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It’s late August already, but there is still plenty of time left for pleasant evenings on the porch or in the back yard. Until the bugs start buzzing and threaten to ruin your fun and relaxation. Besides smelly citronella candles or sticky bug spray what else can you use to help extend your outdoor pleasure this summer?

One option that is much easier to use (and a lot less smelly) is a bug light. Bug lights are those bright yellow bulbs that claim to keep all kinds of bugs away from your outdoor gathering.

So how do they work?
First of all, unlike bug zappers, bug lights do not actually kill bugs. Bug lights don’t work to repel bugs either. A bug light works by simply attracting fewer bugs than an ordinary light bulb. There are several theories about why this seems to work.

Mosquitos and other bugs are attracted to ordinary light bulbs by the light they can see - and to the smaller, tastier bugs also attracted to that light. Yellow incandescent light bulbs attract fewer bugs because the yellow color is harder for some insects to see. Some, but not all. Different bugs see different color wavelengths, so the yellow color isn’t effective on 100% of those pesky critters.

Types of bug lights
Just like regular bulbs, you can now choose from several types of yellow bug lights. There’s the ordinary incandescent bug light, as well as CFL and LED bug lights. While we’ve previously talked about the overall benefits of switching to CFL and LED lights, some would also argue that yellow CFL and LED bug lights attract even fewer bugs because they produce much less heat than an incandescent bug light. So your best bet to attract the least amount of bugs to your patio party would be either a CFL or LED yellow bug light.

While yellow bug lights won’t eliminate all of the bugs that may intrude on your summer evening, they do seem to help in a relatively inexpensive way. But since insects can still be attracted to other things like food smells and the carbon dioxide that we breathe out, you’ll probably still need to combine the yellow bug light with a few other strategies to fight the swarm.

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