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Are Your Outdoor Lights Attracting Mosquitos?

Small outdoor lights brightening a garden bed.

When the sun sets and the night comes alive, outdoor lights can create a magical ambiance in our yards and gardens. However, the soft glow that draws us in might also be attracting an unwelcome guest: mosquitoes. 

These pesky insects are notorious for ruining outdoor gatherings by causing itchy bites, and your choice of outdoor lighting may contribute to their presence.

Mosquitoes, like many insects, are often on the hunt for food. They rely on light to find what they’re looking for. Light can play a significant role in their navigation, journey for food, and even their mating behavior. This is why you often see bugs swarming lights and bright areas.

In the natural world, mosquitoes rely on the sun and moon to navigate. Some types of artificial lights can disturb the natural system, drawing the mosquitoes closer to your outdoor light fixtures rather than keeping the mosquitoes away. But it all depends on what type of lighting you have.

Best Hanging Model

FVOAI Bug Zapper Outdoor

This bug zapper uses blue-violet light to attract bugs and other pests.

For example, UV lights are not incredibly attractive to mosquitoes. A lot of UV light traps or bug zappers aren’t incredibly effective against mosquitoes. They may catch other types of insects buzzing or flying around, but mosquitoes aren’t very tempted.

On the other hand, the blue light emitted by some LED bulbs tends to draw more mosquitoes. It seems that this type of light is more attractive to mosquitoes than warmer lighting.

While outdoor lights can inadvertently attract mosquitoes, there are ways to use lights strategically to reduce their presence in your outdoor space

Start by choosing yellow or amber lighting. This color of light is less attractive to mosquitoes, possibly because it’s less visible to them. You can also install motion-activated lights that only turn on when movement is detected. This limits the amount of time mosquitoes have to be attracted.

Murphy's Naturals Mosquito Repellent Candle

Sometimes keeping the mosquitoes at bay is as simple as lighting a candle.

If possible, place outdoor lights away from areas where you and your guests gather. While it might sound counterintuitive, this strategy will minimize the likelihood of attracting mosquitoes to your seating and dining spaces.

You can also invest in some mosquito-repelling products. Experiment with lighting designed to repel mosquitoes. There are also mosquito-repelling candles, sprays, torches, and patches to help keep you and your guests safe from itchy bites.

Keep in mind that while outdoor lights can attract mosquitoes to some extent, they are not the primary reason these insects invade our outdoor spaces. Mosquitoes are also drawn to body heat, body odor, and carbon dioxide.

Reducing mosquito populations in your yard requires more than just changing your lighting. Make sure to eliminate standing water, use mosquito repellents, and employing mosquito control strategies.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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