Bug Traps That Don't Involve Zapping

The strange glow of a bug zapper. (Photo: keyzer/Flickr)

As a kid, I never experienced a summer that didn’t include plenty of quality time spent on the massive deck (like as big as the house itself) at my parents’ beach house in Grapeview, Wash. From rowdy kid-centric gatherings to intimate family dinners, that deck saw a lot of action in the 1980s. And so did its resident electric bug zapper.

For a kid, the zapper, hung like a lantern in a corner of the deck, proved to be an excellent source of cheap, albeit grisly, entertainment: annoying winged critters of all stripes flew straight into its alluring ultraviolet light and zzzssst .... bits and pieces of charred, electrocuted insect bodies would fall (sometimes smoking) to the ground below. Although I haven’t come in close contact with an electric bug zapper for a while now, that zzzssst sound and the smell of toasted bug still haunts me.

Electric zappers continue to be a popular flying bug annihilation tool despite the fact that they aren’t that great for killing mosquitoes and end up offing scores of beneficial bugs. Are you looking to outfit your deck, patio, or outdoor space with a bug control device that’s less, well, gruesome (and not to mention energy-sucking)? Take preventative measures with citronella candles/torches and DEET-free bug spray and then consider these six safe, nontoxic devices that won’t result in elevated summer energy bills and slaughtered bug BBQ. And if you can't resist the satisfaction of a good zzzssst, I've included a solar powered bug zapper, too.

Catch a Wasp-N-Yellowjacket Ecofriendly Flying Insect Trap @ EcoShop Market($6.99)

Dynatrap DT1000 Flying Bug Trap @ Clean Air Gardening ($99.99)

Solar Insect Zappers/Accents Lights @ Hammacher Schlemmer ($99.99/set of four)

Recycled Glass Wasp Catcher @ Gaiam ($13 - green, aqua or orange)

Tangle-Trap Insect Trap Coating @ Planet Natural ($6.50)

Mosquito Deleter Kit @ Clean Air Gardening ($39.99)