To enhance your home’s curb appeal, make it easy to see your way to the front door, or highlight a feature in your yard, nothing does the trick like outdoor lighting. However, while enjoying your well-lit garden, porch, or patio, you may encounter bothersome, uninvited guests.
Insects buzzing around exterior light fixtures can become a neverending annoyance. A peaceful night under the stars may turn into a droning concert as bugs hurl themselves into the brightest light in your yard. Stepping into a floodlight or spotlight’s cone of light can feel like passing through a curtain crawling over your skin.
You don’t have to use potentially unsafe bug sprays or keep your lights off to avoid a pest problem. All you need are a few helpful tips to reclaim your peace of mind and yard.
Use Warm Light Colors
Have you ever noticed how bugs swarm some lights but avoid others? Lights with cooler temperatures like cool white are magnets for bugs. Insects don’t see the yellow to infrared spectrum well, so they avoid warmer light temperatures like reds and yellows.
If you have something like smart outdoor lighting or a smart landscape lighting transformer, you can adjust the color of your lights in a few easy steps. Otherwise, you can manually change the bulbs in lights that bugs flock to the most. No matter how you adjust bulb colors, warming the temperature on landscape lighting can reduce your bug population.
Switch to LED Lights
Not only do light-emitting diode lights last longer and use less electricity than standard lighting solutions, but they also help keep bugs away. LED lights emit little-to-no ultraviolet light, and UV light attracts bugs. By installing LED lights in your landscape lighting fixtures, you make your yard less enticing to insects.
Don’t go overboard with using LED lighting. While diode lights don’t put out as much heat as incandescent lights, they can if you use either low-quality or large LED lights. As heat builds, diode lights give off a blue tint that attracts insects.
Grow Insect Repelling Plants
If you have a garden, you may already have everything you need to grow plants that ward off insects. For example, lavender and basil keep flies, moths, and mosquitos at bay. Mint also protects you from insects, but plant it with caution. The herb can quickly take over your garden before you realize it, so plant it in pots to control its growth. Other plants that keep bugs away include rosemary, bay leaves, lemon balm, and citronella grass.
Not to worry if you don’t already have a garden, you can still take advantage of insect-repelling plants. Rather than grow the plants, put them in a spice pouch and hang them near lights and areas in your yard you want to protect from insects.
Get Rid of Standing Water
Do you have a bird bath, pet dish, or outdoor fountain in your yard near lighting? If so, that can attract insects. Remove sources of standing water, and walk your property to see if you notice areas with standing water. Checking for water is an especially good idea after summer rains when puddles can accumulate in your front or back yard.
Hang a Bug Zapper
If bright light attracts bugs, they may as well flock to the bright light of a bug zapper. Bug zappers attract various insects, including moths, mosquitos, gnats, and flies. Position the device far from outdoor lighting and places in your yard you frequent so you don’t have to hear the zap of bugs flying into the grid.
While you can’t keep bugs away from outdoor lighting 100% of the time, you can significantly reduce their presence. Use these tips to see how well they help you get back to enjoying evenings and nights in your yard.