Today’s camp lighting almost always uses LED lights. They are a really efficient way to create a lot of light and use minimal energy. Everything from camp lanterns to strip lighting on canopies to the lights in your camper, if you’ve purchased it in the last 5 years, you can bet it has an LED light.
You may have also heard from camping friends or others that LED lights attracted more spiders to their camping spot. So, it’s fair to wonder if there is a relationship between LED lights and more spiders.
Perhaps it’s the color of the light, or the particular wavelength of LED lights that draw spiders to your camp. Whatever the reason, most of us really don’t want more spiders hanging out with us by the campfire.
We decided to take a look at this question and figure out the reason that campers who have LED lights seem to have more spiders hanging around their camp. And what you can do to minimize the number of spiders in your area when camping.
Does LED light attract spiders?
The answer to this question is yes, and at the same time, no.
You may notice more spiders hanging around your camp when you use LED lights, but spiders aren’t really attracted to light. As a matter of fact, many spider species prefer the dark.
So, why are they there? Because your LED lights attract insects that prefer well-lit places. Spiders are predators and they will go to the places where food is easy to catch.
Your LED light is like a buffet for spiders.
While it may seem like spiders are attracted to the glow of your LED camp lantern, the reality is what you’re seeing is the food chain at work. Hungry spiders are on the hunt for an easy meal, which just happens to be hanging out around your LED camp lantern.
What light color attract spiders the most?
Lighting color may play a role in attracting spiders and insects to your camp. Here’s what the helpful researchers at the University of Cincinnati have learned about spiders, insects, and light color.
First, spiders don’t see terribly well in color, you could say they are color-blind. Like the insects that they hunt, spiders tend to see colors that are closer to the UV end of the light spectrum.
So, if your LED camp lights have shades of green, blue and violet you will notice more insects and more spiders.
Green shades seem to create the greatest reaction from spiders, giving rise to the theory that spiders can see objects that are green better than other colors. While many of our LED camp lights aren’t green, objects close to your LED camp lamp that are green may be easier for spiders to see and move toward.
Insects that spiders feed on, are attracted more to blue or white light. But it really isn’t the light that they are attracted to. Most insects you’ll see at night are using the light to navigate.
And because they aren’t too smart, many insects associate white light with warmth. So, the blueish-white hue of most standard LED bulbs are a beacon for insects, and a dinner bell for spiders.
What light colors keep spiders away?
If you are specifically interested in getting rid of spiders from your campsite, the best thing you can do is invest in green LED lights for your camp lanterns or at least for some of them.
Spiders don’t really care about light color, but their prey does. Insects like moths, mosquitos and flies cannot see green light and are generally not drawn to green light. It is also important to remember that most spider species don’t like light.
Even if your camp lights are green, if there isn’t food, you probably won’t notice more spiders at your camp.
If you’re adamant about spiders, you can always use blue lights in your camp lanterns. Spiders seem to be repelled by the color blue, so blue lights may deter spiders from your campsite.
However, remember insects like blue, so you may end up with a lot of annoying bugs flying around your peaceful camping spot.
What to do about spiders and LED lights?
There really isn’t an easy answer about what to do about spiders and your LED lights. You want light at your campsite, and most camp lanterns and battery powered strip lighting use LED lights.
We would certainly suggest starting by changing the color of your lights if you can. Some LED lights are color changing, so you can pick from a variety of colors. Remember, green or blue are your best options. All though warmer shades of white light may be good too.
If you’re not up for changing out your LED light colors, you may take comfort in knowing that what spiders really like are bugs, and LED lights don’t put off the heat that draws many insects to lights. This on its own may reduce the number of spiders you see around your camp.
We love our LED lights, and we tried changing the colors, but green and blue lights really don’t make enough light for us to cook in the dark, so we’ve often taken to using a citronella spray around camp to keep away insects and spiders. It’s the same chemical used in citronella candles, but without the flame. It seems to work well, and we don’t have to give up our bright LED lights.
The reality with LED lights, camping and spiders is that if there’s light there will be insects. And where there are insects there will be spiders. That’s just nature.
If you can change the color of your LED lights, you may get some relief from spiders, but you may find your camp with a lot less light than you may need or want.
So, there are trade-offs to be made, and you’ll need to experiment with your LED lighting to find the color and brightness solution that works best for your camping and spider repelling needs.
At the end of the day, it is important to remember that when you camp, you are sharing space with creatures great and small, and you may need to be OK with a spider here and there.
If you can, move spiders away from your camp with a cup or other object, so they can continue to do their job of keeping insect populations in check.