Why Do Bugs Go To A Light At Night

You may notice that your outdoor light is swarmed with bugs when you sit outside at night. Certain species of bugs are attracted to night lights for several reasons. However, there are also plenty of bugs repelled by lighting at night that you’ll have difficulty finding.

Please continue reading to learn why bugs go to light at night and wish species are prone to this behavior. Our guide will tell you everything you need to know about how insects interact with lights at night.

Night Lights Confuse Bugs

One of the main reasons you see so many bugs attracted to lights during the nighttime is because the lights confuse their internal navigation system. Bugs function from natural light to help them determine where they need to go at any given time. These bugs get confused when you have a light outside at night because their senses are not programmed to accommodate this disturbance.

The bugs attracted to these lights at night often have a low survival rate because they are illuminated by their predators. If they stayed in the dark, predators would have a harder time finding them, but spotting these insects is easy when they’re right in front of a light. The most common predators that consume these bugs are bats and birds.

Bugs Attracted to Lights at Night

The first bug you will think of when it comes to being attracted to light would probably be a moth.

Moths are infamous for swarming lights at night and burning up as a result. However, several bugs are attracted to lights at night, which are listed below.

Despite these bugs being attracted to the light, it’s not good for them to swarm in this area. Most of these bugs do not survive when they swarm a light because they either burn up or get eaten by predators. In fact, some species of spiders build their nest close to these lights to attract their prey easier.

Bugs Want To Escape Danger

Another popular theory is that some bugs are attracted to light at night because they may think it’s an escape from a trap. When the rest of a bug’s surroundings are dark, and there’s a single light illuminating a small area, it can be easy for these insects to think they are trapped in need to escape. That is why you may see these bugs frantically flying at the light despite it burning them on contact.

Bugs are constantly looking for natural predators; when they see the light, they know that the light is not obstructed by one of their natural predators. Meanwhile, in their minds, they are constantly surrounded by predators attempting to attack them, which is why they want to find the light.

Does Light Repel Bugs?

There are some bugs you’ll find at night that will scatter as soon as you shine a light on them. These types of bugs thrive in dark and wet environments, so when they see the light, they instantly need to be away from it. This survival instinct is because bugs are scattered from light and cannot survive well during the daytime.

Final Thoughts

The reason most bugs are attracted to light is that they think it’s a way for them to escape predators. However, you may find the carcasses of these insects net the next day hanging out in the light. Unfortunately, bugs attracted to lights at night don’t have the critical thinking skills to leave a light alone when it burns them. Additionally, the light will illuminate these insects to their predators and make them more susceptible to being eaten.


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