After putting up a new set of energy-efficient LEDs, you’ve noticed an influx of spiders and other bugs in your home. You may be wondering if LED lights attract spiders?
The quick answer is that LED lights attract bugs like moths, but spiders aren’t attracted to the lights themselves. They just prey on the insects that are attracted to the light.
The longer answer is that LED lights (technically, any light source) don’t necessarily attract more spiders than you would get with any other kind of light. This is because spiders are predators, and they don’t hunt by sight but rather by sensing the vibrations of their prey.
Do LED Lights Attract Spiders?
So, do Led lights attract spiders? Well, the answer is no. Led lights do not attract spiders unless they are in search of food. Insects, such as moths and flies are attracted to the light source so spiders follow in search of their next meal.
Research conducted by Nikolas J. Willmott and published in the international journal of behavioural biology found that “Field experiments revealed a significant increase in prey capture rates for webs placed near LED lights.”
Non-led lights do not attract spiders like they do with insects. And since spiders are predators, they are drawn on the insects flying around your lights. They eat insects and other small arthropods.
If you put out a strong source of light in an otherwise dark environment, you’ll attract all kinds of insects to it – especially flying insects like moths, midges, and flies. All of those insects will become potential food for any spiders or cockroaches in the area, which is why you’re likely to find more spiders around your lights at night.
Many of these flying bugs are nocturnal, and there isn’t much else for them to do at night but fly around in search of food. Many people believe these insects are attracted to artificial light because they mistake it for moonlight or sunlight, which can confuse their natural circadian rhythms and make them think it’s time to be awake.
If you have an outside light that turns itself on at night this is a very alluring light for insects and bugs.
Do All Lights Attract Spiders?
No, all lights don’t attract spiders. In fact, studies have shown that LED lights are less attractive to insects than traditional incandescent bulbs. According to the University of Florida Entomology and Nematology Department, “Incandescent light bulbs tend to attract more insects than fluorescent light bulbs or LED light bulbs.”
This is because LED lights emit a single wavelength of light. Incandescent bulbs emit more wavelengths, which is likely to attract more insects. In addition, insects use light to navigate at night, and they’re drawn to lights with a broader spectrum of wavelengths (like incandescent bulbs) because they’re closer to the sun’s natural light.
Do Spiders Hide in LED Lights?
Spiders do not hide in LEDs. Spiders hide in places that are dark and secluded. It can look like spiders hide in LED lights because these lights do not produce enough heat to keep spiders away, nor do they use UV light which is the best way to keep spiders at bay.
The spider’s pedipalps (appendages) are sensitive to touch, pressure and vibration. The pedipalps also help spiders detect prey, especially in poor lighting conditions where the eyesight is limited. Spiders will often hide in dark places like corners, cracks, crevices, or under furniture.
These are all perfect places for a spider’s hideout. Moreover, heat is not the only factor that drives away spiders and other insects. LED lights also emit light which is not attractive to spiders. They do not emit much heat, nor do they use UV light shown to repel insects and pests.
What LED Light Colors Attract Spiders?
As discussed, spiders aren’t attracted to LED lights, but other insects are, for example, bugs. Both LED, and incandescent lights attract bugs. However, LED lights attract fewer bugs than incandescent lights do. The main reason for this is the colour spectrum of the light source.
LEDs are available in a range of colour temperatures, from warm yellow to cool blue-white, while incandescent lights emit a warmer, yellowish light.
LEDs produce an intense white light that attracts insects like mosquitoes, moths, and other flying pests but they don’t attract as many as incandescent bulbs or fluorescent tubes do.
A study by the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute compared how different types of lighting affect how many bugs they attract and how far insects can see them. They found that:
Light Types That Attract The Most Insects
- Incandescent bulbs attract the most insects.
- Warm-colored LEDs (2700K) attracted 40% fewer insects than incandescents
- Cool-colored LEDs (5000K) attracted 80% fewer insects than incandescents
What Color Light do Spiders Hate?
In a recent study, researchers led by Professor George Uetz and his team of biologists demonstrated that wolf spiders react differently to various colours. The report revealed that these creatures see only ultraviolet and green due to their dichromatic vision. In the words of Uetz, “they are colour blind, but sensitive to light in the green wavelength.”
And out of all of the colours, spiders seem to dislike light blue the most. The reasons are unclear, but there have been a couple of theories: One theory is that spiders have a receptor on their eyes that tells them how much light there is. Under darker light, this receptor sends a signal to the spider’s brain to release more venom.
Light blue seems to be more comfortable for them “under darker” light conditions. Blue is considered a colour that blocks other colours, so perhaps the bright blue reflected from the orb weavers’ webs irritates them.
Good news, my arachnophobic friends-LED lights won’t attract more spiders to your home than you’d get from any other light. They might attract more insects, yes, because insects are attracted to the light, they are also more likely to bump up against a spider’s web, making it easier for the spider to capture its prey.
However, if you’re worried about spiders in your home because of LED lights, keep in mind that spiders don’t have eyesight worth worrying about. They can sense movement and vibrations very well-but they still need a line of sight to see.
But, the bottom line is that LED lights don’t attract more spiders than other light bulbs because spiders aren’t interested in the actual light at all. Instead, they are after insects that are attracted to the light.