As the winter weather starts to fade into the background and the spring temperatures are rising you may be enjoying spending more time outside. Spring time weather is perfect for hiking, camping, going to the park, riding bikes, and more. If you have a patio you are probably also spending time visiting with your family on your patio. You may soon notice that bugs run away from light while others are attracted to the light. Why is this?
Are Bugs Attracted to Light or Afraid Of It?
There are a few theories about why some bugs like the light and others run quickly away from it. All scientists agree that it is because of phototaxis. An organism’s response to light with motion is known as phototaxis. Bugs that move towards light sources are positively phototactic organisms. If bugs move away from the light they are negatively phototactic organisms. What makes organisms positive or negative phototactic? This is where scientists have not come to a complete agreement. A Five Star Termite & Pest Control wants to explore some of the existing theories with you today.
Does Light Guide Insects Home?
The first theory has to do with the organisms’ navigation and migration. Some scientists believe that some flying insects use the moon and stars to guide their internal navigation systems. One example is the monarch butterflies. It is hypothesized that when these insects see the lights in your home that the light is guiding them home. They will then get confused by the artificial lights and begin to fly in circles.
Do Bugs Go Toward Light for Safety?
Other scientists believe that bugs are simply trying to escape danger by coming to or away from the light. Cockroaches are an example of insects that run away from the light. They believe that when the lights come on they will be in danger so they scurry to find a dark corner again. Other insects think that light will keep them safe from danger and they will go towards to light to get away from a danger that might be following them.
Do Bugs Go Towards Light Looking for Food?
Another theory is that bugs come to the light looking for food. Moths are an example of this. Moths get their food from flowers that reflect ultraviolet light. If you have a lightbulb that emits ultraviolet light moths will think that if they follow it they will be able to find food if they follow the light. This is why moths frequently will swarm around the lights on your porch.
Do Insects Go to Light Looking to Mate?
Similarly to the above theory other scientists believe that they come to the light looking for another bug to mate with. Again moths are a perfect example of this. When female moths are trying to attract males their pheromones emit a small amount of light. So male moths will come towards the light in your home thinking that they are coming to meet a new mate. They are disappointed when they only find a light bulb.
Can Bugs Go Blind from Light?
One theory is that the light affects their eyesight. When you have the light on in your home and turn off the light it is hard for your eyes to adjust. This happens to bugs as well. When they fly away from the light they have a hard time seeing so sometimes they come back.
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Hopefully reading this will give you a little more understanding of why bugs are either attracted or not attracted to the light in your home. A Five Star Termite & Pest Control can meet all your pest control needs. Call us to schedule an inspection today.