The question, “Which color are flies attracted to?” is an interesting one to ask. Fly physiology is complex, and it’s not easy to understand how an animal can have different preferences for colors. One study, published in the Nature journal, found that fruit flies are attracted to green light during early morning and late afternoon. On the other hand, they’re drawn to red light at midday, when many people are slowing down.
While blue attracts tsetse flies, other insects, such as mosquitoes, aren’t as attracted to blue. Several insect species also have different odor preferences, such as the riverine tsetse, which transmits sleeping sickness. To combat these mosquitoes, many sub-Saharan countries hang fabric soaked with insecticide. This prevents the transmission of disease by the tsetse mosquito, which is a common vector of malaria.
While black and blue are both attractive colors for flies, their effect is different. When the same color combinations are used for different types of traps, the results show that black attracts more flies. Yellow repels flies, but blue lures them in. Nevertheless, blue is the most effective color for repelling mosquitoes. However, other colors are effective, such as red, orange, and yellow.
While some insect species have innate color preferences, scientists have yet to find a logical explanation for the reason flies are drawn to certain colors. In addition to these innate preferences, insect species can be trained to like different colors if they are associated with the right foods.