posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 12:44 AM
Science has never proven why bugs are attracted to lights and most of the popular theories just don't hold water.
"The lights are confused with the Sun and/or Moon"
I hate this reason, for one, insects that are attracted to lights don't just hover nearby, they literally try to fly directly into them and usually
get fried for it. I've never seen an insect try to fly directly toward the sun or moon, and I doubt whether insects that fly at night are even
cognizant of the moon (excepting for some types of moths like the Luna Moth). They obviously get along just fine without it on cloudy nights, during a
new moon, or when the moon is not in the sky.
"Lights produce heat that attracts them"
Doubtful, plus most lights (like your average porch light) don't produce any noticeable heat from the distance that usually starts attracting
My guess is something about the intensity of a small point of light short-circuits something in certain insects brains that causes them to try to
reach the light source or fly as close to it as they can. I don't think evolution has properly equipped all insects with the ability to ignore
intense light sources. Put yourself in their microcosm - flying at night your world consists of the high-pitched frequencies from fluttering and the
buzzing of wings, pheromones, scents from plants and animals, with your compound eyes to alert you to nearby movements. An intense incandescent light
might overwhelm any of these senses. Even their hearing, as lights do give off a high-frequency buzz of their own.
This question reminds me of another, why are rodents attracted to live electrical wires?