Have you ever wondered what it is that makes bugs attracted to light? While insects may not be able to tell you the answer to this question, it is something that you can find out for yourself if you are willing to look into this aspect of pest control. The reason why they are drawn to certain things is due in part to their biological makeup. Their bodies are made up of protein and their brains contain neurons that use light as a means of communication. As with all other forms of communication the light is in the form of a message.
Theory 6: Moth Food Although it is not always the case, some people believe that light makes certain flying insects stay away from certain foods. It has been postulated that because certain foods are digested faster when they are exposed to light, the flying insects avoid light and therefore stay away from these foods. However, scientists have found that while this is true on certain foods it is not necessarily true for all foods. They found that caterpillars are not affected by light at all. So why are bugs attracted to light then?
The reason why are bugs attracted to light is primarily phototaxis. Phototaxis is the process of creating motion using light. The word phototaxis comes from the Greek words phonotaxis meaning “light” and berates meaning “wing”. This means that the movement of an insect begins when it “flies through” its phototaxis (its phototactic nervous system).
There is a close relationship between moths and phototaxis. When there is no sun to charge their wings and no place to rest they tend to either fly in a circular pattern (males) or move around in a hyperbola (females). They can only move so quickly though (about 30 miles per hour). Because of this they usually fly during the day or at night, where the sunlight is most intense. Many people believe that the circular movement of the average moth is caused by the source of light.
Phototaxis also helps explain the relation between light and moths. The average insect only consumes about half of the energy absorbed by the sun. This means that they are better off with less light, so they “phototax” (borrow energy from the environment to absorb photons from the sun). The larvae in particular can survive without phototactic (or artificial) light for quite some time. So why are bugs attracted to light in the first place then?
Insects can’t see very well and their vision can be somewhat limited. While most of their bodies can be protected by feathers, it’s the eyes that are exposed to light, which can cause them problems. When you look into the eyes of a moth or an adult insect, you’ll notice that the iris (the colored part at the end of the eye) is colored white rather than black or brown. This is called “phototaxis” and it’s what triggers the flight response in insects.
In order to understand why are bugs attracted to light, we need to know a little bit about insects. Some insects, such as some species of mosquitoes, don’t have any color at all and instead exist strictly in the dark because it’s their only way to escape from predators. Others, like certain species of ladybirds, are brightly colored and tend to fly during the day when it’s more likely that their predators will be unable to see them. We call these “light sensitive” insects “flies”.
As you can probably surmise “phototaxis” isn’t the only reason why bugs are attracted to light. It’s a great example of how our knowledge about the world around us can sometimes conflict with what animals in the environment are naturally attracted to. While it’s true that many animals actively seek out a light source to signal they’re happy or seeking a new food source, there’s no evidence that they are using “phototaxis” to do it. In fact, studies show that it can even be dangerous for animals that don’t actively hunt for light to get hit by one. That’s why it’s important to remember that nocturnal insects aren’t the only creatures that can get hit by Phototaxis-it just makes the explanation much easier for them.