How To Keep Bugs Away From The Porch Light [5 Ways!]

If you've ever been sitting on your porch or have come home at night to bugs swarming around your porch light and entering into your home when you open the door, you know how annoying that can be. So how can you keep bugs away from the porch light? We've researched this question and more to give you some possible solutions.

Brick walled front porch evening light next to a residential front door, How To Keep Bugs Away From The Porch Light [5 Ways!]

If you want to keep bugs away from your porch light, try one or all of these five methods.

  • Choose a different type of lightbulb.
  • Spray a natural insect repellent.
  • Install a screen.
  • Purchase a bug zapper.
  • Light citronella candles.

Turning off the light is the most effective solution, but not always the most ideal, especially when you're eating outside or doing something else on the porch that requires you to be able to see. So let's look at each of these more effective solutions for keeping bugs away from the porch light.

Try a different type of lightbulb

Flying termite bugs around a light bulb in the night

If you have many bugs swarming around your porch light, one of the easiest and cheapest solutions is to use a different type of lightbulb. Commonly used lightbulbs such as incandescent, halogen, and compact fluorescent lightbulbs emit UV radiation. 

Because bugs use UV light from the moon to navigate, they are attracted to the UV light emitted from the porch light. Switching your porch light from an incandescent or halogen bulb to an LED bulb will not only help your lightbulb last longer, but it will also be less visible to bugs. They also make special lightbulbs that are designed to keep bugs away. These lightbulbs are tinted yellow, which makes it hard for bugs to see them.

This LED bug light from Amazon helps to keep bugs away.

Spray a natural insect repellent

You can use essential oils to create a natural insect repellent and spray it around the porch light to keep bugs away. It is important to note that you should NOT spray it directly onto the porch light because it can cause the light to short out, which is unsafe for both you and your home.

To create an essential oil spray, choose any combination of lavender, mint, rosemary, thyme, eucalyptus, or cloves and mix a few drops in a spray bottle with some soapy water. Spray the solution onto the area around the light. This may have to be done a couple of times a day, especially in the summer due to increased humidity.

Install a screen

image of an empty chair on a screened-in porch

This method can be a little costly but is very effective at keeping bugs away from your porch light. Screens create a barrier that is too small for bugs to fit through. Screens can be installed by a professional in as little as one day for a few hundred dollars, or you can attempt to install a screen yourself and save a little money.

Purchase a bug zapper

Bug zappers emit a blue light that is attractive to insects. Installing a bug zapper on your porch can draw bugs toward it and away from your porch light. Hang the bug zapper a couple of feet away from the porch light. 

If you don't like a frequent zap of electricity, interrupting your dinner, or peaceful porch sitting, then this solution may not be the best option for you. But if that doesn't bother you, this can be a cost-effective method of preventing bugs from flying around your porch light.

See this bug zapper on Amazon.

Light citronella candles

Top view of a bucket candle for driving away mosquitos

If you're only going to be sitting on your porch for a short amount of time, citronella candles may be a good option for keeping bugs away temporarily. While most commonly known for keeping mosquitos away, citronella candles can keep other kinds of bugs away as well. Just place a few on a table or flat surface underneath the porch light.

Do not keep candles lit at your home as a way to prevent bugs from flying around your porch light when you get home after dark, as this is unsafe and can cause a fire. You should also make sure to purchase candles that are in a jar or have a candle holder on hand to keep flames at bay.

What color do bugs not like?

There aren't really any colors that bugs don't like, but there are some colors that bugs find more attractive than others. These colors are blue, green, and white. Yellow, red, and orange aren't attractive to bugs because they can't see them as well.

It is rumored that using certain colors of paint can help to repel bugs, but that has never been proven to be true. However, using a paint color that is very reflective of sunlight can attract more insects because of the high amounts of UV light emitted. 

What smells do insects hate?

Peeled tangerines in a bowl on a wooden table

We mentioned earlier that citronella and other essential oils could be used to help repel insects. There are many more scents that are thought to repel insects as well. Some scents are more effective for repelling certain bugs than others. Let's look at which scents are known to repel which insects.

  • Cinnamon- repels wasps, spiders, and silverfish.
  • Citronella- repels mosquitoes, gnats, moths,  and ticks.
  • Citrus (orange, lemon, and grapefruit)- repels ants, cockroaches, moths, silverfish, and weevils. 
  • Lavender- repels mosquitoes, flies, gnats, ants, and ticks.
  • Lemongrass- repels chiggers, mosquitoes, fleas, and flies.
  • Peppermint- repels moths, ants, fleas, fruit flies, and stink bugs.

See More: How to Keep Bees Away from Your Porch

What outdoor lights don't attract bugs?

While no kind of light is 100% effective at keeping bugs away, some light bulbs greatly reduce the number of bugs attracted to them. While yellow-tinted "bug lights" do reduce the number of bugs that swarm around your porch light, the best kind of light bulb to use is an LED light that produces a warm color. This type of light bulb will produce a yellowish-orange hue when lit, which bugs find unattractive.

How do you keep bugs off the front porch?

Besides the solutions that are listed above, there are other ways that you can keep bugs off of the front porch. Most of these are simple solutions that can be done cheaply and easily. Let's look at a few more ways to keep bugs away.

Turn off any lights that aren't necessary

Unless you need to see to unlock your door, try to keep your porch light turned off. Even if you need to turn the porch light on to see, try to turn it off as soon as you are done using it. Leaving it on for the shortest amount of time possible will attract fewer bugs. 

If you leave your porch light on at night for safety, installing a timer or using special lightbulbs that only come on from dusk until dawn can help keep your porch light on only when it's necessary. 

Try this two-pack of dusk to dawn sensor lightbulbs from Amazon.

Install a ceiling fan

Installing an outdoor ceiling fan on your porch can help to circulate the air around the porch, blowing away any bugs that fly around there. This is a more expensive solution, but one that may be worth the expense because it also helps keep you cool and disperses odors and other particles in the air.

Hang a bird or bat house near the porch

Birds and bats eat insects, so hanging up a bird or bat house is a natural way to repel insects. Hang it on a tree or mount it on a post in the ground near the porch, but far enough away so that the birds and bats don't find their way onto your porch. 

Click here to see this bat house on Amazon.

Hang spices near the porch light

Hanging spices that produce a smell that insects don't like can also help to keep them away. Fill coffee filters with cinnamon, citrus zest, or bay leaves and hang them from the porch light to keep bugs away from the light. Replace them every few days when they start to lose their smell.

Remove standing water

A plastic tub with mosquito nest egg on water that can cause malaria

Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects. Fill in any low areas where rain collects using gravel or dirt, and empty any empty pots and containers that hold water after it rains.

See More: How to Keep Lizards Away From the Porch


Bugs can be annoying, especially when there are ways to prevent them. Trying any of the above methods may greatly reduce the number of insects that swarm your porch and porch light. You may have to try some in combination with others, but hopefully, you can find an effective solution that works for you.

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