Insects

The Smithsonian Recommends Using Amber Lights to Prevent Pests


It’s commonly known that insects are attracted to light. Does this mean sacrificing pleasant summer evenings out on the deck? Our pest control services team shares the results of a Smithsonian study that offers a possible solution.

Let There Be Light to Prevent Insect Swarms

While insects aren’t welcome visitors for humans, many species serve a valuable purpose in maintaining ecological balance. Instead of progressing through the natural life-death cycle, a number of insect groups are being decimated due to the proliferation of outdoor lighting.

The lights themselves are not what cause insect deaths. Rather, bugs literally exhaust themselves to death in obsessive pursuit of light. Previous research indicates that amber-hued artificial light at night, or ALAN, is less attractive to insects.

Does Color Make a Difference?

In an effort to gain more information on the topic, a team from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) conducted lighting experiments at a rainforest in northern Peru. This setting offered the advantage of viewing results of lighting an environment for the first time.

The researchers installed a dozen light traps in various locations around the rainforest. Bulbs used included LED white, amber-filtered, and yellow-filtered, with light-free traps serving as controls.

All told, the traps captured a combined total of approximately 15,000 insects across 763 unique species. Traps with amber-filtered lights held one-third fewer species and two-thirds fewer individual insects than traps with LED white lights. The team also discovered that the amber-filtered lights attracted lower numbers of disease-carrying insects, which is a valuable benefit for lighting used around homes and other buildings.

Comprehensive Pest Control Services in NJ

Unfortunately, lighting alone may not be enough to ward off an infestation. When you need safe and effective pest control services, contact us at Allison Pest Control for more information.

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