Bugs swarming to your lights can be a huge annoyance, especially in the summer, as they are attracted to both the brightness and heat that the lights emit. If you have them on for a prolonged time, you are sure to attract some uninvited guests. How can you stop them coming around your house when your lights are on?
Here’s how to stop bugs from being attracted to your lights:
- Hang a net curtain over the door.
- Install LED lights.
- Place candles directly below problematic light.
- Add a ceiling fan.
- Remove all standing water from your property.
Having your lights swarmed by bugs is incredibly frustrating. However, by following the instructions listed in this article, you can eliminate or significantly reduce the number of bugs around your lights.
1. Hang a Screen Over the Door or Window
If the bugs keep getting inside your home through an open window or door, installing a screen over them can stop them from getting to the light sources, which will make your lights invisible to any pests. But even if they want to get in, they won’t be able to get through the screen.
An excellent option is the Magic Mesh Deluxe Screen Door from Amazon.com, which opens and closes without you having to use your hands. Magic Mesh is the most popular type of door screen when it comes to dealing with bugs.
How To Install a Door Screen
Installing a door screen is usually an easy DIY process, as most of them are easily adjustable and can fit any door. They also come with adhesive strips that make them easy to attach to the door frame.
Here is all you need to do:
- Measure the door frame height and width.
- Adjust the screen to match door frame dimensions.
- Connect the screen from top to bottom.
- Finish sticking the screen to your door frame.
Chris McDowell does a great job of explaining how to install a screen door in this video:
2. Install LED Lights
Since bugs are attracted to the light itself and its heat, a standard solution is having LED lights installed. They are 50% cooler than a regular light bulb, which makes the bugs less attracted to them.
However, the actual light is still a big part of the equation. Different types of LED lights are available, and not all of them are equally effective when dealing with bugs.
Which LED Type Works Best for Bugs?
A study found that LED bulbs with a CCT (correlated color temperature) lower than 3600K will emit a warm white light that bugs can’t easily see. Alternatively, you can use regular yellow bulbs as well.
The Philips Hue Go Portable Lamp from Amazon.com is an excellent LED option if you’d like to keep a smaller space lighted without bringing any bugs to it.
3. Place Candles Directly Below Problematic Light
Opinions on the effectiveness of using candles to repel bugs are mixed. However, this study found that essential oil candles can be effective against bugs within a 1 m (3.3 ft.) radius.
The study determined that geraniol candles are the most effective, reducing the number of mosquitos by 81.5% and sand flies by 69.8% while also increasing the distance to 2-3 m (6.5 – 9.8 ft.).
How Do Candles Work Against Bugs?
Aromatic candles produce a scent that many bugs find repugnant, so this method is prevalent in dealing with a bug problem. Since they are only helpful up to a certain distance, it is recommended that they are kept directly underneath the light.
Citronella candles are the most popular ones for dealing with bugs, and the Cutter 95784 Citronella Candle from Amazon.com is our recommendation if you’re looking to purchase one.
4. Add a Ceiling Fan
The reason why adding a ceiling fan works isn’t that the bugs are scared of the air turbulence.
Most bugs are agile fliers that can adapt to the environment. But if the turbulence is strong enough, they will be unable to land on the light. Adding a ceiling fan will be most effective against mosquitos and other more minor bugs.
Another reason ceiling fans are great is that they can be installed on your porch or inside, depending on where your “problem area” is. Keep in mind that a very slight breeze will do little to keep the bugs away, especially if they are bigger, so make sure that the ceiling fan is operating with enough force.
The Type of Ceiling Fan You Should Get
There are two main types of ceiling fans available:
- Indoor ceiling fans
- Outdoor ceiling fans
If you live in a warmer climate where having bugs inside your house is typical, adding an indoor ceiling fan is a viable option.
The fan will not only protect you from bugs trying to get to the light but will also keep your space cool. The Minka Aire F868L-WHF Sleek from Amazon.com is a powerful and quiet indoor ceiling fan that you can check out.
Unless you live in an apartment, having an outdoor ceiling fan is the best option for keeping any flying bugs away from your porch. The 3-speed Honeywell Carmell 48-Inch Ceiling Fan from Amazon.com is an excellent choice for this purpose.
Whichever model of ceiling fan you choose to get, when it comes to keeping out bugs, the most important thing is the force, so make sure that you get a powerful fan that will create enough air turbulence to keep the bugs away.
Alternatively, you can add a regular desk fan near the light source, which makes the most sense if the light source is a lamp or something similar.
5. Remove All Standing Water From Your Property
Unattended food and drink sources, primarily water, are a sure way of attracting more bugs into your home.
Certain bugs like cockroaches are especially drawn to water, so if you’ve been seeing them around your lights or throughout your property, standing water might be what brought them there in the first place.
To ensure that standing water and food aren’t the reason why there are bugs around your lights, make sure that you remove any standing water you have on your property and cover all food in the open with any food cover you can find. Simply putting a towel over it will usually do the trick.
Can Bugs Smell Food?
Although bugs can’t necessarily smell, at least not in the way humans do, they indeed have a sense of smell and can identify food. In fact, they are a lot more effective at identifying food than humans and most other mammals, with some bug species being able to do so from far away.
So, keep in mind that when you leave food around the house, bugs can and will sense this from a relatively long distance and try to make their way inside your home. Once inside, they will move over to your lights and all over the house.
Stopping bugs from being attracted to your lights isn’t an easy task, but you can certainly do it with a bit of effort. By following the steps we mentioned in this article, you should experience results right away.
Some of the mentioned methods are more effective than others. Still, the chances of seeing a noticeable improvement will be significantly higher by combining them all and seeing which ones work best for you.
- AAAS: Light Pollution and Insects: Insect Attraction to Various Types of Residential Lights
- PestWorld: 10 Fascinating Cockroach Facts
- PubMed: Ability of essential oil candles to repel biting insects in high and low biting pressure environments
- LIFX: How Hot Are LED Light Bulbs?
- Cornell University: The impact of turbulence on flying insects in tethered and free flight: high-resolution numerical experiments
- LEDwatcher: How to Keep Bugs Away From Lights?
- UC – Davis: Exposing Insects’ Sense of Smell