Can Bugs See in the Dark?

Maybe you’ve noticed that when the sun goes down, the bugs come out. Or maybe when you’re awake in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, you see a bug you haven’t seen during the day. Why are some bugs more active at night? Can bugs even see in the dark? Learn about nocturnal pests here.

Common Nocturnal Insects

There are many kinds of insects that are active during the night. They like to hunt for food, find water, and look for potential mates in the cooler temperatures of the night. For some, it’s safer to wait until dark to go out and eat. At this time, most birds and other predators (like humans) aren't out and there are fewer competitors for the same food.

Here are some bugs that might make nightly appearances in or near your home and why they are out after dark:

  • Moths – These flying insects come out at night and pollinate flowers in the dark
  • Mosquitoes – Even though it might seem like they’re only out to prey on you, mosquitoes come out in the nighttime to feed on other prey that come out after it gets dark
  • Crickets – You probably hear these bugs up all night as they search for food and call for mates
  • Centipedes – This is another insect that searches for prey at night to avoid their predators during the day
  • Bedbugs – These pests are active in places where people sleep, and unfortunately become more active when the sun goes down and you’re trying to sleep
  • Cockroaches – These scary critters are nocturnal insects that are quite shy of predators, so they come out for food in the late hours to avoid being prey

To find out more information about specific pests, you can check out our Insect Library!

Do Insects Have Night Vision?

So, how exactly do these insects see in the dark? Unlike humans, they are active in dim light. For survival, they had to adapt. Compound eyes, along with having a modified eye structure, allow nocturnal pests to see better in the dark. In some cases, the eyes have multiple lenses that enhance their sight in dim light.

Some species also learned how to orient themselves with celestial cues (like the moon and stars) and navigate using learned visual landmarks. Using the sides of walls and other objects can help them navigate the dark easier.

bug on counter

Prevent Late Night Invasions

Don’t worry, we’ve got ways that you can keep nocturnal bugs from coming into your home at night. The first thing to do is check for any cracks or gaps in your walls, windows, or doors. Small spaces like these allow insects to get into your home. Basements and attics have fewer lights in your house than other rooms and typically have less activity, making it an attractive area. Check these areas frequently for signs of pests.

Places in the home with stagnant water or high humidity levels will draw in outsiders. Mopping stagnant water up and buying a dehumidifier can help with deterrence. Regularly vacuuming and limiting food to the kitchen and dining area are habits that can help keep your home insect-free. By eliminating crumbs, you’re limiting one of the primary resources that makes your home appealing to insects.

In addition, switching to warmer lights in your home can help reduce the number of bugs inside. Insects are more likely to be attracted to cool-toned white lights and UV lights. Replace your bulbs with LED lights that have yellow undertones. Bug zappers or light traps are a great way to eliminate flying insects that are already in your house. Plug them into the wall to catch insects near the infestation spot.

Traps, home barriers, and baiting are other ways that you can help rid your home of pesky insects. From repellents to sprays, there are many methods to protect the inside and outside of your home. Products like contact killers eliminate the problem right on the spot, while traps capture insects in their common hideouts. Learn more about our variety of solutions.

Even More About Keeping Bugs Away

Always take precautions to keep bugs out of your house – night AND day. Let us know how you keep your home free from bugs 24/7 on our Facebook Page. For even more info and possible solutions for all kinds of critters, sign up for our newsletter. This way, the latest updates can make their way into your inbox no matter the time of the day!

Solutions for Any Invasion

  1. TERRO® Roach Magnet® Baited Insect Traps
    TERRO® Roach Magnet® Baited Insect Traps
  2. TERRO® Garbage Guard® Insect Killer T801
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  3. Terro Scorpion Killer, 16 oz aerosol can
    TERRO® Scorpion Killer Spray, 16 oz
  4. TERRO Roach Bait Gel
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  5. TERRO® Roach Bait Powder Plus Applicator
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