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Moths and Nightlights

Ever watched the moths fly around a yard light at night? Ever looked at the ground to see how many lost their life at that one light? Ever thought of the overall impact of that situation?

A recent dicussion on a bird list made several good points about moths.

Moths are a major food source for birds and other animals.

Moths and their caterpillars are major consumers of plant material -- and thus convert flora into fauna food / protein. That affects the level of wildlife populations that can be sustained in a locale.

Moths are also polinators -- and thus, affect the abundance of crops, both native and agricultural.

Lights have become popular and widespread, at the same time that habitat has been lost to the development that promotes the use of outdoor lighting ... or nightlights in buildings.

And where one species or family is affected...there are others. How many other species of nocturnal insects do you see laying at the foot of the nightlight totem?

Do we know the impact or role of all those species in our delicately balanced ecosystems? I think not...we probably don't even begin to understand the delicate interactions.

So...what can we do?

Here are a couple suggestions:

Turn lights off at night. You will not only save nocturnal life, but will help solve our need for energy and the constant search for more oil and electricity -- which affects habitat.

Use timers instead of sensors if you must have lights for safety purposes. Use energy saving lights...use guards that protect moths and other noctural wildlife from being killed by the burning temperatures.

Carry flashlights for point light sources rather than illuminating large areas.

Learn to enjoy natural moonlight and starlight. There is wonder awaiting this ancient ritual of gazing at the mysteries of the night.

Night time quiet and calm is a natural wonder that comes every evening to your own back yard ;-) ...

When was the last time you slept in your backyard wonderland? It reallllly gives you a new perspective!

For more articles about INSECTS

Lady Bug Invasion
Moths and Nightlights
Bees in the City
Insects are busy little critters
Earth's Most Successful Life Form
Keeping ants in nature