About Buzz Off
Buzz Off is a portable, cordless, and chemical-free electronic insect trap that can be taken with you anywhere, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors bug-free. And because Buzz Off features durable, all-weather construction, it’s perfect for picnics, camping, boating, and more.
According to the company, Buzz Off works using VAC X fan technology, which attracts bugs using LED UV light and titanium dioxide, mimicking human scent. Then, when the insect gets close, Buzz Off’s “powerful vacuum” sucks them inside and destroys them.
Because Buzz Off is claimed to quickly, safely, and effectively kill flying insects, such as mosquitoes, wasps, flies, bees, and more, it can cover up to half an acre, without the need for cords, propane, or smelly sprays.
Sure, the warm summer months are a great time of year to spend outdoors, but the bugs (and their bites!) can quickly make you want to head back inside. So can Buzz Off provide some outside enjoyment, or just make you feel scammed?
To answer this, let’s first break down Buzz Off’s technology.
Is the Technology Used in Buzz Off’s Effective?
To quickly recap, Buzz Off’s VAC X fan technology is claimed to draw insects to the trap using a combination of UV LED lights and titanium dioxide. But how effective is this technology for attracting and capturing insects?
Buzz Off’s UV LEDs
From a lighting perspective, if you search for articles about the bug-attracting properties of LEDs, you’ll find dozens of conflicting answers. Why? Because LEDs traditionally don’t produce light in the UV spectrum, which is the only type of light that bugs can see, and is why this type of light is used in most traditional bug zappers.
However, as you can see from this CandlePowerForums thread (and many other places online), real-world experimentation has shown that some types of flying insects seem to be attracted to LEDs, although it’s unknown if this is due to a weak UV spectrum, infrared heat, or another cause.
With this said, as LED technology advances, bulbs can be specifically manufactured to produce light of any wavelength. Based on the description on the Buzz Off website, we’d assume it’s these types of bulbs that are included in the electronic trap. Without confirmation though, they could be cheap LEDs that attract very few bugs.
With all of the ambiguity surrounding Buzz Off’s LEDs, are things just as unclear with its titanium dioxide?
Does Titanium Dioxide Attract Insects?
Titanium dioxide is an ingredient found in a wide variety of products, including sunscreens, makeup, paper, paint, plastics, and even as a whitening agent in some powdered donuts! But does it work in insect traps like Buzz Off?
Although there is scant science surrounding it, it appears that when a surface containing titanium dioxide is exposed to radiation (such as from a UV LED), it “will undergo decomposition to CO2 and H2O, a process which occurs at ambient temperatures.” In other words, it releases carbon dioxide, which is one of the methods that mosquitoes use to “smell” humans and other prey.
However, according to the National Institutes of Health, “mosquitoes are still attracted to human skin even in the absence of carbon dioxide,” although a mosquito’s ability to find prey outside of sensing CO2 can vary widely by species.
When taken together, this means that even if Buzz Off’s LEDs are within the proper UV range for attracting insects, its ability to keep mosquitoes at bay is heavily dependent on the species present in your area.
In short, it’s a crapshoot.
Similar Insect Traps To Buzz Off
Despite this questionable efficacy, it hasn’t stopped other manufacturers from producing electronic bug traps similar to Buzz Off, including the Vortex Insect Trap, Dynatrap, and many others. In fact, you’ll find that except for their names, these devices are all essentially identical, so you definitely have options.
However, as you might imagine based on what we learned in the previous section, these products seem to come with mixed customer reviews.
For example, the Dynatrap had a 3-star average rating on Amazon at the time of our research, based primarily on complaints of failure to work as advertised, poor quality, and that it destroys pesky bugs as well as beneficial insects.
The Vortex had a lower average Amazon rating of 2 stars, although many of the complaints followed suit.
Given all of this, are there any other options for repelling mosquitoes and other types of annoying insects?
How Else Can You Repel Insects?
Based on what we’ve discussed up until this point, the methods you’ll use to get rid of insects primarily depends on the types of insects you’re looking to repel.
However, there are dozens of options you can choose from (without even having to spend more money), including cedar, citrus peels, eucalyptus oil, and vinegar, as well as the good ‘ol standby citronella. Of course, there’s always sprays, which are available at just about any retailer, and are often the least expensive option.
We’ll talk more about price shortly, but first, who makes Buzz Off?
Buzz Off’s Manufacturer
Buzz Off is brought to you by “As Seen on TV” behemoth Telebrands, who makes hundreds of popular products, including Grass Shot, Mighty Blaster, Hurricane 360 Spin Mop, and more. And with nearly 200 HighYa reader reviews, these products had an average rating of 1.5 stars, based on complaints of failure to work and poor quality.
Telebrands also had a D- rating with the Better Business Bureau, based on a whopping 1,201 closed complaints, many of which referenced the same concerns above. On top of this, Telebrands was investigated by the NJ Attorney General’s office in 2014 for allegedly violating the Consumer Fraud Act.
This doesn’t mean this is what you can expect from Buzz Off, but it might be worth keeping in mind.
Buzz Off Pricing & Refund Policy
One Buzz Off electronic bug trap is priced at $19.99 plus $7.99 S&H, and you’ll be to purchase a second at checkout for an additional $9.99 S&H.
All Buzz Offs come with a 30-day refund policy, less S&H charges. While this might seem reasonable, remember that if you purchase the BOGO offer, this means you could lose more in S&H charges than you’ll receive as a refund by the time everything’s said and done.
In order to request a refund, you’ll need to contact customer service at 855-668-1655.
Is Buzz Off Your Bug-Free Solution?
If you’ve been waging a battle against outside bugs for a while, you know that there’s no perfect solution; some might be expensive, some might be smelly, and others might work well on one type of insect but not at all on another.
However, even if you narrowed your target down to just mosquitoes, it appears that the technology used by Buzz Off (and other similar electronic bug traps) has a spotty online reputation. And considering the fact that you’ll lose of decent chunk of change in non-refundable S&H charges just for giving Buzz Off a try, we might recommend exploring local options before placing your order.