Moths are related to butterflies. However, moths are nocturnal and generally have a much more drab coloration than butterflies. Moths flapping against the screen door at night are a major summer distraction in some areas. In addition, clouds of moths around lights at night can ruin a quiet summer evening lawn or garden party. Eliminating this nuisance consists of getting rid of what attracts them as well as repelling them. In addition, some moth infestations are highly destructive. Therefore, treat the area to get rid of the eggs and larvae of these varieties.
Replace white light bulbs with yellow light bulbs. Moths and other insects are attracted to white light. Changing the color of the light on the porch attracts fewer flying insects. The yellow light bulbs are designated as insect-repellent lights on the package.
Apply citronella oil to the porch light every day when it is turned off. When you turn on the light at night, it will heat the dried oil, causing the citronella fragrance to spread. Citronella fragrance repels moths.
Light citronella oil candles and torches to place on the porch after dark. The fragrance of the citronella keeps moths at bay. You can find the oil, candles and torches at a garden center, home improvement store or discount outlet.
Put a large, shallow bowl on the porch containing a few inches of water. Squeeze a few drops of liquid detergent into the water. Place the bowl directly under a white porch light. The moths will be attracted to the reflection of the light in the water's surface and fall into the trap. It helps to turn off all the other white lights on the porch except for the one above the trap.
Treat the surrounding garden area for moth infestations so there are fewer moths to attract to the porch. The treatment should vary depending on what types of moths are breeding in the area. Some possibilities are sod webworms in the lawn, tent caterpillars or gypsy moths in trees and shrubs and miller moths in the garden. Contact the county extension service for advice about identification and treatment for your region. The larva stage of moths, especially the gypsy moth, can be destructive to vegetation, so address the situation as soon as possible.