The role that color plays in the animal and insect kingdoms has been studied for thousands of years.
Although we cannot see through their eyes, the behavior of animals and insects from around the world is one of many ways that scientists can determine how different species respond to colors. We know, for instance, that when a bull reacts to a cape it is not the color the animal is attracted to but, rather, the movement of the material.
Various animals and insects do use color to their advantage, however. Camouflage helps some species remain hidden from would-be predators; whereas, for others, bright colors are exploited as a defense mechanism or means of attracting a suitable mate. Any species that can process colors will likely recognize objects that may provide food or habitat, which can cause issues when human dwellings are adorned in desirable colors.
If, after painting your exteriors, you have noticed a significant uptick in birds, bugs and other pests invading your property, the color scheme you opted for could provide clues as to the problem. By choosing certain colors to decorate your exterior walls and structures, you may have inadvertently placed an “all welcome” sign that can be seen for miles.
You can use deterrents to ward off these unwelcome visitors; however, such products may use harmful chemicals or simply will not work as well as advertised. A more permanent solution would involve removing the incentive for pests to visit your property in the first place.
It is well understood that most bird species are heavily reliant on their eyesight, which includes the ability to recognize certain colors. This ability helps our feathered friends to recognize potential mates and hunt for food over great distances. Bright colors are particularly attractive to many common bird species as they signal the strong likelihood of finding a mate or rich food sources.
Common birds such as doves and other ground feeders are also attracted to darker colors such as deep grays, browns, and greens. These colors provide natural camouflage and reduce the risk of being spotted by predators while the birds forage low to the ground.
However, the vast majority of birds want nothing to do with the color white. It represents neither food nor safety, which is why painting with white is a great color choice if you want to keep birds at a distance.
A Bug’s Life
Bugs process color entirely differently than birds, so you will have to adapt your approach to painting your exteriors. It is important to remember that insects and arachnids have a wide array of visual capabilities from species to species. Any colors that a bug sees are processed in the UV spectrum.
The main attraction of color to bugs is the association with a food source. White, orange and yellow are the colors bugs see as providing a potential meal. It doesn’t matter that they are in for a disappointment when they reach your brightly colored decking, they will keep coming back regardless.
Green and blue, on the other hand, are not colors that most bugs can see well. By using these colors around for the areas of your property that you have designated as outdoor living areas, you will have a more bug-free experience.
Mosquitoes are a breed unto themselves, which is why you will need to take specific steps to keep these bloodsuckers from ruining your day. They are not interested in bright and shiny things, unlike many of their bug brothers and sisters.
The mosquito is a creature that prefers the dark end of the color spectrum. If you have even been outside with a friend and only one of you is being targeted by mosquitoes, in all likelihood that person is wearing darker clothing. To battle, the scourge of mosquitoes, use whites and yellows as a passive form of repellant.
Your greatest defense against pests is understanding the usual suspects in the areas where you live. Getting the color scheme just right for your home will make all the difference. Birds and bugs are not targeting you, specifically; they are attracted by colors and features on your property. Learn to make those features work in your favor and your time spent outside will become much more pleasurable.
The Painting Company
The Painting Company has a proven track record of helping homeowners and businesses complete both attractive and practical painting projects in Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada. We understand the impact color has on local ecosystems. With our team of professionals, you can achieve a color scheme that works for your needs.