A Moths Perspective – What Lights Are They Attracted To?

Most species of moth are nocturnal, which may be why you don’t see these beautiful creatures much. Scientists discovered that moths could slow their brain to allow them to see in dim light yet still fly, but this doesn’t explain how they fly in complete darkness.

Almost all type of lighting works to attract moths. Red lighting is the only colour that moths are unable to see, it appears completely invisible! The lights with shorter wavelengths such as UV light are more likely to attract a moth. Moths won’t respond to a yellow light if they are at a distance as it appears very faint. Therefore, most people buy yellow light bulbs as there will be fewer moths in their homes.

hercules moth australian butterfly sanctuar

Moths use the light from the moon to help with navigation. This moonlight might be a reason as to why moths are so attracted to artificial lightings such as campfires and light bulbs. As they travel at night they fly towards the moon as it is brighter and will know when they are near the ground as it will get darker.

Fun Fact:

Moths can be considered as positively phototaxis. This means that they automatically move in response to the presence of light. These animals will be attracted towards the light instead of trying to get away from it. Fascinating!