs with the first zap.
If you have any problems, contact the seller. If you purchase from Amazon, you can return it for a refund or replacement within 30-days from receipt. So, it’s best to check if the racket is working correctly when you receive it.
On the Zap It! website, they say if you are not happy for any reason, they will organize a return or exchange, but you have to buy the zapper racket through their website.
The Zap It! Bug Zapper has proved itself to be one of the best electric fly swatters on the market, and having tried it, I recommend it. Mine arrived in good condition and worked as advertised, although some insects are only stunned with the first zap.
It is an excellent way to get rid of insects and mosquitoes without exposing yourself to harmful chemicals. Racket zappers, unlike fixed zappers, will not kill any beneficial insects but only the insects you go after. And many see this as a bit of fun, but you must pay attention to other people and animals.
This zapper racket works with rechargeable batteries, so you need to keep it recharged or buy the 2-pack always to have one fully charged.
Are electric fly swatters dangerous?
If used correctly, racket zappers are perfectly safe. However, there have been some accidents with people using them near flammable materials. So don’t use in the vicinity of flammable substances, especially flammable vapors.
Another point to consider is that the grid may heat up during intensive use – they should be left to cool on a non-flammable surface.
Most racket zappers warn that young children shouldn’t use them – the Zap It! racket says it can be used by children of 8 years and older. I would suggest that children only use them under adult supervision to avoid getting electric shocks, ensure they don’t use them near flammable materials and ensure a safe placement after use.
What if my racket zapper gets wet?
If the grid part gets wet, just let it dry thoroughly, and it should be fine. But you shouldn’t use it where there is a risk of it getting wet.
A bug zapper that zaps when the grid is powered, but you haven’t zapped any insects could be due to the remains of insects trapped on the mesh, in which case the mesh will need cleaning.
The other reason for this is that when going after an insect, you accidentally hit another object and bend one layer of the external mesh toward the central grid. If the two grids touch or are very close to each other, this can cause zapping. To remedy this, turn the zapper off, discharge the grid with a small screwdriver, and then bend the mesh back to its original shape with some fine pliers.