Science project

Are Insects Attracted to Heat or Light?

Research Questions:

  • How do insects sense heat?
  • How can insects tolerate hot surfaces?
  • Can insects see light?
  • If so, how do they see light?

Ever wonder why bugs always fly around your lights? Let’s find out why in this fun experiment.


  • Electric lantern (Light)
  • Gas lantern (Heat)

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Wait until nighttime.
  2. Take both the electric and gas lanterns outside.
  3. Place the lanterns about two feet apart.
  4. Monitor both lanterns and record how many insects stop at each lantern by tallying points on a two-column chart.
  5. Analyze your data and decide if insects are drawn to lights because of their heat or their light?

Terms/Concepts: Entomology, Sensillum, Heat, Surface to weight ration relating to heat


Heat tolerance:

National Geographic: Why insects like moths are so attracted to bright lights

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