Are Mosquitoes Attracted to Light? And Other Secrets You Did Not Know

brown mosquito sitting on blue fabric cloth
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Remember how you turned off the lights, went to bed, and started to fall asleep when this terrible ringing came in to ruin your night? Bloody mosquitoes! I bet, it’s exactly why you decided to look up how to repel mosquitoes from home.

In this article, I want to help homeowners get rid of the insects. I will gladly share my vast expertise so that you sleep carefree without any ruined nights.

What We Know About Mosquitoes

To learn what attracts mosquitoes and how to get rid of them, let’s take a closer look at this species.

The common stereotype suggests that mosquitoes are feeding off of our blood, and they are attracted to light. However, it’s not necessarily the truth.

brown mosquito sitting on skin

Why Mosquitoes Bite

Not all the mosquitoes are the annoying biters that we hate. Only female mosquitoes bite: they suck your blood for the proteins to develop their mosquito eggs. And what about the food? Get ready for a surprise: mosquitoes have been eating plant nectars all this time!

A+ in Navigation

As scary as it may seem, mosquitoes use three ways to detect and bite you:

  1. First of all, they can see you. Their faceted eyes can capture an object that attracts their attention.
  2. Thermal. As we noted above, mosquitoes feel the heat coming from you and are sent to explore the area.
  3. They distinguish the carbon dioxide that we exhale, and it’s what attracts mosquitoes the most. So if you want to repel mosquitoes (or rather attract them somewhere far from your room), try to assemble one of the CO2 mosquito traps that can be found all over the Internet.

What Attracts Mosquitoes

group of people camping in forest at nighttime

Imagine a group of 10 people who went camping in a swampy forest. Do you think all the members will be bitten by mosquitoes equally? Or maybe mosquitoes prefer certain people?

Amazingly, recent studies found out 20% of people are more likely to become victims of the mosquitoes’ maternal instincts. Why is it so? Scientists suggest that the answer is an increased generation of carbon dioxide. It’s especially common for obese people, pregnant women, and athletes. Still, we don’t know for certain what makes some people tastier from the mosquito’s point.

As you can see, science is only beginning to uncover the mysteries of weird behavior in some insects. However, we can expect some breakthroughs in the industry of insect repellers coming for us very soon!

Skin Color & Blood Type: Is There Any Difference?

Because people with O-type are universal donors, they might also seem more delicious for the bugs. At least, this is the only decent explanation, why O-type people are twice as often bitten by mosquitoes than A-type.

But when it comes to skin tone, it seems that the obnoxious insects see no difference.

Related Post: Best Mosquito Killers That Work.

Why Are Mosquitoes Attracted to Light?

Mosquitoes aren’t avid light-lovers: instead, they rely on the heat of other animals, people, and household objects. But other bugs, indeed, rush towards the light whatever it takes. They perceive it as a sort of guidance. Some of them even see the infrared radiation and navigate by it.

That’s why there are no bugs-free lightbulbs on the market: for now, science just can’t figure them out.

many mosquitoes flying near lamp at nighttime

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes

If you want to escape mosquitoes, you have two options. Either you want to repel these annoying buzzers away from your home, or you would like for them to leave you alone while you’re on a walk.

In the House

I recommend starting with your doors and windows.

  • Check that there is no gap between the threshold and the door: this is a direct invitation not only for mosquitoes but for mice as well.
  • Place a thin mesh on the windows.

Then, use electronic repellers: they disorient mosquitoes, so they simply can’t find you in the room.

On the Street

On a promenade, on a camping trip, or simply hanging out on the backyard, you can still get bombarded with mosquitoes. Consider purchasing mosquito repellents that are suitable for the outside use. For instance:

  • Citronella bracelets; citronella is a natural scent that repels insects.
  • Dense-textured clothes; cover your arms and legs, it will be harder for mosquitoes to bite through the fabric.
  • Chemical protective solutions, including repelling sprays.

Of course, there are other ways to protect your house against mosquitoes, such as ultrasonic repellers or zappers. Nevertheless, because these insects don’t react to UV lights and sound, their effectiveness is questionable.

pair of mosquito repelling sprays

FAQ: Easy Tips in Fighting Mosquitoes

Although mosquitoes aren’t particularly complicated creatures, you might have lots of questions about them. I am happy to provide you with the fullest answers coming from my vast experience and knowledge.

Why are bugs attracted to light?

There’s no short answer, only a bunch of theories. The one I prefer the most is that the artificial radiation interferes with their natural vision. In other words, this disrupts their navigation.

Are mosquitoes attracted to ultraviolet light?

This question resonates with some others: “Are mosquitoes attracted to led light?” or, for instance, “Are mosquitoes attracted to blue light?” Unfortunately no, they are not. It’s only movement, heat, and carbon dioxide that they detect.

Are mosquitoes attracted to black or any particular color?

I get asked this question quite often. “What colors are mosquitoes attracted to”, or another version of it: “Are mosquitoes attracted to light or dark clothing?” It is based on the assumption that mosquitoes can distinguish colors. However, this is not the case.

You see, clothes and objects of different colors interact with light in their own ways: dark fabrics and surfaces absorb the heat and retain it for a long time, while lighter ones are more reflective. Are mosquitoes attracted to color? No, they are not. But they are attracted to warmer surfaces. Therefore, mosquitoes like you more in black.

How do mosquitoes navigate at night?

If they can’t see you, they still feel your warmth (thermal sensory) and smell the CO2 you exhale. Combining these two sensory organs is exactly how they navigate at night.

Secrets You’ve Learnt: in Short

co2 trap hanging on tree

Although mosquitoes can sometimes ruin our lives, fighting them will not take you much time and effort. Now you know that mosquitoes are attracted to heat and carbon dioxide, so it won’t be difficult for you to trick them. With quality repellents and CO2 traps, you’ll be just fine.

What other insects do you suffer from? What is the most annoying pest? Share your opinion down below, and I will consider your suggestions when preparing another pest control article.

I hope my guide has helped you in the never-ending battle against mosquitoes. Thanks for reading!

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Nicholas Martin

About Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years.

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