What's the best bug-light?

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I just put in a couple of pale-yellow plastic encased CF bulbs (bug lights, supposedly) outside on my deck, and there are piles of bugs flying all around them. Not as bad as a daylight bulb, but still, they're crap. Are there any that really work?
Thanks!
Dean
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Uhm... bug lights are supposed to ATTRACT bugs. You put them out away from where you want to be. At least that's how all the ones I've seen work.
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That's a bug zapper. A bug light is a yellow light of some kind that insects can't see (supposedly, they can only see UV and blue, which is filtered out).
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That's theory, as you've discovered, it isn't all that effective of one...
I'm unaware of any that emit any usable visible light that don't also attract at least some -- as in enough as to not be of much value as compared to an ordinary incadescent bulb. I suspect the only thing that would be effective would be so far to one end of the spectrum or the other that it wouldn't produce enough light that humans could see in it either. After all, the insects fly around during the daylight hours in the same light we wander around in -- would be somewhat surprising if what light sensitivity they have weren't in similar response frequencies...
--


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It wouldn't be surprising. In fact all of us** assumed it was the case until we heard about bug lights. But it wouldn't be necessary either.
**Didn't we? Once we found out other animals had eyes, didn't we assume they were just like our eyes? Dogs have ears but they can hear dog whistles.
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The point was that the yellow bug light isn't very effective if the plan is to have a light that doesn't attract bugs so something is attracting them -- maybe they hear the filament, I don't know. What I was driving at was that by the time one shifted the spectrum to whatever is the most effective if it isn't something in our range the light might be effective at not attracting them, but it won't help you see, very effectively it at all, either...
--


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To be fair, I did read in multiple school books that bees can't see anything but blue and UV. But then they are not mosquitos, and it was only a school book.
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I recall that too, now that reminded..I don't know where they found the bee that had learned names for colors and could either write them down for us or tell us, but... :)
I was thinking the question had more to do w/ the nuisance moths and that sort of thing than 'skeeters which aren't that light-attracted anyway, from what I've read. They're mostly scent-/temperature-driven iiuc.
My ploy is to keep a couple of the UV bug-zappers running 24/7, one fairly close to the front porch to draw as much away as possible. These make a very noticeable reduction in the nuisance bugs but aren't particularly helpful for mosquitos, either. I spray the barns/lots regularly for flies anyway, so when have load of malathion ready, will do the grass in the yard then if they're being a problem. That pretty much knocks 'em down for quite a while. For the entrance light we have a 2nd-story-mounted flood so it's far enough away that what it attracts isn't a direct nuisance and that provides enough light to find one's way from the garage to the door and so rarely try to use the direct porch light at the front door during warm weather.
Don't know if any of those ideas/remedies are of any use or not, but consider the cost... :)
--


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And CO2.(your breath)

I hear that the bug zappers with the propane burner to generate CO2 work very well,but you situate them AWAY from where you want bug-free.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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Jim Yanik wrote:

...
Not from what I've read -- all the tests I've seen showed essentially no preferential kill rate w/ CO2 as opposed to w/o ...
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Actually, I got to thinking that had been a while since I last looked so thought I'd recheck..
As before the U of Md 2001 test was what I remembered -- "useful for catching surveillance specimens but claims for control of manufacturer could not be corroborated". Some more recent results w/ newer devices seem somewhat more positive but even one of the manufacturer's own claims notes "Some protection extends up to 20 feet from the unit. Protection is greatest within 7.31 feet from the unit..." That's a pretty small area unless one has a very tiny area or simply wants an area around a patio alone covered. (I like the "7.31" precision, too... :) )
So, I guess I'll say they may have their uses, but I still think the claims are far overblown as compared to the actual effectiveness, particularly on large areas such as I have and also with our very windy conditions.
--


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The military; as I understand, has worked for years on methods to kill "skeeters" The device emits *something* (gases (?) I can't really say for lack of information. We do get things like GPS from the developed technology. Maybe even QVC taunted this bug killer?
-- Oren
..through the use of electrical or duct tape, achieve the configuration in the photo..
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<EDIT for space>

There was one spring/early-summer when I deployed a homebrew bugzapper where I tried a few various lights and found what worked best to draw bugs into the zapper, and *later that summer* the consequences!
I found that a regular "blue" fluorescent worked better than any blacklight. "Blue" also worked better than "cool white", "daylight", and incandescent of 3 times the wattage of the fluorescent. Fluorescents I also found to work better if fed smooth filtered DC (in my experience so far required a combination resistor and inductor ballast to both work in any stable way and to start easily) than with 60 Hz AC - apparently a significant percentage of bugs see them flickering and/or changing color 120 times a second!
So, I run my homebrew bugzapper with a 20 watt "regular blue" fluorescent running from steady DC through the early part of "bug season", and it appears to me that I make my block run low on nighttime flying insects in general, especially leafhoppers.
I think great!
So what happens in midsummer? The bat population that usually flies over my block appears to find my block low on food, and apparently retreats half a block or so southeastward towards an adjacent park.
My block's mosquito population, apparently in response to this, makes that summer on the bad side as far as mosquitoes are concerned. Keep in mind that mosquitoes are not as light-attracted as a lot of other night-flying insects are!
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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On Jun 5, 10:46 pm, snipped-for-privacy@manx.misty.com (Don Klipstein) wrote:

...
...
...
We're too dry here for a bat population -- our substitute is the barn swallow and I can't see any effect on their numbers.
I run two "standard issue" bug zappers w/ the u-tube flurorescents made for the purpose -- one 40W, the other 80. I leave them on 24/7 from "first bug that bugs" 'til first frost. There is no shortage of critters for them to attract although they do make a discernible difference around the house...
Mosquitos are killed only by happenstance by them, of course. For the most part, however, can keep them under control fairly well -- again, being dry helps except for where the yard/garden/etc are irrigated and some problems around the lots where cattle waterers, etc., are provide some breeding grounds that can't be totally eliminated but can be minimized/controlled.
Whatever one does, 'tis a never-ending battle... :(
--
--


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<EDIT for space>

IIRC, the specific insects that I read as having 4 distinct color receptors (UV, blue, blue-green, and yellow that I think could be yellow-green) were bees.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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On Mon, 04 Jun 2007 04:35:52 +0000, dean wrote:

Not really.
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I think it takes a more amber deeper yellow to really cut the attractiveness to flying insects. They see blue-green/green-blue well and appear to me to be attracted to that, most light yellow plastic lets that through, and compact fluorescents have spectral content there. Some yellow plastic passes more UV and/or more deep blue or violet than one suspects.
Along these lines, I think low pressure sodium should work well. Problem is, its spectrum is monochromatic, and things look an orange-yellow version of black-and-white with most colored objects appearing dark.
If you have an enclosed fixture with glass panes and you have time and are handy with this sort of thing, try replacing the glass panes with yellow acrylic such as yellow "lucite" or "plexiglas". Or someone who is handy with acrylic can build you a yellow enclosure.
For more extreme reduction of insect attractiveness, try orange acrylic instead of yellow.
Insects also see yellow light but supposedly do not well see red light. They have four color vision receptors - UV, blue, blue-green and yellow (or yellow-green-peaking maybe). I suspect the theory is that having light not doing much stimulation of the three shorter wavelength ones makes the light less attractive to most light-attracted flying insects.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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On Jun 4, 3:59 pm, snipped-for-privacy@manx.misty.com (Don Klipstein) wrote:

I'll try the LPS light - I have one that I can plug in and test. Will report back anon.
Also I've seen CF's that have a yellow pigment and actually emit yellow light, rather than a white CF inside a yellow cover or glass. I suspect they will do a better job but I dunno if they emit in the blue/ green at all.
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wrote:

I happen to subscribe to the notion of using yellow bulbs for bugs.
A bulb with a *dense* yellow pigment (inside) is what I use. They cost out the wallet :(
In Las Vegas nuisance bugs are attracted to the Strip and eaten by thousands of bats living at the airport structures.
-- Oren
..through the use of electrical or duct tape, achieve the configuration in the photo..
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On Mon, 04 Jun 2007 17:02:10 -0700, Oren wrote:

So he should buy some bats.
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