Home Tips & Advice

Insect Repellents, Lights, Traps

Anti-bug lights have special yellow coatings to cut out the blue light in ordinary bulbs, which attracts night-flying insects. They are available as incandescent bulbs for standard sockets as well as floodlights. These lights do not repel bugs; they simply don't attract them.

Another way to eliminate insects is with a portable, flameless insect fogger that rids outdoor areas of bugs for hours. Using an ordinary propane cylinder as propellant, the fogger produces a dense, dry fog that penetrates under leaves and through shrubs. It is ideal for camping, picnics, hunting and for commercial sales to schools, churches, etc.


Insect killers destroy pests without chemical pesticides, poison or fogging, and are available in two basic models: electronic and those that drown insects.

Most electronic insect killers have either an incandescent or fluorescent light inside (not harmful to the human eye) to attract flying insects into an electrical grid, which kills them on contact. In general, the higher the voltage, the greater the luring power and coverage a unit will have. Most residential bug killers have an average wattage of 4,500-6,000.

Tests indicate that black-light fluorescent lamps (BL) are the most successful attractant. Fluorescent black light-blue (BLB), which filters out visible light, is also popular, but the filters increase the cost of the lamp.

Compared to fluorescent, incandescent lamps are less energy efficient and have less ability to attract pests.

Some electronic bug killers are self-cleaning. This means that there is enough power that bugs are burned off when they hit the electric grid. At lower wattages, bugs will stick to the grid and clog it, limiting ifs effectiveness. In addition, lower-wattage bug killers may not kill bugs, but only stun them, particularly larger insects such as bumblebees.

Bug killers should be placed in line of sight 25' to 50' from the area to be cleared and operated 24 hours a day. However, they are most effective at night without the interference of the sun's ultraviolet light.

Other models extinguish insects by drowning them. As with electronic bug killers, an ultraviolet light attracts bugs to the unit. A fan contained in the unit blows insects into water with a teaspoon of household detergent added so bugs can't float, and drowns them.

Available accessories include handing brackets, posts and collection trays to adapt units to indoor use.

Other methods of trapping insects include adhesive traps and ribbons which stick to the insect so that it cannot fly or crawl away, or traps that are constructed so the insect can get into the trap but cannot get out.

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Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

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