With the warmer weather comes insects. I like nature and the outdoors, but I don’t like being bitten by insects. What are the factors which will attract bugs to us? This multi-part investigation will help students understand.
In this first part of this investigation we will see how color attracts insects. In general, insects prefer colors which are associated with the flowers they get their favorite nectars from.
How Does Color Attract Insects?
- Sheet of paper and pencil for recording results
- Bright red, yellow, blue, purple, white, brown, and green construction paper.
- Watch or timer
- Make a grid on the sheet of paper. On the left side, label the rows for each color of paper you are using. Along the top, label the columns with the different types of insects you can identify – fly, wasp, bee, butterfly, moth, mosquito, etc. Label the last column “Unknown” for insects you might see, but won’t be able to identify.
- Lay out the pieces of paper outside. Use rocks or some other object to hold them down so they don’t blow away.
- Note the time on your watch.
- Sit a few feet away from the construction paper and watch for insects landing on the papers. Sit very still.
- Each time you see an insect land on a piece of paper, make a tally mark in the correct row and column to indicate the type of insect and which color it landed on.
- Stop after 20 minutes.
Which colors had more insects landing on them? Did you notice any patterns? Did some types of insects prefer a particular color? Which colors had few or no insects land on them?This article is part of the Insect Attractions series. See the list below for links to the other articles in this series.