How to Keep Moths Away from Outdoor Lights

Written by Davel Construction On September 4, 2020
Outdoor table at night with lights

When you’re heading out to enjoy your landscaping in the evening, the last thing you want is to deal with moths around your door. Once you’re sitting out in your yard, you may also be bothered by the hordes of moths attracted to your lighting. Thankfully, there are things you can do to keep moths away from your outdoor lights. 

Why Are Moths Attracted to Outdoor Lights? 

In order to prevent moths, you have to understand why they are attracted to the light in the first place. Moths evolved to use the light of the moon to navigate at night. Their eyes pick up the light from the moon, and they use that light to determine where they are, and where they should go.

Moths do not know how to adjust to our artificial lights. They often confuse them for the moon and spend their precious time circling our lights instead of eating or laying eggs. That means that making your outdoor lights less attractive to moths is as important for the moth population and your local environment, as it is important to your comfort. 

Change Outdoor Light Colour 

The best thing to do to keep moths away from outdoor lights is to make the lights themselves less attractive. Old incandescent lights are among the worst to attract moths. However, LEDs that give off warm hues, like yellow, are the best for preventing moths. These lights are the least like the moon from the moth’s perspective. Plus, research has demonstrated that warm LEDs are better than lightbulbs marketed to dissuade moths. 

Treat for Harmful Moths

While we ideally want to be as kind to moths as possible, some species will actively destroy the environment. If you’re plagued by these moths, then it can be helpful to apply chemical treatments to kill the moths. In Ontario, you might have these species of harmful moths: 

  • Gypsy moths: These moths can completely strip trees of their leaves. 
  • Forest tent caterpillars: These harmful caterpillars turn into moths. 

One option for the Gypsy moth, the more aggressive moth, is Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki. This treatment, called BTK, kills the moths but doesn’t harm people, pets, or even other insects. If you’re looking for a non-chemical option, you can provide burlap for moths, ideally near to the trees they are preying on. They will land on the burlap and then you can destroy it. 

Outdoor lights at night in plants


If you want to reduce the population of moths on your property for a short while, you can also set up traps beneath the lights the moths are attracted to. Put a shallow dish of water below the light. The reflection will draw moths into the water, where they will drown. 

Your relaxing night outside can easily be ruined if moths take over your yard. Follow these tips and tricks to dissuade moths from your outdoor lights. Trust the experts at Davel Construction to set up your outdoor lighting in a moth-resistant way.