In the electromagnetic spectrum, humans can perceive the visible range having wavelengths stretching from 400 to 800 nanometres, 400 nanometres being the wavelength of violet color and 800 nanometres being the wavelength of red color.
Unlike human beings, insects can perceive the light in the electromagnetic region of 300-420 nanometres, preferably UV light, blue and green light. We know that various types of LED lights emit light in different regions of the light spectrum.
Do LED lights attract ants, spiders, roaches, and other bugs? Let’s discuss and find out which LED lights attract these insects.
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Which lights attract insects such as ants, spiders, and other bugs?
Bright white and bluish lights are the most attractive for insects such as ants, spiders, roaches, and other bugs. These lights are usually emitted by white incandescent bulbs, white fluorescent bulbs, and vapors of mercury.
On the other hand, colors of lights lying on the other side of the spectrum such as yellow, pink, or orange are the least attractive to the insects. Hence, warm white light or yellow incandescent bulbs were designed to ward off insects whereas bulbs emitting a cool white light were designed to attract insects.
Besides the wavelength and the color of light, heat and brightness are emitted from the light. This means a bulb with more wattage rating and containing filaments attracts insects because of more glow and heat emitted.
Do LED Lights attract ants, spiders, roaches, and other bugs?
No, regular LED lights do not attract spiders, roaches, and other bugs because they don’t emit UV lights or produce heat which may attract the insects. LED lights emit the color of light that falls out of the electromagnetic spectrum that is attractive to insects.
However, there are some specialized LEDs such as LED bug zapper lights that give off UV light. These lights are specifically manufactured to attract insects, for example, plant-grow lights and mosquito-trap lights. In addition to this, UV LEDs and cool white LEDs may attract ants, spiders, roaches, and other bugs.
Lights bulbs that attract insects
Incandescent and white fluorescent bulbs are the most attractive to bugs because they emit bright white or bluish light which is extremely attractive to insects. In addition to this, these light bulbs emit an enormous amount of heat that draws the attention of insects and bugs making them stick to these light bulbs.
The heat emitted comes from the fact that incandescent, fluorescent, and halogen bulbs emit 90-95% of the power as heat through the filament of these bulbs. Hence, these bulbs attract insects such as spiders and roaches.
In places where a light bulb is needed to attract insects, LED bug zapper lights are employed. These light bulbs draw the attention of the insects and when the insects finally sit upon the surface of the bulb, the light kills these insects.
These bug zapper light bulbs are constructed in such a way that the top of these bulbs is used for illumination of the room while the base of the bulb has an electric cage. The white glow of the bulb attracts insects such as mosquitos. When the insects come in contact with the caged center, they get killed by the electric shock.
Lights bulbs that don’t attract insects
The visibility of color for an insect or bug decreases as we move towards the right side of the visible spectrum of light. This means the light with the shortest wavelength such as UV light or violet light in the visible region is the most attractive to the insects whereas red color with the longest wavelength is the least attractive to insects. The red color is almost invisible to the insects.
Red or orange-colored light bulbs, however, cannot be used to illuminate the gardens and porches of the house. Therefore, yellow bulbs are very popular to ward off insects such as spiders, and roaches. In addition to the color of the light bulb, the emitted heat is another important factor to consider here.
In this case, yellow compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) are the best option to illuminate the outdoors of your home while keeping the bugs away. Besides being unattractive to bugs, compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) are energy efficient and have a long life.
Warm-colored LED light bulbs such as yellow strip lights, yellow malibu light bulbs, and LED bug lights are great for keeping bugs away from your space. They come with a coating that enables them to emit a light of wavelength ranging from 550 to 600 nanometres.
6 Tips to keep bugs away
- Keep unnecessary lights off – You can keep the porch lights off wherever unnecessary. It will not only keep the insects away but also save power and money.
- Install a mesh screen – A permanent yet a bit costly solution to get rid of bugs in your garden is installing a good-quality fine mesh screen that blocks the entrance of tiny bugs and insects.
- Replace traditional bulbs – If you are using traditional incandescent or white fluorescent bulbs, then you need to replace them with LED lights of yellow CFLs to keep the bugs away from your porch.
- Install bug-zapper lights – Though it may be a costly alternative, bug zapper lights don’t just help in keeping your surroundings free from hovering bugs, but also kill them. They emit a glow of white light that attracts the bugs and their electric base kills them.
- Use essential oils as bug-repellants – Spraying your porch with a mixture of essential oils and water twice a day can help keep the annoying bugs away from your home. Take two cups of water and add 20-25 drops of any essential oil like eucalyptus oil and use the mixture as a sprayer.
- Place geraniol candles – Citronella or geraniol candles emit an intense smell that is undesirable for bugs and insects, especially mosquitoes. Light a geraniol candle and place it near the porch light.
LED lights don’t attract bugs unless they are the specialized UV ones designed to do so. Regular LED lights produce very little heat, do not emit UV light, and fall outside of the electromagnet spectrum that is attractive to insects. If you want to keep ants, spiders, roaches, and other bugs away, use LED lights.