How Many Amps Does a Bug Zapper Use?

You are sitting on the porch enjoying that freshly made sweet tea and hear that zapping noise for the first time as the sun goes down. It is like music to your ears! 

With bug zappers, many people believe they are essential, especially during an outdoor event. However, you may be wondering how many amps a bug zapper uses?

Bug zappers only use 2 amps, which is just enough to give those insects the shock of their life. When speaking in terms of electricity, amps will kill, not volts. While bug zappers will generally use 2 amps across the board, not all zappers are created equal.

As you read onward, we will discuss many topics. These subjects range from the specific amounts of electricity our household bug zapper uses, the differences between what volts and amps can do, and the dangers behind operating such a device. 

Please continue reading below, and let’s learn a few things about your average bug zapper.

Does a Bug Zapper Use a lot of Electricity?

When talking about the specific amount of electricity your average household bug zapper uses, it can range from anywhere between 25 to 50 watts per bug zapper. Well, how much does that cost you exactly? The short answer is almost nothing at all.

Long answer, depending on how long you leave your zapper on, will affect the cost. For example, leaving a bug zapper on for only about 8 hours a day will only roughly cost you 0.3 to 0.6 cents per day. 

Say you forget to turn off your bug zapper, then what? Leaving your device on all day and overnight will only run you about 10 to 12 cents per day.

Can a Bug Zapper Kill a Human?

Going back to what I said earlier, it is amps that kill you, not the volts. While zappers will always have higher voltage amounts, almost always in the thousands, these devices will only use about 2 amps to fry an insect. 

As far as killing something the size of a human, the tiny device would have to put out about 10 amps to be deadly, similar to an electric chair.

If it had the chance to kill a human outright, bug zappers would have slim to none. While the chances of receiving non-life-threatening injuries are still genuine, keep in mind basic safety precautions around your device. You never want to handle the device directly while it remains powered on. 

Do Bug Zappers Hurt?

Bug zappers will hurt when improperly handled. Always keep in mind, you’re dealing with electricity when holding a zapper. 

While it may not be enough to cause severe damage, it can still give you a pretty surprising shock that can leave minor burns. If you are exposed to the source for a more extended period, it will hurt even more.

How Many Volts Does a Bug Zapper Have?

Your average everyday bug zapper will have anywhere from between 500 volts to about 2800 volts. The voltage from the transformer inside the bug zapper will be running through the metal mesh frame that surrounds the main housing. 

Once an insect makes contact with this frame, The higher voltage allows a spark to travel from the device to the insect, vaporizing it instantly.

How Much Power Does a Fly Zapper Use?

You can expect your standard bug zapper to use around 25 to 30 watts of power per day.

Let’s say you left the device on for an entire 24 hour period. In that case, an average unit will use roughly 50 watts of power, which is approximately 10 to 12 cents a day.

Do Electric Fly Swatters Work?

Electric fly swatters can be a great way to help add another method to vaporize insects.

Electric swatters can have the same if not higher voltage as your average bug zapper. They can be just as effective at killing an insect as the stationary zapper.

Electric swatters do have a downside, usually either rechargeable or battery-operated. You will need to charge electric fly swatters regularly. 

Other times, they may need batteries instead. Not to mention, you have to swing the device at your intended insect targets manually and hopefully land a hit on them.

For some, the sport of hunting down the insect and destroying it yourself is part of the appeal. Just remember to go for the nuisance insects, such as mosquitos, house flies, or horse flies, as insects like dragonflies can be beneficial to keeping the mosquito population down.

How Can I Attract Flies to a Bug Zapper?

You can attract flies to a zapper in several ways. Many bug zappers can come equipped with a fluorescent light bulb that emits ultraviolet light that attracts insects. 

Zappers work best in an outdoor open area and away from your seating area. You will want to allow multiple different directions for insects to enter and detect the ultraviolet light from the light bulb.

Flies are primarily attracted to scents compared to lights or heat. We highly recommend baiting the zapper with simple do-it-yourself food products such as honey or sugar to place inside the bug zapper. These foods significantly increase the effectiveness of the zapper.

Do Bug Zappers Work During the Day?

A common misconception is that bug zappers work all hours of the day. However, a large portion of the insect population, including the most common species of nuisance insect, comes out during nighttime.

In this case, while they do wind up killing insects during the day, the bug zapper is best used during the night. 

Should You Constantly Leave a Bug Zapper on?

Contrary to popular belief, you would think leaving an electrical device on for an extended period would be wrong, both for electricity usage and safety reasons. 

However, leaving a bug zapper on at all times is proven to be the most cost-efficient and most effective way to reduce the insect population in the area.

How to Keep Mosquitos Away from the House

Mosquitos are by far a huge nuisance when you want to go outside for any reason (work in the garden, sitting on the porch, having a picnic, etc.)

In that case, you may be wondering how to get rid of mosquitos. Bug zappers are ineffective in many instances unless they have a bait within them, such as mosquito octenol

Other ways to get rid of mosquitos are as follows:

  • Use lavender or citronella flowers or essential oils.
  • Place garlic on your skin or the surrounding areas of your home.
  • Alternatively, grow garlic plants around your home.
  • Burning coffee grounds. 
  • A rubbing lemon balm on your body.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing.
  • Use a mosquito net for the evening. 

Final Thoughts

Remember always to reference the instruction and safety guide that comes with your bug zapping device, whether an electric fly swatter or stationary bug zapper for outdoors.

Safety is the most crucial aspect of handling such a device. Always make sure there is no power running to your zapper when conducting maintenance to avoid electric shocks or burns.

While a bug zapper in itself can be great for insect defense, supplementing with other insect repellents is always an excellent choice when wanting to enjoy the outdoors. 

Other repellents such as store-bought spray-on insect repellants and citronella oil are excellent deterrents for biting insects, especially mosquitos.


Photo of author

Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections for 17 years. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. I started to help people better understand the home inspection process and answer questions about homeownership and home maintenance.
DISCLAIMER: The content published on is not professional advice. You should consult with a licensed professional and check local permit requirements before starting any project. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to We also participate in other affiliate programs with other affiliate sites. We are compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.