Night-time lights bring insects, disease

Use of artificial lighting at night can change human and insect behaviors, increasing the risk of insect-borne disease.

Consider that before gas street lamps and electric light bulbs were invented in the 1800s, the world settled into darkness after sunset, relying only on the moon and stars for light.

That is still the case in more remote regions of the world. But, as artificial lighting spreads through these mostly tropical areas, research is showing how night-time light can alter human and insect behavior and bring about some unexpected results – an increase in the transmission of insect-borne diseases.

Altering human and insect interactions is one example of how light pollution may be changing disease risk patterns. The evidence suggests researchers should consider this when conducting future studies of how diseases spread.

Synopsis by Thea Edwards

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