Listen, I know mosquito bites aren’t usually lethal - but they sure are itchy. Did you know that you can drive the bugs away with the light bulbs you have at home? Entomologists suggest switching out your light bulbs with LED lights! However, make sure you have the right color to chase the bugs away:
Bugs are most drawn to the blue end of the color spectrum and ultraviolet light in particular. “Incandescent lights have a much broader spectrum of colors that are generated along with much more heat generated, both of which are attractive to many insects,” Webb explains.
Enter: LEDs, which “do not output much UV light,” Matts says, so it’s possible that switching your bulbs may make a difference. The wavelengths in typical LED household lights “are simply not the wavelengths that are most attractive to insects,” Webb adds.
In fact, in one 2016 study, researchers compared different types of light bulbs between July and September in open grassland around sunset (to ensure there was nothing else attracting the bugs). They collected insects in custom-made traps, and found that the worst option for outdoor lighting was traditional incandescent bulbs, which attracted the most bugs. LEDs on the other hand—both “cool‐white” and “warm‐white”—were the least attractive to insects.
Yellow-hued light bulbs are worth trying, too. “Yellow lights—and red lights—do not attract insects as much as regular white lights,” Russell says.
Image via Prevention