At night, outdoor lights, bedroom lights, car lights, and other lights attract insects, the surroundings lighting vibrant with life. But do LED light attract insects? I did some research to find out.
So do LED lamps attract insects? No! It’s not just light but ultraviolet rays that attract insects. In the case of LED lighting, there are no emitted rays, so insects are not attracted and do not appear in our surroundings.
Why Does Light Attract Insects?
Insects flying at night have developed the ability to move in the moonlight.
After maintaining a constant angle of reflection of moonlight, insects can maintain a steady flight path and a straight course.
Artificial lighting interferes with the insect’s ability to detect moonlight. It is brighter and emits light in many directions.
When an insect flies close enough to a bulb, it tries to move along the path of artificial light instead of the moon.
Because the bulb emits light in many directions, insects simply cannot maintain a constant angle to the light source, as they do with moonlight.
An insect tries to move along a straight road, but it ends up in an endless spiral dance around a light bulb.
Are There any Scientific Studies Indicating what Kind of Lighting we Should use on Streets and Gardens?
Nowadays, many institutions want to use LED outdoor lighting. But is it safe for insects, birds, and bats?
Stanislaw Ignatowic Since 1974 has been working in the Department of Applied Entomology, where he deals with pests, their lives, and pest control methods.
He prefers biological, mechanical, physical, and biotechnical methods and considers the use of chemical products to be the last option in the immediate human environment.
Insects React Differently to Light.
Some insects (e.g. cockroaches) are repelled by light, while others (e.g. moths) are attracted to it, even from significant distances.
Moths are attracted by fire from bonfires. They also fly into candles and light from bulbs or fluorescent lamps.
Different insects can be seen on windows during the day, where they are attracted to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.
When we use outdoor lighting to ensure safety in and around driveways, which is particularly important in urban environments, we increase the number of insects in illuminated areas.
At night, various insects are attracted to light sources, and after a time, they are followed by numerous dead insects, especially around doors and windows, which in turn increases the number of spiders and other predators.
Incoming Insects Lured into the Buildings
The highest risk is usually in summer but can last until late autumn as long as the insects are active.
Light lures different animals to places where they are not usually found.
Light attracts ants, so buildings are more threatened by ants invading when the light is on.
Light lures moths to an object around which they did not appear before.
Behind moths, bats appear, which is why these flying mammals nest more often in cities where there is plenty of easily available food.
Light interferes with the ability of moths to avoid bats. Near the lamp, they act as if they deafened forgot their defensive strategy.
Some flies, moths, mosquitoes, ants, and others fly at night, especially during moonlight nights, and use light for orientation.
Lighting in buildings and gardens distracts them from their orientation in the field, and then they accumulate in your yard.
Streetlights and building lighting affect the presence of pests and their predators and their geographical spread in the urban environment.
Modern Lighting Attracts Insects Very Effectively.
This is determined by the following factors: brightness of light, color spectrum (more ultraviolet, UV), and heat emission from light devices.
Insects react to light from 300-400 nm (close to UV) to 600-650 nm (orange).
We use this knowledge in light traps, i.e. insecticide lamps, which emit a lot of UV, and also in garden lamps, which glow orange, which the insects no longer see or see poorly.
Ordinary bulbs emit visible light to the middle UV range, but at night the blue-green component of the light attracts insects the most.
Mercury lamps give bright blue light, rich in UV light. Insects react very strongly to this light.
Sodium lamps, on the other hand, produce light with a distinctly yellow tint, mainly one wavelength range and a small amount of UV. Insects are not strongly attracted to this light source.
So does LED light, which does not contain UV.
The LED light does not attract or threaten insects and, therefore, their predators.
Lighting That Does Not Attract Insects.
Probably many people think about preparing interesting lighting in the garden.
We often give up this because we are afraid of a mass of various insects.
Do we have to be afraid of this and will there be a lot of insects? If we decide to use LED lighting, we don’t have to be afraid of it.
Probably everyone has already come across the fact that the attacks of mosquitoes spoiled our rest in the garden at the barbecue.
Sometimes, after dark, we switch the light off to prevent mosquitoes from appearing.
In fact, with LED lighting this problem will not occur.
It is Not the Light Itself but Ultraviolet Rays that Attract Insects.
In the case of LED lighting, there are no emitted rays, and therefore, insects are no longer attracted and do not appear in our surroundings.
We must always remember that apart from the fact that light attracts insects to us, it will also attract other animals that are in the food chain behind them.
Behind insects, frogs, bats, and spiders will appear at our house. Therefore, this problem can develop, and the situation can indeed become troublesome.
Which LED Light to Choose?
When installing lighting in your garden, you should be aware that it will be exposed to a variety of weather conditions.
We must know that it will be necessary to use such light, which will have increased parameters.
The most commonly used are those that have good performance because they have a voltage of 230V.
At the same time, it must also be remembered that the use of such lights must be associated with additional caution.
This is because we are dealing with electricity that is dangerous to life.
When you want to use LED tape in the pond, you also have to take great care of your safety, so you have to use the right solution to make it safe.
It seems that such a fundamental issue will be the use of 12V light, which should guarantee us proper safety.
How Do Insecticide Lamps Work?
Insecticide lamps are, to put it simply, a device that attracts and kills flying insects.
The basic element of the insect bait is the UV-A fluorescent lamp.
Low-pressure mercury fluorescent lamps used in insect lamps are made of cylindrical glass enclosing two electrodes with an internal fluorescent layer.
The ultraviolet emission is produced at a level of up to 365nm, which is completely safe for humans.
This is precisely the wavelength that is optimal for attracting flying insects and act on them more than any other light.
This allows insects to get as close to the light source as possible, even during the day.
Types of Insecticide Lamps
Since we know how to attract flying insects, the question remains on how to neutralize them effectively.
In both industrial and domestic applications, various types of insecticide lamps are used, which blast insects with electricity, glue them to the sticky cartridge, or suck in a windmill to the inside of the device.
Electric Insecticide Lamps
The most popular are electric insecticide lamps, which neutralize insects by using an electric grid (grate) inside the device, which is usually from 1500V to 5000V.
The higher the voltage, the more powerful the impact.
Insects attracted and disposed of in this way fall into a container (tray) mounted on the bottom of the lamp, which should be emptied regularly.
The thickness of this electrical grid, which determines how large the insect will be neutralized and in what time, is not insignificant in these lamps.
The material of which the grate is made will also have an impact on the life of the device.
These insect lamps will be widely used in industry (production and storage halls, large-area shops), agriculture (pigsties, cowsheds, stables), but will also guarantee a reduction to a minimum of the population of insects in domestic use (living rooms, terraces, gardens etc.).
Sticky Insecticide Lamps
Another most commonly used type of insect lamp is the sticky lamp. They are an alternative solution to glaring lamps.
The principle of attracting insects is the same, but the way of neutralizing them is different – by using sticky cartridges to which insects stick when they come into contact with their surface.
These devices are widely used in places where special emphasis is placed on hygiene, i.e. where HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) certification is required.
Sticky cartridges prevent the fragmentation of insects and the spread of bacteria, and there is no way that a dead insect can get into e.g. food.
This type of insecticide lamps will ensure noiseless neutralization of insects.
Therefore, they are most desirable in the food industry, in particular for catering (bakeries, cafes etc.).
Suction Fan Insecticide Lamps
A completely new solution, extremely effective in the fight against flying insects, are wind lamps.
This innovative type of insecticide lamps is becoming more and more popular and has been used for a long time in the world and enjoys great popularity.
Insects attracted to the vicinity of the lamp are sucked in by a windmill, where they are then placed in a specially mounted container.
This insecticide lamp ensures the highest level of hygiene.
The mechanism used in this lamp does not cause the spread of bacteria. It does not have its insect burned, and there is no possibility that a dead insect fell into e.g. food.
A huge advantage of the device is that a plastic fan with rounded ends does not cut or tear insects, but only pulls them inside the lamp.
The fan is absolutely safe – also for children – if you accidentally put your hand in, it stops in place.
The principle of operation of the windmill insecticide lamp is illustrated in the film below.
This type of lamp is most used in bakeries, ice cream shops, homes etc.
The lamps should run from the beginning of the season 24 hours a day.
For this reason, some models have two speeds of action:
Slower for night-time operation (lower energy consumption for smaller insects)
Faster for daytime operation (faster revolutions and higher energy consumption for larger insects).
Some models, apart from using UV-A fluorescent lamps for attracting insects, also have a bactericidal UV-C fluorescent lamp, which eliminates microbes and germs.
Therefore, these lamps can be used for special applications such as hospitals, pharmacies, specialist clinics, doctor’s offices.
To sum up, the principle of operation of insect lamps is straightforward and very effective.
The way insects are attracted in each type of device is the same, and the differences result from the way insects are neutralized, depending on the construction of the lamp itself and the method of operation used.
An important and not the only advantage of using insecticide lamps is that they do not produce any chemicals, smoke, or electromagnetic waves, which would have a negative impact on the environment in which they work.
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