How to keep bugs away from porch lights – natural remedies to use this summer

Wondering how to keep bugs away from porch lights? These organic tips are the secret to an insect-free space

how to keep bugs away from porch light
(Image credit: CQM Design + Interiors / J Holt Manning)

Knowing how to keep bugs away from porch lights is important at all points of the year, but none more so than in the summer months. 

Now that the season of sitting outside has arrived, it is natural to refresh your front porch ideas and ensure your exteriors are a therapeutic space where you can rest the day away. However, nothing interrupts the tranquility like bugs, and nothing attracts bugs like light. 

Thankfully, there are natural remedies that are effective in your fight against bugs on your porch – and they're entirely expert-approved. 

How to keep bugs away from porch light – 4 organic ways to keep the insect away 

Spring porch ideas with paper lanterns

(Image credit: Future)

From citronella candles to mouthwash, these are the most impactful home remedies you need to know about this season.  

1. Lavender plants

If you know how to keep wasps away from your porch, you may already know about the power of a plant in your struggle against insects. Therefore, it is unsurprising that choosing the right plant is effective against bugs too. 

Pest expert Jeff Neal from Critter Depot suggests knowing how to grow lavender is a great place to start. 'Our favorite bug repellent is a lavender plant,' he explains. Lavender is an effective solution as it emits a natural odor that is too strong for bugs (including mosquitos) to tolerate.

'We find that to be a much safer and healthier way to keep them away from lights and our patios,' the expert adds.

2. Citronella candles  

Citronella is renowned for its pest-prevention qualities – but choosing it in a candle form is a great way to similarly make your porch feel more atmospheric 'Citronella candles are a nice option for deterring bugs away momentarily if you're only sitting on their porch for a short period,' explains garden expert Tiffany Payne

Tiffany recommends arranging some citronella-scented candles beneath your porch light on a countertop or flat surface to keep bugs and mosquitos away. 

porch with doubled up lighting

(Image credit: Industville)

3. Basil essential oil 

Basil may be synonymous with your kitchen garden ideas, but the experts suggest bringing it onto your porch too. Only this time, in the form of oil. 

Tiffany suggests that basil, lavender, and rosemary oils are designed to mimic the aromas of their plant, meaning you can combine multiple types of protection into a single solution. She suggests combining the oil with water to make a bug-repellent remedy that you can spray around the edge of your space. This should allow you to keep pests away from your patio. 

4. Mouthwash 

Mouthwash is perhaps the most unconventional way to keep bugs away from your porch light – but that does not make it any less effective. 

'If you don't have any rubbing alcohol or fragrant oils on hand, an alcohol-based toothpaste can be used to keep bugs away from your porch,' Tiffany says. For this method, you should fill a spray bottle halfway with mouthwash before spraying the perimeter of the porch and all over your best outdoor furniture

'This can deter bugs and leave a pleasant odor, but due to the rapid loss of alcohol, reapplication may be required regularly,' she adds. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.