How to troubleshoot a bug zapper

Updated March 23, 2017

Bug zappers, electronic insect-control systems or electrical-discharge insect-control systems, are simply meant to keep insect problems under control. They attract and kill insects that are attracted by light. A light source lures insects using an invisible black light to a grid where they are electrocuted. You can ensure that your bug zapper continues to perform at optimal levels by solving common problems that tend to arise.

Check your fuse or circuit breaker if your bug zapper's bulbs do not light. The location of the fuse varies with different bug zappers, so refer to your product's documentation. Replace a damaged fuse.

Inspect your bug zapper's grids if you are noticing sparking between grid rods. Unplug the unit from an electrical source and adjust the grids. Depending on the bug zapper, you can adjust the grids by bending them back into alignment using an insulated screwdriver. If you are unable to bend the grids on your device, refer to your manual.

Check the killing grid if your bulbs light, but you do not see any voltage on the grid. If you have material build up around the grid, clean it. Some bug zappers are equipped with self-cleaning grids, so the only cleaning you are required to do is removing insect debris using a soft brush or a blower. Avoid cleaning your zapper with water or other liquids.

Replace bulbs if they light up but no longer attract insects. Although the bulbs light up, the invisible black light output that attracts insects may have diminished with age. To replace a bulb, turn off and unplug the unit. Remove the bulb retainer and remove the old bulb from its socket. Insert a replacement bulb into the socket and replace the bulb retainer. Refer to your bug zapper's documentation if you are unsure how to replace a damaged bulb.


To avoid the risk of electric shock, do not perform maintenance on any electrical appliance without first unplugging it.

Things You'll Need

  • Fuse
  • Insulated screwdriver
  • Soft brush
  • Blower
  • Replacement bulbs
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About the Author

Kefa Olang has been writing articles online since April 2009. He has been published in the "Celebration of Young Poets" and has an associate degree in communication and media arts from Dutchess Community College, and a bachelor's degree in broadcasting and mass communication from the State University of New York, Oswego.