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Electric Fly Killer Units

What Are Electric Fly Killer Units?

electric-fly-killer-Owl Pest control Ireland

Electric Fly killers work in different ways to eliminate flies and other bugs from offices, food premises and homes.

Fly zappers and Glue boards flycatchers, also known as electric fly killers, attract flying bugs with UV lights to get rid of them without the use of pesticides, making them the ideal choice in areas where hygiene is essential, such as restaurant kitchens.

The main types of flying insects eliminated by electric Fly Killers include Bluebottle flies (Blowflies), Cluster flies, wasps, moths, midges, mosquitoes, gnats.

Please note that UV lights are not effective at attracting Houseflies, Lesser Houseflies and Fruit flies who are only attracted to decaying matter.

Electric fly killer units are available in an array of Sizes, Power, Materials and Colours, but they all work with the same principle:

  1. Flying insects are attracted to the UV light emitted by fluorescent or more recently LED lamps
  2. Flies are then killed by a High-voltage electric grill or stuck to a glue-coated cardboard (Glueboard).

Types of Electric fly Killers

zapper electric fly killer action - owl pest control

A fly zapper works with two main parts:

  1. Some Bulbs/tubes produce a fluorescent or LED ultra-violet light
  2. A high-tension electric metal grid which “zap” the insect dead.

As UV light appeals to most flying insects, the tubes attract the pest flies onto the electrified grid, which then kill them instantly on contact.


  • Fly zappers are effective: they kill in an instant.
  • No Mess: the dead insect debris fall into a collection tray that is easy to remove and clean.
  • Little maintenance: Usually the fly trays can hold hundreds or thousands of insects so they don’t need to be emptied very often.
glue board electric fly killer action - owl pest control

Glue board electric fly killers are also called “glue traps”. They work with two main parts:

  1. Ultra-violet fluorescent or LED tube(s)
  2. A cardboard (or sometimes plastic board) coated with sticky glue retains the insect that subsequently dies on it. The glue boards can then be replaced.
  • No noise: Unlike electric grids, glueboards kill insects silently.
  • More Discreet: Glue board fly killers are usually thinner than zappers as there is no space needed for an electric grid.
  • Clean: glue boards electric fly killers are easy to keep clean by changing the board when needed.

For good hygiene, it is recommended to change the boards at regular intervals, especially during the summer months when more flies get caught.

discreet-fly-killer-aura-Owl Pest Control Ireland

Discreet or “Decorative” electric fly killers are designed for use in front-of-house areas. Areas which are visible to customers are discreetly protected by these types or fly catchers.

They are a specific type of glue board fly killers with a discreet element to their design. The most common ones are the Uplighter Fly Killers.

Discreet units are most suited for use in cafes, restaurants, hotel lobbies, food service, reception and dining areas.

Best Place to Install Electric fly Killers

Fly Killer Positioning

  1. Electric fly killers should not be located directly above or near areas where food is prepared to prevent contamination risk with insect body parts falling from the fly machines.
  2. Only Glue Board electric fly killers should be used near food production or preparation areas.
  3. Do not place the fly trap near a source of natural light (windows, skylights, etc.) as it will reduce the attraction to the UV tubes.
  4. Try to position your fly killers between the fly entry points and the food / sensitive areas. 
  5. Height:  Most species of flying insects move around the lower parts of a room. Position your units not higher than 2 metres where possible. This will also make the routine maintenance  much easier, e.g. cleaning, changing glue boards and UV tubes.
  6. Keep your electric fly killer away from air conditioning units, heaters, and fans as they will reduce performance of the machine. 
  7. Lastly, make sure you install the appropriate number of units and the right type in your premises. Check the coverage (square metres) indicated by the manufacturer. More coverage is achieved with higher wattage units.   

The Diagram below gives you an example of positioning in a restaurant:

restaurant fly killer positioning example - owl pest control

How to Reduce Fly Activity in Your Business?

In a commercial environment, it is essential not to rely solely on electric fly killers to protect both your customers and your business.

  • Flies are attracted to waste and food, therefore make sure that you keep the premises clean at all times.
  • Maintain a high level of hygiene in all areas of the business: Dispose of the waste in a clean and effective way; store all food in sealed containers; remove any damaged food or spillages without delay; discard contaminated food and keep all surfaces perfectly clean.
  • Train staff about the importance safe food practices and good hygiene. Staff awareness will help preventing pest problems and benefit your business in the long run.
  • Use regular training and scheduled checklists maintain high standards.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the electricity consumption of an Electric Fly Killer?

It all depends on the size of the bulbs and the number of them. Suitable Fly killer tubes start at 8watt and go up to 40watt for industrial machines.

Most machines have 2 tubes and consume between 20watt and 40watt. Electric grid fly killers have a transformer and use slightly more energy than glue board ones.

Which electric fly killer is the most effective?

The new LED fly killers produce slightly higher UV emissions than conventional fluorescent bulbs, but all our models are built by international leaders. They are used by professional pest controllers and are highly effective.

Check our diagram above to guide you to the most appropriate machines for a specific area.

Why some flies are not attracted to my machine?

All fluorescent tubes start losing their UV emissions after a few months. If used 24/7 they will need to be replaced after a year, as their efficiency will have lost over 50% after that time.

Environmental Health Officers and Quality Auditors make the bulb replacement mandatory after a year in order to prevent the issue of flies ignoring them.

The nearby presence of a bright source of light can also diminish the attractiveness of the fly catcher. Finally as we saw above, there are some species of flies that are not attracted to UV light.

Are electric fly killers safe?

YES. They are safe if fitted and powered properly, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

In fact there are many fly killing appliances that are still being maintained even after 20 years of service.  

Do fly catchers kill wasps?

Yes! They are mainly designed for catching flies such as bluebottles, but they also catch other flying insects such as wasps, moths, beetles, midges.

What causes my fly zapper bulbs to flicker?

Many fluorescent bulbs fly killers use little starters to power the bulbs. These can fail over time and prevent the bulbs from lighting up fully, making them flash.

It is however very cheap and easy to buy and replace a failing starter.

Check some our online range of machines below, including Replacement Tubes, Starters and Glue Boards.

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Contact Us for any advice and our full professional range of EFK products.

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