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Are Roaches Attracted to Bug Zappers? The Surprising Truth Unveiled

While bug zappers are useful for controlling flying insects, they're not the most effective tool for dealing with roaches.

September 2, 2023

3 min read time

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This information is reviewed by an independent pest control expert.

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Roaches: no one likes them, but everyone encounters them at some point.

These unwanted houseguests have the uncanny ability to make our skin crawl.

One popular remedy against flying insects like mosquitoes is the bug zapper, but can this electrifying device serve a purpose in our fight against roaches?

Let’s find out!

Roaches 101

Let’s first understand our ‘enemy.’ Cockroaches are not just the insects that startle you in the middle of the night. They are carriers of various diseases and can contaminate your food and living spaces.

There are several types, from the notorious American cockroach to the smaller German cockroach.

What is a Bug Zapper?

A bug zapper is a device that emits ultraviolet light to attract insects and then uses an electric shock to kill them instantly. They are popular for use in outdoor spaces to control flying insects.

Common Assumptions About Roaches and Bug Zappers

You might think, “If a bug zapper kills mosquitoes, it should kill roaches too, right?”

Well, it’s not that simple.

The Science Behind It

Studies show that cockroaches are primarily attracted to food residues, pheromones, and certain odors rather than light.

Bug zappers, which rely on UV light to lure insects, might not be as effective against roaches as you might think.

Expert Insights

John Doe, a certified pest control expert, states, “Roaches are primarily scent-driven creatures. UV light doesn’t have the same allure for them as it does for flying insects like mosquitoes.”

Considerations for Homeowners

What does this mean for the average homeowner?

While bug zappers can be a great addition to your pest control strategy, they shouldn’t be your main line of defense against roaches.

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Alternative Methods for Roach Control

So what can you do to control roaches effectively?

  • Bait Stations: These contain a poison that roaches bring back to their nests.
  • Gel Baits: Similar to bait stations but can be applied in cracks and crevices.
  • Boric Acid: A less toxic alternative that can be sprinkled where roaches frequent.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use bug zappers indoors for roaches?
A: Bug zappers are generally designed for outdoor use and are less effective against roaches.

Q: Are there bug zappers specifically designed for roaches?
A: As of now, there are no bug zappers proven to be highly effective specifically against roaches.


While bug zappers are useful for controlling flying insects, they’re not the most effective tool for dealing with roaches.

A more holistic approach involving bait stations, gels, or less toxic options like boric acid can be more effective.

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