Why Are Bugs Attracted To Light? – Bugs and moths led the moon to stay upright, fly straight, and keep focused. The moths and other bugs will be around when there is bright light and fly directly into it.
You’ve certainly heard the phrase “drawn to a flame-like a moth,” and understood immediately what it means. Obviously, this phrase denotes the habit of moths and most other bugs flying to any light source.
If on a warm summer night you’ve ever sat near a bug-zapper, you’ve undoubtedly heard a couple of dozen bugs fry themselves, and if you leave a window open at night, you will wake up in the morning with some new insect friends!
Why are insects attracted to light?
While it may seem like the vast majority of bugs are slightly suicidal, there are actually a number of scientific theories to explain this strange habit due to their fondness for the light source.
Phototaxis is a term you may not be familiar with, but it’s the strong Phototaxis from light sources influence because you’re attracted to light.
Insects have developed in some incredible ways for hundreds of millions of years including the way they live. Insects often use natural light sources at night to navigate the world, such as the moon and stars.
For instance, moths follow the moon to fly straight and stay oriented. The moth, of course, will never reach the moon but artificial light sources are not the same.
Therefore moths and other bugs are fooled when the back porch light is on, and fly directly to it .
Phototaxis is not a universal adaptation, and yet it seems that most bugs are drawn by light, so over the years, there have been a few other explanations. Nighttime meant darkness before artificial lights, which helped insects know when to rest and when to “work.”
However, artificial lights can confuse insects into thinking its daytime, and since light allows insects to avoid obstacles and hunt, they are looking for the light source, not knowing it’s going to be the last thing they’re doing.
Does this only apply to artificial lights?
The reason that there is still a definitive explanation for this insect behavior is that the tendency doesn’t make quite a sense. One of the best pieces of natural selection, for example, is that it makes animals wiser and fitter for life.
These artificial light sources have been around for thousands of years, and they spell death for insects almost always. Evolution does happen at a very slow pace. But such a universally deadly trend appears to change faster as smarter insects avoid lights, survive, and pass their “wisdom” on to their offspring.
There are numerous arguments on all sides, so the suicidal obsession with light by insects currently remains a mystery. Who knows, maybe in a few thousand years, insects will be able to tell the difference between the artificial light and the stars in the sky. But the bugs will probably remain quite busy until then!
Why do insects continue to flying around lights?
You would think an artificial light source attracts to a bug . Then it would realize its mistake at a certain point and move on. Bugs especially moths, however, suffer from a temporary night-blindness just as people do.
Think about what happens when you are standing in a brightly lit room and when your eyes adjust to the darkness, then someone suddenly turns all the lights, you will experience a moment of confusion and total blindness.
A moth’s eyes have light sensors identical to the eyes of a human being, in insects the sensor is “ommatidium,” but unlike humans, it actually takes the moth’s eyes even longer to adapt to the darkness.
And, as a moth swoops over the campfire or around a light bulb, the bright frightens , but at the same time, the moth doesn’t want to fly into the darkness because it’ll be invisible to predators or other threats for up to half an hour.
What types of lights attract insects?
Although it’s not the same for all species, those are usually UV light and white light. That’s why hundreds of bugs go around the bright white fluorescent lights but only a few are going to come into a campfire.
Use yellow or red bug signs, if you want to keep the bugs away at night. Such lamps will still attract a few flies, but not almost as many as white lights will.
In fact, this is one explanation why bugs would operate the white and UV light that the system emits that attract mosquitoes and then zap them.
Bug zappers attract a lot of phototactic insects, but just a couple of mosquitoes. While light would attract mosquitoeseven more than food sources!
If you want an enjoyable evening without the mosquitoes, try using outdoor yellow mosquito lamps. Better still; enjoy your evening clearly by the Moon’s glow. You can always use one of the natural repellents to keep you away from the biting ones.
They use light for navigation
Another popular theory of attraction to light is that insects use it as a navigational aid. For example, an insect traveling north will determine its path by having a natural source of light on its rights, such as the sun or the moon. This method works well, as long as the light source remains constant and at a limit.
But, if an insect sees a round incandescent porch light, the light source will confuse it. It illustrates a moth’s unusual behavior constantly around a light source that naturally wants to keep the light on one side of its body when walking down its path.
They use light for safety
A bright light source may be a sign of emergencies for some species. Such species, if in question, automatically migrate for light sources.
For some animals, illumination serves as a common warning signal; just as for some aquatic species, air bubbles pave the way to the surface of the sea.
1.What bugs attracted to light?
Negative Phototaxis is light source would repel few insects. For instance,cockroaches or earthworms don’t move towards light exposure. Moths, bees, and many other flying insects have natural attraction to beneficial phototaxis.
2.Do light or heat attract night insects?
light don’t attract ceratin insects, and many insects fly towards light bulbs . Many flying insects come towards light bulbs at night, as they give off energy.
3.How do you get rid of insects attracted to light?
Switch off whatever lights you don’t use. The heat and light which porch lights give off are like a homing beacon for bugs, which means the easiest way to thin their ranks, is to leave them in the dark.
4.Does light attract all the bugs?
Although it’s not the same for all insects, those lights are usually UV light and white light. That’s why hundreds of bugs are going to swarm around your bright white fluorescent lights but only a few are going to come into a campfire.
5.What color light attracts the most bugs?
Insects typically display three light colors, Ultraviolet (UV), blue and green. The most attractive to insects are bright white or bluish lights (mercury vapor, white incandescent and white fluorescent). For most insects, yellowish, pinkish, or orange sodium vapor, halogen, dichroic yellow are the least attractive.