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Are Butterflies Attracted to Light? (And Why Other Options Are Better)

Are Butterflies Attracted to Light? (And Why Other Options Are Better)

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Butterflies are so pretty and most people love being able to see them in their garden areas. It’s really nice to sit outside on a nice spring or summer day and see them fluttering about.

Some people do their best to attract butterflies to their gardens so that they can enjoy watching them. Have you seen people trying to attract them using special lights?

There are those that think that they will be more likely to come around if there are lights in the area. Are butterflies attracted to light or is this simply not the case?

Read on to learn more about butterflies and whether or not they’re attracted to light. You’ll also learn about other things that attract them.

Butterflies Are Indeed Attracted to Light

Butterflies are definitely attracted to light and they have the instinct to want to fly toward the light. However, light sources aren’t going to help you to attract them to your garden.

Why would they not help if they do seem to be attracted to light? Well, butterflies aren’t active during the night.

Butterflies fly around and do all of their activities during the day. They’re going to be sleeping when it’s dark outside and this means that when lights are present, they won’t really have an impact on attracting them.

Despite the fact that the butterflies have the same instinct to follow the light that moths do, it’s not going to be particularly advantageous to know this. The sun is out during the day and having lights on during the day won’t make a difference at all.

This means that you’ll need to turn to other methods if you’re hoping to attract butterflies to your garden. Thankfully, there are other things that can attract them that you’ll want to know about.

Plants Can Attract Butterflies

Plants are going to do a good job of attracting butterflies. If you want to attract butterflies to your garden, then you’re probably already doing what you need to do by planting flowering plants.

To get the best results, you should try to plant things that are native to the area. Planting native flowering plants should help to increase the butterfly population in the area.

Butterflies and native flowering plants have a mutually beneficial relationship. They help each other to survive and reproduce.

Take the time to research good plants that will look nice in your garden. You should be able to attract butterflies with any native flowering plants, but some might get better results than others.

Butterflies Are Attracted to Certain Colors

You should know that the color of flowers that the plants produce will play a role. Butterflies are very attracted to colors such as red, pink, purple, orange, and yellow.

If you can pick out native flowering plants that have these colors, then they’ll work nicely to attract butterflies to your garden areas. There should be many amazing plants for you to choose from.

The shape of the blossoms can also impact how much the butterflies will like the plants. You can see good results with blossoms that are clustered with shorter tubes.

Flat-topped blossoms should also do a good job of attracting butterflies. Pick out good plants that the local butterflies will really enjoy.

Try to Ensure That You Always Have Some Plants That Are Blooming

Plants aren’t going to bloom forever, and that means that certain plants that attract butterflies will stop doing so once they stop blooming. You can continue to help them by keeping many plants in your garden that will bloom at different times.

You should try to pick plants that have different blooming schedules. This will ensure that you’ll have plants that the butterflies will be interested in at all times.

The butterflies need a nectar source at all times when they’re adults. If they can’t find nectar in your garden, then they’ll have to go elsewhere to seek it out.

Proper planning can make it so that butterflies will have what they need in your garden throughout their lifespan. You can meticulously pick what plants you want to place in your garden with butterflies in mind.

Avoid Using Insecticide

Using insecticide can sometimes be convenient when you want to protect your plants. There are many pests that can harm your plants, after all.

If you choose to use insecticides, you’ll actually be doing harm to the local butterfly population. The insecticides will kill more than just the pests that you’re trying to get rid of.

You should try to protect your plants in natural ways instead of using insecticides on them. If your goal is to be able to see many butterflies in your garden area, then you must avoid using insecticides at all costs.

This can be problematic when you’re dealing with certain pests, though. You might have to protect your plants using insecticides at some point if there’s no other choice, but you can try not to use them unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Often, using something natural such as neem oil will keep problem insects at bay. It’s a much better option than using insecticides that will harm beneficial insects.

When you use neem oil the right way, it won’t harm butterflies, bees, or even ladybugs. It’s definitely useful to keep neem oil around to protect your plants from pests.

Take Care of Caterpillars

Many people overlook the fact that butterflies come from caterpillars. If you don’t nourish the caterpillars in your garden, then you can’t expect butterflies to be born.

This means that you can increase the number of butterflies in the area by looking out for caterpillars. You can plant things that caterpillars like to eat so that they can thrive in your garden.

Even just looking out for the caterpillars should make a difference. More of them will survive long enough to turn into butterflies if you try your best.

Keep in mind that butterfly caterpillars are different from moth caterpillars. Do your best to learn how to differentiate between the two.

Of course, moth caterpillars can be a problem since they can actually damage some plants. If you know the difference between moth caterpillars and butterfly caterpillars, it’ll be easier to help the right ones out.

Final Thoughts

There are quite a few things that you can do to attract butterflies to your garden area. Sadly, lights aren’t really going to help since butterflies aren’t active at night.

Butterflies are attracted to light, but it makes no difference since they sleep during the night. This means that you need to attract them to the garden by planting the right things.

Pick native flowering plants that have colorful blooms such as red or purple. Try to pick plants that bloom at different times as well so that the butterflies will always have nectar sources.

Avoid using insecticides on your plants if you want to keep butterflies around. Insecticides can kill butterflies and you’re not going to want to use them unless it’s an absolute necessity.

It’s also important to consider taking care of butterfly caterpillars. If you ensure that they have food to eat, then more butterflies will be born.

If you do your best to attract butterflies, then you should be able to see many more of them than usual. It’ll be nice to be able to look at them fluttering about and you’ll truly have the idyllic garden area that you’ve dreamed of.


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