Summer is the perfect time to enjoy an evening on your patio, surrounded by friends as the sun goes down. However, outdoor lighting often attracts bugs. Here in the Pacific Northwest, your party goers could be ducking their heads as moths the size of quarters swerve toward the lights. To prevent bugs from killing your party vibe, take a few tips from your local pest control company. Bellevue, Portland and Eugene homeowners can prevent bugs from swarming around lights by:
Reducing wattage on outdoor lighting. Bugs are naturally more attracted to stronger lights. (Just think about the huge lights at outdoor concert venues, buzzing with flying pests.) You can reduce the amount of bugs that show up simply by cutting down on the wattage of outdoor bulbs.
Switching bulb type. Mercury vapor and fluorescent bulbs are highly attractive to insects. If you have these types of bulbs around your home’s exterior, switch to halogen or sodium vapor bulbs, as they will attract fewer bugs.
Switching bulb color. If you have incandescent outdoor lighting, switch from white to yellow bulbs. The wavelengths of yellow bulbs are less visible to most bugs than those of white bulbs.
Setting up tiki torches. This local pest control solution can add a 1950s vibe to your shindig. Although they don’t work perfectly, tiki torches can help repel bugs. Light them before dark, and they’ll help hold off bugs for a while.
Lighting citronella candles. Just like tiki torches, citronella candles can help repel insects. However, you will need to light quite a few citronella candles before dark for them to be effective. In the Willamette Valley, including Eugene, pest management requires solutions stronger than just one or two citronella flames.
Minimizing the use of lights. If you don’t need them, wait to turn on bulbs until an hour after sunset. This will avoid attracting insects that swarm early in the evening. Motion-sensor lights are a wonderful solution in less-frequented areas of your yard. If you don’t need the light, turn it off.
Not hanging lights over doors. If you place a light directly over a door, the bugs will swarm right at the entrance. However, if you can rig your lighting setup to point at the door instead, you can provide enough light for guests while keeping bugs away from the threshold.
Blocking lights with shields. Placing a shade or other kind of shield over your lights will help make them less visible from long distances, reducing the number of bugs that see your light. If you look around, major cities like Portland and Eugene, pest management techniques like this one will become obvious; most city lights have shades over the top both to direct light and to reduce visibility to bugs.
All of these techniques can help prevent your party guests from bugging out. However, these are smart moves even for quiet nights at home. When bugs swarm around lights, we may think that the problem is over once the light is off. However, many species of bugs will stick around even after the morning light appears, a fact well known by every pest control company.
Bellevue, Portland, and other locations in the Pacific Northwest see large insect populations during the spring and summer. Once these insects locate your light, they’re likely to start eating nearby plants and looking for places to lay their eggs. Those insects will attract other insects; for instance, spiders will come to your door to feast on the other bugs.
Especially if outdoor lighting is near your entrance, there’s a good chance that some of these critters will eventually find a way into your home. Therefore, it’s smart to use these techniques as a form of local pest control to reduce the attraction of insects whenever possible.
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