Are Mosquitoes Attracted to Light? What Attracts Them?

Updated on by Jared Belson | Please note that there may be affiliate links on this page.

Mosquitoes are the unwanted guests at any party. Their bites can not only be itchy and irritating, but they can be a health hazard.

If you want to enjoy an evening in your backyard in peace, what is the solution to a mosquito problem?

Mosquito Facts

Mosquitoes are considered a nocturnal insect. They are out and about early in the morning, or in the evening, when light is low. They use low light, like the moon or stars to angle themselves and navigate.

Artificial lights may make it more difficult for them to navigate, but they have their other senses to guide them.

Only female mosquitoes that are looking to lay eggs bite. They need the nutrients from the blood to lay eggs. They can consume twice their body weight in blood! Otherwise, both male and female mosquitoes normally eat nectar.

Mosquitoes feed through their proboscis, or their mouth part. It has six parts.  The first two parts, the mandible, and maxilla, are the biting parts. The mosquito’s saliva is what causes irritation and itching! It also clots blood.

Unfortunately, mosquitoes aren’t just pests. They can be deadly. In fact, they are the most deadly animal on earth. They can carry diseases like West Nile Virus, the Zika virus, and malaria. If you’re going to be outside in the evening, it’s important to protect yourself from mosquito bites.

Are Mosquitoes Attracted to Light?

Ultraviolet Light

Bug zappers and other UV light bug catchers will not attract mosquitoes. A few mosquitoes may wander in accidentally, but, overall, UV light is not an effective way to lure and kill mosquitoes.

Red and Yellow Light

Yellow light is less visible to mosquitoes. Warm light will make it harder for them to find a meal. These lights won’t repel the mosquitoes, but they won’t attract them either. Mosquitoes can still use their other senses to find someone to bite!

Blue Light

Blue light, like the light from LED bulbs, tends to be slightly more attractive to mosquitoes than warmer lights.

What Attracts Mosquitoes?

Carbon Dioxide

Carbon Dioxide is the gas you exhale. Basically, mosquitoes are drawn to breath. If you’re exercising, and breathing hard, they’re more likely to rush to you.

Sweat, Body Heat, and Body Odor

People who tend to have a higher body temperature will get more mosquito bites. Sweat is also really attractive as mosquitoes are naturally drawn to moisture. Activities that raise your body temperature and cause you to sweat will bring in the mosquitoes.

Perfume and Scented Lotions

Perfume and scented lotions may make you smell nice for more than just people! Studies have found that mosquitoes are attracted to floral scents.

Mosquito Prevention

Insect Sprays

An insect spray with Deet is the best way to keep mosquitoes from snacking on you. An all-natural spray, like this one uses lemon oil and eucalyptus to deter mosquitoes. A citronella candle may also be useful as a mosquito deterrent.

A spray like this can be sprayed on an entire yard. It can be applied to a large area, or just around a deck or patio. This particular spray claims to last for up to 12 weeks.

Limit Mosquito Breeding Habitats

Mosquitoes are most active during the evening. What are they doing during the day? If you have a lot of weeds, tall grass, and large, bushy shrubs in your yard, they could be a mosquito haven. Keep your yard mowed, and bushes trimmed to give them fewer hiding places.

Standing water is a notorious mosquito breeding ground. Look for areas that rainwater may pool. Clean out gutters. Remove bird baths. Look for toys or other lawn items that may gather standing water.

Mosquito Traps

Octenol Traps

Octenol is pretty new to the market. It is a non-toxic pheromone to attract mosquitoes. A mosquito trap that releases octanol, like this one, will attract the mosquitoes, then kill them.

Fan Trap

There are many different versions of a fan trap. The simplest way to make a fan trap is to attach mosquito netting to the back of a large box fan with glue. Place it near a place the mosquitoes congregate. It will suck the mosquitoes in and they will get stuck on the netting and die.

Heat Trap

This trap uses heat to attract mosquitoes. (They’re attracted to your body heat, remember?) The fan draws the mosquitoes to the glue traps at the bottom of the trap.

Carbon Dioxide Trap

A trap like this emits carbon dioxide. The mosquitoes will mistake the gas for your breath, then get drawn into the trap by a fan. There are usually glue traps or a mesh trap at the bottom that holds the mosquito in place.

Final Thoughts

Light isn’t a good way to repel or attract mosquitoes. Your best bet is a good bug spray or a trap, like the ones listed above. Enjoy your summer evening, without unwanted guests!

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