Handyman Tip - Do Yellow Bug Lights Work?

My entry at 106 used to be infested with insects to the extent that entering felt much like coming into a Haunted House on Halloween. Now that is particularly warm and buggy, now is the time you could feel literally under attack simply entering your home.


The Problem: The cob webs, spiders and other insects made my entry a real house of horrors. Ah!!! It never dawned on me that those yellow lights you sometimes see people have are literally advertised on the packaging as "bug lights." Apparently, I'm not the brightest bulb in the pack.


I spent a great deal of time attempting to broom off the cobwebs only to make more of a mess of my walls. Ugh! Part of the problem with entry lights is my unit is a rental and I can't control whether guests are leaving the light on or off. The amount of time a regular bulb is on in the entry is directly in proportion to the amount of insects. Yea, I had a lot.


The Solution: I'm not talking about the bug zappers that kill bugs by electrocution. The yellow bulbs don't kill insects and they don't repel insects either. But they can make your entry less visible to insects, and because of that they do a great job in minimizing the number of insects.


You can do a Google search to learn more about light wavelengths to understand the science behind why yellow lights work. The short version is bugs are attracted to light in the UV, or visible light spectrum. The yellow bug lights essentially are invisible and less likely to attract insects.


On a practical note, if you can reduce the amount of little bugs around your light, you reduce the amount of bigger bugs looking to snack on the little bugs.


The Product: Any number of stores will carry these light bulbs so I won't recommend any in particular. In terms of the bulbs themselves, they can be a regular incandescent bulb like the GE Classic 60-Watt Bug Light or a CFL bulb like the Sylvania 60-Watt Yellow Bug CFL Bulb, for an extra savings in power consumption.


A special note about LED lights: LED lights are good in that they do not throw off heat (i.e. heat will attract insects). But they are not so good if they are the whiter daylight color. The good news is you can purchase LED bulbs that are labeled, "Bug Light." Refer to the table below for what does and does not attract insects:



If you really want to prevent the bug party, remember to turn your light off when you don't need it to be on. The less it is on, the more likely bugs will buzz off.


Someone failed to tell me about all this and I'm unsure whether to blame my parents or my grandparents.



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