What’s the first thing you do when you see a cockroach, spider or some other bug strolling up your wall? Let’s take a guess: you grab the nearest thing you can get your hands on and move in for the kill. But wouldn’t it be a whole lot easier to grab a tool and suck the thing up, and even better to let it loose into the wilderness once you’ve claimed victory? Solution: the bug vacuum. Similar to home vacuums, albeit with less power, bug vacuums basically suck up critters into an onsite container so you can let them loose (if you’re not too mad at them) or give them as gifts to your kids to add to their ant farms or insect collections. Even though buying the best insect suction tool may seem pretty straightforward, it sometimes can be a tricky affair given the multitude of options available. However, we sorted through several options, and bring you the lowdown on five of the best bug vacuums available.
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Our Top Choice
BugZooka Bug Catcher Vacuum
BugZooka, as its name suggests, is a company that’s keen on helping you capture bugs silently and instantly.
Sucks bugs into a removable catch tube with the flick of a button. 10 times more powerful than battery-powered devices. Perfect for removing bugs from home, garden, vehicles.
It doesn’t work as well with big bugs.
Home, RV, cabin, boat, garden
13.74 x 0.79 x 1.38”, 1 pound
Removable catch tub
Nature Bound Bug Vacuum Combo Set
Nature Bound allows kids to experience the great outdoors the way it was meant to be, hence all its toys are designed to teach, entertain and inspire.
Appointed with an LED light, making it ideal for day and night time play. Comes with bug habitat for captured bugs. Carabineer clip and carrying handle for easy transportation.
The habitat isn’t locked, meaning bugs may escape.
Long nozzle/LED light
Home, RV, cabin, boat, garden
12.3 x 10 x 3”, 1.33 pounds
Magnifier, carabineer clip
Backyard Safari Wet / Dry Combo Field Kit
Backyard Safari designs and manufactures a wide range of outdoor and nature gear for kids to help them learn more about the critters who share our world.
5 in 1 field tool kit includes mini-spade, angled mirror scoop net, bug vacuum, and field guide. Ideal for kids 5 years of age or older. Capture critters without touching them.
Net is fragile and may snap easily.
Long nozzle, laser light
Home, boat, campground, beach
21.7 x 15.8 x 20.5”, 2.4 pounds
Telescopic magnet, brush, tongs
PlayGo Bug Vacuum Science Kit
PlayGo has been in the toy manufacturing business since the early 1970’s, and today it specializes in a wide range of toys including outdoor toys for both boys and girls.
Allows your little explorers to examine their captured critters. Can be played at 2 different levels. Comes with a bug vacuum and two jars.
Bug collection container is too firmly attached to the gun.
Home, boat, campground, beach
12 x 4 x 6”, 0.6 pound
Educational Insights GeoSafari Bug Vac 'n' View
Educational Insights is a team of play enthusiasts who have been helping kids learn through toys for the past 5 decades.
Gentle suction power, and is appointed with a clear tongue viewing tube. Powered by 3 AA batteries. Comes with bug observation guide, built in 4x magnifier and 2 bug chambers.
Buying a bug vacuum is a great idea if you want to get rid of critters without coming in contact with them, and is also a great choice for that budding entomologist in your home. They can be had in several different sizes, and some even with lights and other great features, so not only you, but even the bugs can get in on the fun. And now that you’ve learnt a thing or two from our bug vacuum buying guide, let’s get right to what we feel are 5 of the best options, so you can capture pesky bugs or even send them off to the Fear Factor lab for reward money (kidding).
Our Top Choice
The BugZooka Bug Catcher Vacuum features a lightweight design and is still 10 times more powerful than battery-powered devices.
BugZooka Bug Catcher Vacuum with 10x Suction Power
BugZooka — you guessed right — is a czar of the bug prevention space, and creates products that are innovative and extremely easy to use, and without batteries too!
The BugZooka Bug Catcher Vacuum is a highly efficient and simple way of catching bugs. It features a lightweight design, and is fitted with a removable catch tube that’s operated with the push of a button. One of the noteworthy features of the BugZooka WB100 Bug Vacuum is that it offers 10 times the suction power compared to other devices in its segment, and again that’s with no batteries! If you’re plagued by pesky bugs in your home, garden, RV, boat or you just want to keep your kids busy, the BugZooka Bug Catcher Vacuum is what you need!
The Nature Bound Bug Vacuum Combo Set comes with everything you and your kids need to capture and store bugs, including a critter barn habitat. Just like fish, it’s always good to know the types of bugs you’ve captured, for which the Nature Bound Bug Bucket Habitat Nature Set is an ideal choice. This 7-piece set includes a colorful activity book, a powerful magnifier and a storage bucket.
Nature Bound Bug Vacuum and Critter Barn Habitat Combo Set with LED Laser Light and Capture System
Founded by Mike Searls, a father from Colorado, over 20 years ago, Nature Bound is a premier name in the outdoor kids toy space, and boasts a vast portfolio of products, with each being designed to help your kids get away from the TV or tablet and bring them closer to nature. The company’s mission has always been to design products that teach, entertain and inspire, and ones that showcase the best of creativity and innovation.
The Nature Bound Bug Vacuum Combo Set comes with everything you and your kids need to satisfy your critter craze, including a magnifier in both the habitat and vacuum, barn habitat and carabineer clip for easy transportation. It’s also appointed with a green LED light, making it a great choice for both day and night time play, and it features an excellent capture system that allows you to transport the bugs from the vacuum to the habitat, without even touching them. The package arrives in an appealing gift box complete with instructions and batteries so you can get started right out of the box.
The Backyard Safari Wet / Dry Combo Field Kit includes everything you need to get started in the critter field, including a bug vacuum, a magnifying bucket, a mini-spade, and more! If you’d like your kid to see far and wide before attempting a catch, the Backyard Safari Field Binocs are a must have. They offer 5x30 magnifying power, and are outfitted with hand grips and lanyard as well, making it easy to haul them around.
Backyard Safari Wet / Dry Combo Field Kit with 5 Pieces including Magnifying Bucket and Field Tool Kit
Backyard Safari is one of the leading names in kids outdoor and nature gear, and offers a vast portfolio of products designed for the park, playground and beach. Some of the company’s noteworthy products include the adventure base shelter, land and water habitat, butterfly habitat and summit magna bucket.
The Backyard Safari Wet / Dry Combo Field Kit offers a great way to capture reptiles and bugs, without even getting in contact with them. This 5-in-1 kit comes with everything your little one needs to get started, whether in the garden or the campground, including a bug vacuum, magnifying bucket, patch and filed guide, scoop net, angled mirror, mini-spade, and even the 4 AA and 2 AG13 batteries needed to power the unit. Measuring 21.7 x 15.8 x 20.5 inches and tipping the scales at just 2.4 pounds, this bug vacuum kit is a great toy for any young explorer of age 5 and over, and is bound to keep them busy for hours on end.
The PlayGo Bug Vacuum Science Kit is a great choice if you’re looking to offer kids the best of pretend play. If you’re looking for pretend toys for indoor use, the PlayGo Pretend Play Gourmet Kitchen Appliance Set is not to be overlooked. It’s a great way of introducing your kids to the kitchen, and to get them involved in role play activities. It comes with a mixer, toaster and coffee maker.
PlayGo Bug Vacuum Science Kit with Bug Vacuum and Two Jars
PlayGo has been one of the industry leaders in the exporting of a wide range of toys including infant toys, preschool toys, outdoor toys, dough and music-related toys and games. Founded in 1970, the company has today developed more than an impressive 1000 toy products, and employs 3000+ people in its peak seasons.
The PlayGo Bug Vacuum Science Kit is an ideal choice for kids four years and older, and comes with one bug vacuum and two jars. It can be played at two distinct levels, and is exclusively designed to enhance your child’s familiarity with the bug world. Measuring 12 x 4 x 6 inches and weighing in at just 9.6 ounces, this bug vacuum set is bound to keep your little ones busy for hours on end.
The Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Bug Vac 'n' View comes in a solid green color, and is appointed with a 4x magnifier to view the bugs in any of the two included small bug jars. For your child to get in on the big picture and see bugs the way they were meant to be seen, the Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Bugnoculars case is a great buy. It comes with built-in 3x magnifiers, so all your child needs to do is drop their bugs into the watertight container and admire their captives.
Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Bug Vac 'n' View with 2 Bug Chambers and 4x Integrated Magnifier
Educational Insights is an innovative kid’s toy manufacturer that’s been ruling this industry for the past 50 years. Apart from designing and manufacturing a rather expansive lineup of toys to inspire creativity, out-of-the box learning and good sportsmanship, it also has a plethora of engaging games that are bound to satisfy your child’s curiosity.
The Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Bug Vac 'n' View bug vacuum offers a gentle way to capture bugs, observe them and then release the little critters. It’s fitted with a clear tongue that sucks the bugs up and a 4X magnifier, so your child can get a good look at his or her captives; it even comes with 2 small bug chambers for further examination. Powered by 3 AA batteries, this bug vacuum comes with a bug observation guide, and supports STEM learning concepts.
We go all out to protect our homes from bugs by spraying the best insect and rodent repellant in the market, battling critters with insect foggers or even installing beautiful and highly effective magnetic screen doors. Yet, there are some enthusiastic insects who just won’t take no for an answer! With a bug vacuum on hand, you can capture a stubborn spider, make it understand where his or her home is, and warn it about the consequences of trespassing into your space. In this way, no one gets hurt —you emotionally and the spider physically — and both can live happily ever after! Whether you have bug phobia or simply don’t want bug juice on your walls, read on to learn a few tips on buying the best bug vacuum.
Bug vacuums just like vacuum cleaners use the power of suction to, well, suck up bugs! Their prices vary depending on the features they come with, but they’re pretty much all cost-efficient. Cheap bug vacuums in most cases won’t offer great suction power, so instead of capturing bugs crawling on your wall, you’ll most probably be sucking up dust bunnies. Higher priced models provide you with superb suction power (probably enough to suck up those Mickey D fries lying across the floor – not recommended) and durability to train a few bugs for years to come. Further, the accessories any which bug vacuum comes with, such as a magnifying glass, can also spike up the price, but they can also be cost effective as you don’t have to buy them separately, especially if you’d like your kids to learn all about these little freaks of Mother Nature!
Bug vacuums can be ordered with several different features, some that you may find handy and others that you may never use.
That said, here are a few aspects to consider when shopping for the best bug vacuum.
Manual vs. battery operated – self-explanatory and both types work great as long as you buy a good one
Suction power – this is what drives the bug vacuum, so look for models that can suck up bugs without you having to help them into the tube
Viewing chamber – it’s nice to have a device that has a clear viewing chamber so that you can see the bugs as they’re sucked in and they can know who they’re dealing with
Capture container – these containers allow you to catch the critters and save them for future use, or add them to your kids collection, etc.
Size of the bug vacuum – the goal is to spot the bug, aim at it and suck it in, and the last thing you want is to be burdened with heavy artillery else the bug will see you coming from miles away
Construction and Design
After gauging the suction power of a particular bug vacuum, the next aspect to pay attention to is portability. Bug vacuums that are battery-operated are more portable than their corded counterparts, and are a great choice if you’re going to be chasing down bugs across your home. If you’re going to be getting a critter vacuum for kids, look for a model that has a viewing chamber, so that they can examine their catch before letting them loose. On the other hand, if your goal is to simply capture the insects and move them to where belong, then there’s probably no need for a chamber, but it’s always intriguing to see what you’ve got a hold off. Long nozzle bug vacuums allow you to get at insects in tight corners without allowing them to elude to other parts of your home.
Performance and Ease of Use
Bug vacuums are easy to use; all you do is open the box up, read the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble the unit, and that’s it — you’re ready to get started with your mission! Although they prevent spatter and messes on your walls by gently sucking up the insects, you should really clean out the bug chamber and nozzle every so often. This should be easy, and you can start by taking a damp, soft cloth and wipe down the individual parts. Since there’s a chance of you or your kids touching the bugs when you deport them to their respective areas, it’s also good practice to use an antiseptic when giving the bug vacuum a wipe down. Bug vacuums are also great pretend toys, and if your child is up for it, you may definitely consider investing in other pretend play toys to take their imagination to a whole new level.
We’ve provided you with premium advice on bug vacuums, including 5 of the best options in the market, but since we’re not in the bug catching business, you’ll have to buy the best you can find and catch 'em critters yourself!
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