Understanding how to keep bugs away from a porch light is something I have learned over the years. Read on for all the tips and tricks I found that work.
I love sitting out on my porch and patio in the evening. But that means having the light on and sadly the downside is, I attract flying bugs from far and wide.
So, here are my tips to keep bugs away from outdoor light and achieve a reasonably bug-free porch.
Why Are Bugs Attracted to Outdoor Lights?
I’ve found that there is more than one theory as to why flying insects are attracted to lights.
Some say it is because bugs navigate by moonlight and the light artificial light confuses them. While others will say they are drawn in by the UV radiation and wavelengths that incandescents and halogen lights emit.
Knowing this, you can probably already guess the best solution to my question of how to get rid of bugs attracted to light. Yes, it is by finding porch lights that don’t attract bugs.
6 Ways of How to Get rid of Bugs Around Lights
The most effective solution for me is by installing outdoor lighting that doesn’t attract bugs. I have a few recommendations for solar porch lights here. But, I also have a few more tricks up my sleeve.
Bear in mind that some of these tips may work better than others. It can depend on the climate where you live and the varying weather conditions. Although the biggest contributor will be the type of nature in your surroundings.
1. Use Outdoor Lights That Don’t Attract Bugs
The best answer I can give on how to get rid of bugs attracted to light is don’t attract them in the first place. So, is there such a thing as porch lights that don’t attract bugs, believe it not, yes there are?
Although not 100% foolproof, (there’s always one bug that’ll prove me wrong), trust me it works.
Swap to LED Light Bulbs
Although LED light bulbs are quite an initial investment, the savings on your electricity bill alone will make LED lighting worth it. I might add, if you haven’t already done so, check out just how extremely cost-effective and eco-friendly LED lighting in your home can be.
In addition to that, bugs really don’t like LED lights. Making it possible to dramatically decrease the number of bugs buzzing around your porch light. The reason for this in short is that an LED light bulb emits very little UV light and hardly heats up. Unlike its counterparts such as halogens and incandescents.
This makes replacing outdoor lights with LEDs my number one tip for how to get rid of flying insects from around your lights.
Use Yellow Light Bulbs
Another outdoor light that doesn’t attract bugs is a yellow light. Trust me I tried them and it really does works. Moths, mosquitoes, and many other flying bugs don’t see colors very well. They are mostly attracted to bright white and blue light because they see these colors best.
In contrast, yellow to red lighting is the least attractive. In fact, red is the absolute best because they really can’t detect it well. Sadly due to certain associations made with red lights, especially in porches, this will rarely be used.
Try switching out your white daylight color bulbs for more yellowish LED bulbs, around 2000-3000 kelvin in color temperature should do it.
Install LED Motion Sensor Lights
If you don’t mind not having your porch light on all the time, this is another good tip for how to keep bugs away from the front door. Install a motion sensor porch light as outdoor lighting.
While on the subject these are not only for use by doors and entrances, this is also a great option for security or fence lighting, steps, and pathways.
Not so much a bug repellent porch light but the bugs won’t stick around if there is no light keeping them there. Problem solved!
2. Install a Ceiling Fan
This is a trick that I picked up during vacations in tropical countries and used mainly for mosquitos.
Mosquitoes and small flies are not strong enough to fight the air flow of a ceiling fan. Fact or fiction?
Well, neither really, yes the draft will deter the smaller bugs, but the real truth may be that the fan disperses the carbon dioxide as you breathe. Mosquitos just love that smell and will be attracted by it from miles around.
If you have a porch ceiling that can carry the weight of a fan, this is an excellent upgrade for your outdoor space. I have been spending much more time on my porch since putting ours is up.
3. Paint the Porch Ceiling
When it comes to paint colors, I cannot say that specific colors repel insects. But, I can say that certain colors interest them less. For example, flies and mosquitos are less attracted to lighter shades of greens and light blues.
Since there is no single color that can repel all insects, you have to decide which option the bug may not associate with its food source in your area.
Check out this interesting post from ScienceOxford to find out if you are an insect magnet.
4. Use a Homemade Natural Insect Repellent
I’m not a fan of using unnecessary chemicals, so I make my own DIY porch light bug repellent.
To a quarter cup of water in a spray bottle, I add insect-repelling essential oils such as lavender. But, mint, thyme, eucalyptus, cinnamon, tea tree, lemongrass, or citrus zest are also good.
Use any combination of essential oils you prefer just remember to never spray it directly onto a light (water and electricity don’t mix!). Spray around the porch area, repeating throughout the evening when necessary.
Be careful though, just as with any liquid or oil these can stain.
5. Place Lit Candles
Lighting citronella candles around the porch area is another of the popular methods used to keep bugs away from the patio. Although most people use citronella candles I don’t necessarily believe it is the smell that deters them.
My theory is that the smoke is what really keeps them away, specifically mosquitoes. Place candles on a flat surface away from anything flammable and see what happens.
6. Install a Screen Door
I understand if you don’t want to block your porch with a screen door. But if bugs are a serious problem for you, this is the best solution. There might still be insects flying around on the other side of the screen but they’re less bothersome.
Frequently Asked Questions (People Also Ask)
Looking for a quick answer to your questions about the flying pests around your porch light and how to get rid of them? These are the questions I hear most often from friends and clients.
How to keep mosquitoes away from a front door?
An extremely good method to keep mosquitos away from a front door or porch area is to install a ceiling fan. This is especially good for those of you that may sit out by your front door.
The common belief is that they are unable to fly in the airflow created by the fan. However, it is more likely to be that the fan disperses our carbon dioxide. It is this carbon dioxide that attracts mosquitos.
How do I keep bugs off my porch at night?
Over the years I have learned just how do I keep bugs off my porch at night and have come up with several options. Replace halogen and incandescent lights with an LED bulb, use motion sensor lights, or switch out white lights for yellow lights (between 2000-3000 kelvin should do it).
What color light keeps bugs away?
The color of light that keeps bugs away best is yellowish light. Insects are less attracted to yellow shades, so by replacing your white/bluish color light bulbs you will reduce their numbers.
What kind of bugs fly around lights?
Nocturnal insects, which are most active at night include mosquitos, moths, beetles, crane flies, stink bugs, and mayflies.
Certain flying bugs are attracted to artificial light, which is why they hang around a well-lit patio area. Changing to anti-bug lights, installing a screen or fan, and spraying a DIY natural insect-repellant. These are just some of the most effective ways for how to keep bugs away from outside lights.