Controlling insect pests in and around the home often involves the use of a chemical pesticide. But using natural, non-chemical control methods not only can augment the effectiveness of your pesticide control program but also avoids the environmental and health concerns associated with using a chemical pesticide. Since insects tend to congregate around outdoor lighting sources, changing your outdoor lighting to make it less attractive to insects ranks among the easiest of the natural control methods.
The type of light bulb you use in your porch lighting plays a major role in attracting insects. High-pressure sodium vapor bulbs are less attractive to insects than the more common high-pressure mercury vapor bulbs. According to a study conduced at Mainz University in Germany, changing outdoor lighting from mercury vapor to sodium vapor bulbs would lead to a reduction in insect infestations near the light by 55 to 75 percent.
The color of the light emitted by your porch lighting is another major factor in attracting insects. Sodium vapor light bulbs emit a yellowish color insects find appealing while mercury vapor light bulbs emit a more blue-white color. Therefore, even if you can't install sodium vapor bulbs, choosing a yellow mercury vapor light bulb in lieu of a blue-white mercury vapor light bulb can help reduce insect populations.
An alternative method for reducing insect populations around your porch lighting is to install motion sensors as part of the lighting system. Porch lighting that uses a motion sensor remains off until someone passes in front of the motion sensor, at which point the light kicks on. This method is very effective at reducing insect populations, not to mention reducing the energy costs of using porch lighting and increasing the life of your light bulbs.
Changing your porch lighting system not only reduces the populations of insects themselves but also reduce the populations of arachnids and vertebrate animals that prey on the insects. Spiders near the home, for instance, are often there only because of the abundant supply of insects. which were attracted to the home by porch lighting. Therefore, changing your porch lighting to a less-attractive type of light bulb or color can reduce prey insect populations and compel spiders to leave in search of a more abundant food supply.