You probably have a favorite color, but did you know that different kinds of insects also have their favorites? Whether you're painting the exterior of your house, going camping, or choosing outdoor furniture, it's helpful to know which colors are the most attractive to insects so that you can avoid them. Instead, opt for three colors in particular that repel insects.
Many insects see colors on the UV spectrum, and green is not as easily detectable to them. However, it is believed that spiders are particularly sensitive to green, so this isn't a great color if you suffer from arachnophobia.
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Blue might be the most widely insect-repelling color there is. As with green, blue is harder for insects to detect. If termites are causing you problems, know that a traditional remedy for termites in some locations (such as India) was to paint buildings with a paint containing copper sulfate, which often then turned blue. In other places (such as the United States South), blue paint has been traditionally used on the outside of houses to repel bees, wasps, and other insects. An added advantage of repelling wasps is that spiders also tend to stay away, as spiders like to eat wasps. However, be warned that flies are drawn to blue.
Outdoor LED bulbs that give off a yellow-orange hue are least appealing to insects. This is great news if you want to dine outside on a warm night. While yellow's insect-repelling qualities don't work for all bugs, yellow does seem to repel flies.
Colors to Avoid
Different insects are drawn to different colors, unfortunately. What repels one type of insect may attract another. If you're having trouble with a particular type of insect around your home or garden, favoring one color might solve one problem but create another.
Insects may not see color in the same way we do, but there's more to color than just what it looks like to the eye. Colors can prompt certain physical and physiological reactions in humans and animals, which in turn influence the way insects behave.
Many insects are drawn to bright colors, including red, orange, pink, and purple. Bright colors look like flowers, which are a source of food for many insects. This can also include white, which is very bright when light hits it, although mosquitoes in particular are repelled by white and light colors. Ticks, which are especially dangerous if you're hiking in the backcountry, are drawn to light colors.
Mosquitoes are insect outliers in that they like dark colors. Although the reason for this is not entirely clear, it's believed that they prefer dark colors because they use their heat receptors to locate bodies for their next meal. Also, wearing dark colors on a hot day can cause you to sweat more, and mosquitoes are drawn to sweat.