Are Spiders Attracted to Light?

Spiders do not generally pose a risk to our health, however, these eight-legged insects are still seen as a threat by many people. Unlike bugs, the presence of light can confuse spiders and it can even make them lose their sense of direction.

In this article, we will take a deep look at how the presence of light influences spiders and whether house spiders are attracted to light or the dark. 

So, let’s get straight to the point: are spiders attracted to light? 

Most common house spiders are not attracted to light. In fact, in most cases light will disorient their natural sense of direction. However, certain species, particularly nocturnal spiders, will be attracted to bright light sources. In other cases, spiders might be attracted to bugs caught up in lighting fixtures.

If you would like to learn more about what types of spiders are attracted to light, read on.

spider attracted to light

What types of spiders are attracted to light?

It is important to understand that there are many types of spiders and that different species respond differently to light. To put it simply, there are two major types of house spiders: 

  • Diurnal Spiders: these spiders are active during the day and they usually use ultraviolet rays from the sun to produce silk. This silk is key to protecting them and trapping their prey. These spiders are not attracted to light sources.
  • Nocturnal Spiders: these spiders are usually only active at night to avoid predators that are active during the day. They can sometimes use light to navigate at night and find prey.

So, nocturnal spiders are the only type of spiders that are attracted to light. However, this is not the same kind of lighting attraction experienced by bugs. Bugs have a natural attraction towards lighting sources, whereas spiders only use light as a travel guide and to find their prey. 

nocturnal spider and lights in the background

Spiders with poor vision often use the light from the moon and the stars as points of reference until they find prey or until they finally decide to rest before continuing with their journey. So, lighting can be key for spiders to avoid getting lost.

Are spiders more attracted to the light or the dark?

Many people have the misconception that spiders are attracted to light in houses and gardens. However, in most cases, they are not attracted to the light itself but they only use light sources for guidance or their hunting techniques.

Spiders are not necessarily attracted to either light or dark. Most spiders have poor vision and therefore they rely on other senses to navigate and find prey.

Both the dark and light can have benefits for spiders. Dark, hidden places can be inviting to spiders hiding away from their predators. On the other hand, light sources are crucial to guide nocturnal spiders with poor vision.

Therefore, if you want to get rid of spiders in your house, it is more important to consider their prey, especially bugs, over light sources.

spider web in the dark

Do LED lights attract spiders?

Spiders are not attracted directly to LED lights but they will be attracted to the bugs flying around the light bulbs. If you live in an urban area, nocturnal spiders will likely use LED light sources to attract and hunt prey.

Outdoor lights like LED string lights and floodlights can therefore attract hungry spiders who are looking for bugs, such as moths, flies and mosquitoes. 

If you want to avoid inviting spiders to your garden and house, you need to use lights that will attract a smaller amount of bugs.

Since bugs are less attracted to LED lights with warmer colours, you should opt for a warm yellow-orange LED light bulb. Solar-powered warm white fairy lights are a great self-sustainable option to deter bugs and spiders.

You should avoid using incandescent bulbs, CFL lighting or halogen lights as these lights are more likely to attract bugs, which will in turn attract spiders.

bugs attracted to light source

How to Keep Spiders Out of Your House

Now that you are aware of the types of spiders attracted to light and you know what lights invite spiders, see below the 5 different steps to spider-proof your home:

Pour white vinegar into the surroundings of your house

Spiders are extremely sensitive to the smell of white vinegar. This unpleasant aroma can affect the spiders’ natural senses and therefore it will keep spiders away from your home. You can pour white vinegar all around your property or garden to deter spiders.

Use an indoor mint plant

Mint leaves have a strong smell that is very unpleasant for spiders. If you want to spider-proof your home, you can get a mint plant and place it somewhere near places you often see spiders. You can also use mint leaves from the supermarket and place them in specific corners of your house for the same effect.

Avoid having your windows open at night

You should always close your windows and doors at night time to keep spiders away from your house. This is even more important if you usually have indoor lights on at night because this will attract bugs, which in turn will invite spiders.

Clean your house frequently

Cleaning your house frequently will keep insects away from your house and garden. Dirty places attract bugs and, in return, attract spiders. Even the few spiders that are attracted to light will not come to your house if they have nothing to hunt.

Use outdoor LED lights

If you use outdoor lights in your property surroundings, you need to be very careful about the types of bulbs you use. This is because certain bulbs attract more insects than others. If you have the option, you should opt for warm-colored LED light bulbs because these lights attract fewer insects, which means they will help to keep spiders out of your house.

Learn more

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