In my last post, I started a study into what attracts bugs. In the first part of the investigation, we tried to discover if bugs are attracted to some colors more than others. Hopefully you noticed a pattern. Today we will take it further and try to discover if there is a way to make a less attractive color more attractive to insects.
For today’s experiment, you will need all of the materials from yesterday, plus some honey. You will also need the data from yesterday to determine which color or colors were least attractive to the insects.
Sight vs Smell: What Attracts Bugs?
- 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.
- Look at your data from yesterday. Which color or colors were the bugs least attracted to? Put a dab of honey in the center of those colors before continuing.
- 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.
Compare your data from yesterday with your data from today. Is there a difference? Were the insects more attracted to the paper with honey on it? They probably were. What does this tell you about what attracts insects more – sight or smell?This article is part of the Insect Attractions series. See the list below for links to the other articles in this series.