How to Keep Bugs Away From Lights?

Installing porch or lawn lights is one of the best ways to beautify your home and property. It’s both effective and cost-effective, it makes walking around at night much easier, and it even increases your home’s safety by deterring potential hooligans or wrong-doers.

Unfortunately, outdoor lighting has one major downside too – it attracts bugs as if the light bulbs were made out of honey!

The reason why flying insects are attracted to lamps is actually quite simple (and tragic) – most flying insects’ vision is designed to seek out and locate the brightest light source in the night sky and use it for orientation and to find their nest. For thousands of years, this brightest light used to be the moon or the North star.

Once humans came along, however, we threw a wrench in the bugs’ biological GPS and now they are inescapably drawn to our lighting fixtures. Another factor that attracts bugs is the heat emitted by many lighting fixtures which makes them even more attractive.

So, what can we do to fix this issue and clean up our property from the hundreds or thousands of insects flying aimlessly around our porch at night? Fortunately, there are quite a few possible solutions. Unfortunately, not all of them are 100% effective so you might want to employ several at the same time:

Change your lighting fixtures

The best way for how to keep bugs away from porch lights is to change the porch lights themselves. LED lights are the best thing you can try because they emit less heat than incandescent bulbs. LED light is also less attractive to insects while still looking fantastic for our homes at night.

Granted, LED lights are a bit more expensive than incandescent bulbs but they are also more energy-efficient and last longer so they are worth it.

Try yellow bulbs

If you’re not a fan of LED lights, another trick for how to keep June bugs away from lights is to switch to specially tinted “bug” bulbs. These bulbs are specially designed to repel insects by emitting yellow light in the highest possible light spectrum which makes them hard for insects to see.

This is likely the most effective way to ensure that bugs won’t be attracted to your porch lights. Unfortunately, yellow light is often unappealing to people so you may not like how your lawn and home look with it.

Try “aromatherapy”

Insects are notoriously sensitive to smells and there are many aromas that can be great insect repellents. There are several different ways you can try to employ this method:

  • Aromatic candles. If you only have lights on your porch and not around your entire property, lighting a few aromatic candles alongside your porch lights can act as an excellent insect repellent. Plus, they will produce even more beautiful lighting for your porch at night.
    There are a few problems with this strategy, however. For one, lighting multiple aroma candles every night can be expensive. Plus, it’s a bit of a fire hazard too. Additionally, if it’s windy or you have an extra big porch, the effects may be insufficient.
  • Spice pouches. Another way to add aromatic repellents is to hang bug-repelling spice pouches around your porch. This won’t present a fire hazard but you’ll still need a lot of pouches.
  • Plant some insect-repelling plants around your home. Plants such as basil, lemongrass, lavender, rosemary, mint, catnip, sage, fennel, lemon balm, bay leaves, and a few others, can be great at repelling insects. They can also make your yard even more beautiful!
  • Spray your porch with a bug-repellent. There are many herbal-infusion sprays that are very effective at keeping bugs away from windows and doors. The problem here is that if you want to keep bugs away from your entire porch, you’re going to need a lot of bug spray and reapply it regularly too.

Burn the intruders away with a bug zapper

Another way for how to keep bugs away from outside lights is to use a bug zapper. These “lamps” are a very effective way to not really repel insects but to attract and eliminate them. The downside of this (aside from the cruelty of these devices) is that you’ll be left with lots of dead insects lying beneath the bug zapper and a lingering smell of burnt bugs.

Put on a screen around your porch

Similar to how we put bug screens on our windows, you can do the same with your porch. Sure, that’s a lot of screens but it’s a relatively affordable tool. The main problem with this strategy is that it’s not very appealing to the eye. If you don’t dislike how it looks, however, it can be an effective answer to the “How to keep moths away from lights?” question.

Set up some birdhouses

For a more “natural” solution, you can just attract more birds to your property by hanging some birdhouses and bird feeders around. Not only will these birds help deal with all the insects around but you’ll also get the birds themselves which is awesome!

Make sure the bird feeders are inaccessible for squirrels and other rodents, however – you don’t want to replace a bug infestation with a rodent invasion.

Remove all sources of still water around your property

Bugs may be attracted to your porch lights but they also come from somewhere. In most cases, that “somewhere” are pools of standing water such as water barrels, road ditches, large puddles, or actual swimming pools.

Removing these will reduce the bug breeding grounds around your property and through this – the total number of bugs that can be attracted by your porch lights in the first place.

Those are the main ways to deal with the flying insects around your lawn and porch lights. Of course, you can always just turn the lights off at night but that kind of defeats their purpose. Instead, utilizing a combination 3 or 4 of the above methods can solve your issue almost completely.


Blogger, editor, developer who loves green living. Interested in photovoltaics and solar lighting. Reviewing solar products since 2013.

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