Are Bugs Attracted to Holiday Lights, Too?

We all know bugs like lamps and bright lights. All you have to do is look up at a streetlight after sunset to see a swarm of insects gather.

Typically, you only have to worry about the porch light, and even then, there are outdoor lighting options that won’t attract bugs. But there’s one time of year when lights could pose an issue. It’s the one time of year when homes are draped in lights.

Yep, we’re talking about holiday lights and whether or not bugs are attracted to them.

The Weather is on Your Side

One thing that works in favor of homeowners is the weather. The holiday season is smack dab in the middle of the coldest season. Most insect species are hunkered down for the winter and aren’t very active during the holidays.

We’re sure the hibernating bugs are sorely disappointed they missed the light show.

Opt for LED Lights

The bugs that are around during the winter may be drawn to a bedazzled house. That is, unless you use LED lights.

In recent years there has been debate over whether or not LED lights are the best option for holiday decorations. While it’s true LED lights aren’t bug-proof, they do emit very low UV levels, which attracts fewer insects. The AAAS scientific society published a study last year that showed warm LED lights were on par with bug lights.

Light Color Matters

These days you can get holiday lights in any color or even alternating colors. The color you choose for your illuminated decorations could make a difference in how many bugs are attracted to the display.

Have you ever wondered why most bug lights are yellow? A study from the University of Agriculture in Faisalabad, Pakistan (among others) have found that insects prefer cool colored lights compared to warm colored lights. The research showed:

  • Up to 70% of insects went for lights at the blue end of the spectrum.
  • 18% of insects were most attracted to white light.
  • 8-10% preferred yellow lights.
  • Only 2% of insects were attracted to red lights.

Looks like the classic soft gold and red holiday lights are ideal if insects are a concern.

Why Christmas Tree Lights Aren’t the Biggest Concern

Inside the house, there’s another holiday tradition that involves lights. Even the simplest Christmas trees are wrapped in at least one or two light strands.

In the grand scheme of things, the lights are one of the last things you have to worry about on a Christmas tree. The tree itself is going to attract pests that are looking for a home or wood to chew on. They may have even hitched a ride to your house from the tree farm. Decorations made of food and candy are also more likely to attract bugs during the holidays than the lights.

We’re not professional holiday decorators, but the technicians at Vulcan Termite and Pest Control Inc. are expert exterminators. We can help you get rid of yard pests before you put up the decorations so there are fewer bugs to worry about during the holiday season!

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