Like me, I’m sure at some point in your life you’ve stepped outside (either on your front or back porch) only to unexpectedly run into a spider web. Or you’ve always seen spiders around lights and wondered why are spiders attracted to light?
But really though – are spiders attracted to light, do spiders like lights, or do they hang around lights for another reason?
Let’s break it down so you can understand what is really going on when you see spiders around your lights and what you can do to get rid of them (if that is what you desire).
Are Spiders Attracted to Light?
Spiders are attracted to light, not because they are drawn to the light color or brightness, but because a bright light attracts flying insects. Spiders go where their food source is plentiful and bright light attracts their food sources.
Most spiders rely on their webs to catch prey. Since bright light attracts insects, building a web around artificial light is a great way for spiders to set up and wait for their victims to fly by and get stuck in their webs.
It is actually pretty genius if you think about it. The spider’s hardest job for catching prey is getting the spider web set up.
Then the light draws the prey in for their last fly around the light before they meet their demise. There is more to it than that, but you get what I’m saying.
Next time you step out of your house and run directly into that spider web before frantically brushing yourself off and checking your hair, just remember that the spider is doing you a favor by getting rid of all those pesky insects that always try to buzz around your ear or fly up your nose.
Are Spiders Attracted to Light Inside Your House?
Spiders avoid most light (indoor and outdoor) unless there is a food source nearby. If you don’t let any flying insects sneak into your home as you are walking in the door (which can be difficult sometimes), then you don’t have to worry about spiders being attracted to the lights in your home.
As technology has advanced, so has the knowledge of what can be done with the lights in our homes.
With certain lights, you have the option to turn them on and off remotely, change the color to any color of your choosing, and have them blink to the sound of music.
With LED light technology booming, you have more control over what lights you use and what color you want them to be. So you may be wondering if different light colors attract or deter spiders. Let’s discuss it!
Are Spiders Attracted to LED Lights?
Some LED lights and LED strips don’t emit enough UV light to attract insects. If there are no insects around the lights, it is less likely you will see spiders around your LEDs.
Although most LED lights produce very little UV light and not much heat, the lights may still attract insects, which will attract spiders – depending on the brightness of the lights.
If your LED strips don’t emit enough light to attract insects, spiders won’t be attracted to the lights in most instances.
Here is the simple equation: insects attracted to light = spiders attracted to light.
If you have an LED light you are using for your outside light, the simplest way to test is to turn it on at night and see if any flying insects start to gather around it.
If they do, then spiders will not be too far behind. But don’t hate the spiders, they are just going where the food source is.
Do Spiders Like Light?
Spiders do not like light and would prefer to be in dark places. But since light attracts insects, light attracts spiders as well. Spiders aren’t drawn to the light in the way light draws in insects.
They are drawn to the food source (insects) that the light helps them prey on. They are just hanging around the light waiting on their next meal to arrive.
Sometimes, it can be like a buffet for them.
To look at it in a sense of whether spiders like light or not is the incorrect way to think about it. Spiders are focused on the food source around lights and not the actual lights.
They don’t have actual feelings toward the light, just more of an instinct to be where the food is.
Do Spiders Prefer Light or Dark?
Spiders prefer dark, undisturbed places and don’t hang around the light because they like to. The majority of spiders would much rather be in a darker environment versus a brighter one.
Spiders tend to hang out in the less-frequented, darker spaces of our homes like:
- basements and crawl spaces
- damp and moisture-rich spaces
- some prefer drier places like attics, vents, and the upper corners of room walls
- behind furniture and in YOUR BED
- and some spiders like to hang out IN YOUR SHOES
Did I make you a little uneasy with the last two hangout spots for spiders? I think I freaked myself out a little! 🙂
Now that I’ve checked my shoes and under my covers, let’s get back to the subject of spiders and lights. Artificial light may affect spiders in more ways than we once thought.
Based on a study about orb-web spiders and artificial light, the lighting affected how spiders matured, how many eggs female spiders produced, and resulted in fewer molts – along with other factors about how artificial light affects spiders, their behavior, and their physiology.
But that is just one study, so more research should be done to determine the true effects of artificial light and how it affects spiders of all kinds to be able to really understand how spiders are affected by artificial light.
Do Spiders Avoid Light?
Most spiders will avoid light and stay in the dark, undisturbed spaces of your house. They avoid the light because it can cause them to become disoriented and can also expose them to potential predators such as geckos and certain wasps when referring to outside light (unless you regularly have geckos and wasps in your house).
While you don’t likely have any of these predators in your house, they may well be lurking right outside your door. A porch light that attracts insects will also attract spiders.
In turn, this will attract the predators that prey on spiders. So basically, it is just the circle of life happening at your front and back door.
In most cases, if spiders are attracted to light, it is because other insects are attracted to light. In these cases, spiders will hang around light because their food source is present.
If insects are not attracted to a particular light, it is unlikely that spiders will be around that light.
What Color Light Do Spiders Hate?
Little research has been done to determine if spiders hate (avoid) a certain color light or not. Some spiders don’t care for blue lights much while others are attracted to green. Most spiders will avoid light unless they depend on a food source that is attracted to light.
Some spiders – such as wolf spiders – can only see ultraviolet and green light because they have dichromacy (color blindness).
Spiders with this type of eyesight tend to be attracted to green lights and avoid other colors. However – if you have green lights in your house – the upside is that insects aren’t attracted to these colored lights that are darker and dimmer.
Since insects aren’t attracted to darker and dimmer lights, you should see little to no spiders around those lights.
Even though certain spider species can be attracted to green light, bugs won’t be, so it is kind of a win if you look at it that way. It is best to keep lights dim when possible.
Since insects are attracted to brighter lights, get LEDs that can be changed to different colors and can be dimmed – and stay away from green-colored lights.
6 Tips to Repel Spiders Attracted to Light
- Use darker-colored light bulbs outside your home that won’t attract many insects
- Don’t use extremely bright light bulbs outdoors that attract insects
- Stay away from using lights that are green to avoid attracting certain spiders (indoors and outdoors)
- Get yellow light bulbs to attract fewer flying insects outside
- Close your curtains or turn off lights by the windows to avoid attracting insects to your windows
- Keep your doors closed and don’t let flying insects get inside if you have spiders attracted to light in your house
After reading this article, you should now know that spiders attracted to light are only attracted to light because their food source is attracted to them.
If you have spiders hanging around lights and building their webs, it doesn’t mean that you have a spider problem but you may have a flying insect problem.
Get rid of the insects and then you will get rid of the spiders since the spiders are just looking for their next meal.
To summarize, most spiders will avoid light unless necessary because they prefer darker, untouched places to hang out. Some spiders can be attracted to green lights in some instances depending on the species of the spiders.
If you want to keep spiders away, try one of the tips I listed above and see what works for you if you have spiders attracted to light around your house. Personally, I just keep my lights off when not in use or dim the ones that are LEDs (especially front and back porch lights).
I still tend to run into the occasional spider web when heading out of my door in the morning or at night. But there is only so much that can be done to avoid that.
Maybe if I paid better attention, I would stop running into spider webs when I head out my door.
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