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Can the colour of walls really keep away insects?

Ever heard the ‘myth’ that the paint colour of your home could be attracting or repelling pests? Yep, bet you never kept the likes and dislikes of local insects in mind when picking a paint colour. So we did a bit of investigating and, turns out, it’s not a myth.

Well, not entirely anyway.

In the world of pest control, colour actually plays quite a big part. You can find a range of online sources offering tips and advice on what colour you should and shouldn’t wear to keep pests away.

Here’s what you need to know when it comes to home decor:

The truth behind the myth

It’s a well-known fact that certain colours attract certain insects. So it stands to reason that some colours can be used to repel them as well. There isn’t currently much evidence to support this theory. Some say that insects will simply ignore a colour they don’t like, rather than being actively repelled by it.

Interestingly, many trap manufacturers use specific colours in their product design to influence insect behaviour.

Goodbye wasps, and hello blue.

Blue might do the trick

Many homeowners seem to buy into the theory that blue is the colour that most effectively repels insects, specifically wasps. This is evidenced in the number of blue porches there are out there, as home owners attempt to discourage wasps from settling in and building nests in their entryways.

While there is no evidence that blue is actively turning wasps off, it may be that the colour simply isn’t attractive to them.

Do moths really hate yellow bulbs? Apparently so. (Image credit: pickwriters.com)

Hello, yellow

We’re all well aware just how much moths love light bulbs. Turns out, they love yellow light bulbs a little less. Some owners, fed up with moths crowding their lights and lamps, are buying yellow light bulbs and finding that they attract fewer insects. We’re not entirely sure whether there’s any concrete evidence to support this, but hey, it’s worth a shot right?

The same works for house flies

Sick of these incessant house flies crowding around your grub? Research by the Proceedings of the Royal Society reported that objects with green-yellow reflectivity repel flies. A study by the research team at the University of Florida showed similar results, so there could be a case for this. Consider investing in a yellow tablecloth or painting parts of your kitchen a sunny yellow.

Chefchaouen in Northern Morocco repel mosquitoes in style.

Painting the town blue

To get a better idea of whether this could be true, plan a visit to Chefchaouen. This small town in northern Morocco has embraced the theory that blue repels mosquitoes and has painted their entire Old Town area in shades of vivid blue. Although the blue takeover was started by Jewish refugees in 1930 who believed the colour was symbolic of heaven, many residents now believe that their blue walls are effectively repelling mosquitoes as mosquitoes tend to avoid blue water.

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Whatever their motivation - if it works, it works, right?

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