Have you ever been outdoors during the evening time and noticed all the bugs flying around the street or porch lights? A lot of bugs and moths are naturally drawn toward these lights; they are even attracted to a fire's flames.

Just why are bugs attracted to light, and how do they really enjoy the light? They appear to be mesmerized by light bulbs and other light sources, sometimes even bumping into it head-on.

It is still a mystery to scientists as to the reason why insects like moths and flies act in this manner. Yet, we have a few ideas which might shed some "light" on the subject.

Why Are Bugs and insects Attracted to Light?

Why Are Bugs and insects Attracted to Light

One of the most popular theories about why bugs are attracted to bright lights and flames is their reliance on them as a guide. It is often thought that sun, moonlight, and other natural light sources aid insects in navigating their paths. Ultimately, insects drawn to light are seeking food sources.

Thus, when an insect or a moth flies near your porch light, they view it as an aid to their navigational system. Sometimes, though, artificial lights can confuse the fly or moth, and they become confused, causing them to fly around it.

What is it about Artificial Lights that Attract Insects?

The flowers that a lot of moths eat contain nectar that also reflects the sun's ultraviolet light (UV). In addition, small UV levels of light are contained in a certain light, creating confusion for hungry insects. These light bulbs make insects often mistake it for a flower.

Another thing about artificial lights that attract flying insects is that they might be predators seeking a meal. They know the insects they are hunting or potential mates are also attracted to the light.

Bugs are Trying to Escape from their Predators

When insects are looking for a way to get away from predators, they are attracted to light. Seeing the light alerts them to a possible escape route from dangerous predators.

A good explanation for why insects attracted to light sources will be flying directly into the light and sometimes unwittingly crash into it.

Why Are Bugs Attracted to Light?

Several theories exist regarding what attracts insects to bright light. Science advises that phototaxis is the strange phenomenon that draws insects to the light.

One theory is an insect or animal that is phototactic will instinctively gravitate either to or from a light source. The theory states that when certain insects are swarming near porch lights, they are genuinely prototactic.

We can compare the way planets orbit the stars with how other insects and moths are attracted to light. A fact that's often been exploited by entomologists when they use light traps to gather specimens.

Why Does an Insect Continue Flying Around Artificial Light?

Why Does an Insect Continue Flying Around Artificial Light

There is another theory suggesting how positively phototactic insects use the light of the moon as a navigational aid.

Another reason bugs are drawn towards artificial lights is their genuine attraction. These results suggest artificial lights are only able to trap passing insects instead of attracting them from a distance.

Why Are Insects Drawn to an Artificial Light Source at Night?

What makes bugs behave the way they do when they fly around artificial lights like porch lights? It is a process other scientists refer to as positive phototaxis. They are drawn to man-made lights because they think it is the moon.

When a moth flies by moonlight, they can fly in basically a straight line because it provides the insect with an angle that is constant.

Many insects make their paths via natural light sources, like the Sun. However, our man-made porch lights and other artificial light sources trick bugs into thinking it is a natural source.

Why do Insects Fly Around Artificial Lights?

Scientists at Imperial College London have stated that bugs drawn to artificial lights are positive phototactic. However, when cockroaches scatter at the flick of a light turning on, this is known as negatively phototactic.

Bugs are temporarily blinded by the night, similar to us. Think about being in a room brightly lit up, and someone shuts off the lights.

Why are Bugs Attracted to the Ultraviolet Light in Light Bulbs?

Bugs are attracted to artificial light in the same way moths use it to guide their way through the night. A theory referred to as transverse orientation. Because moths are mostly nocturnal, they are trained to travel by the light of the moon.

An insect can see three types of UV lighting--ultraviolet, green, and blue. The only natural UV lighting comes from the sky and the Sun. The petals of a flower reflect this UV light.

Certain electrical units around our homes also input a small amount of UV light. Bug zappers use the glow of UV light to make it appear like the moon.

How to Reduce Bugs Attraction to Ultraviolet Light in Light Bulbs

How to Reduce Bugs Attraction to Ultraviolet Light in Light Bulbs

Many homeowners opt to change out their outdoor light and porch light bulbs to decrease insects flying about. Using LED bulbs or a warmer color typically works at reducing the number of insects flying outside.

Call the Professionals to Get Rid of Bugs in the Light

When you are enjoying a warm summer evening with friends, you don't want the insects drawn to the light to form a disturbance. In addition, bugs drawn to outdoor lights may make their way indoors via the windows and doors, causing another issue.

Contact A.N.T. Pest Control today by calling 815-215-7211. We are the pest control experts who will get rid of bugs better than any bug zapper.

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New Lenox, IL 60451


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