Are mosquitoes attracted to light? It is a very common question that many people ask. You should know that these insects are equipped with visual, chemical, and heat sensors that allow them to determine where their prey is located.
Mosquitoes have evolved to use the light of the moon and other celestial bodies to navigate. They will always try to navigate near the light when I turn on any external lights at night.
Below you can learn more about this subject and whether mosquitoes are attracted to light.
What Are Mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes are the best known and most popular insects globally; they are also very rebellious and very annoying insects. They are classified as 2-wing flies, and there are more than 3,500 species in their three subfamilies: Calucinae, Anophelinae, and Toxorhynchitinae.
Female and male mosquitoes can feed on nectar. But females can also feed on the blood they suck from their victims; this blood is necessary to develop eggs.
They have a pair of wings and have different scales on the surface. Mosquito wings are narrow and thin. The legs are also thin and long, as is its thin body. They can be 3 to 6 mm long; their color is dark gray to black.
Females can feed at dusk, at night, and dawn. Some species are known as day eaters. When they bite to feed, these mosquitoes can transmit many viruses that cause diseases that can be deadly.
They can find their victims by:
- Exhaled carbon dioxide
Among the diseases that mosquitoes can cause are West Nile virus, encephalitis, etc.
What About Mosquito Bites?
Mosquitoes feed through bites with the help of the proboscis, which is the insect’s mouth. This part of mosquitoes can look like a tube-shaped snout. If you can observe a mosquito with a microscope, you will notice that the insect’s mouth is made up of 6 parts.
The first two parts are called maxillary and mandible, which pierce their victims’ skin and flesh.
When they find a viable blood vessel, the two largest tubes in the mouth spring into action. The first tube is the hypopharynx responsible for releasing the mosquito’s saliva. The labrum is the second tube that sucks the blood.
Mosquito saliva is made up of proteins to prevent the blood from clotting. Victims who are bitten react to this process by forming an itchy red bump.
Mosquito bites will appear after their mouthparts pierce the skin and feed on blood. These bites usually disappear on their own within days; you may notice pain, swelling, redness, etc.
As already mentioned, mosquitoes are dangerous and can transmit diseases that can be fatal to humans. Among the viruses is the Zika virus that is very dangerous and can cause microcephaly in the fetus in pregnancy stages.
Are Mosquitoes Actually Attracted To Light?
Are mosquitoes attracted to light? During the day, these pests always sneak out of direct sunlight. With it alone, they are easily dehydrated and can die. But that is not to say that mosquitoes avoid all lights. These insects are nocturnal and use light to navigate everywhere.
Starlight and moonlight are far away, and mosquitoes can help themselves by keeping an angle to these sources until they reach their destination. The streetlights and porch lights are very close, making it difficult for them to maintain an angle for clear navigation.
With these lights, they can be confused, which means that mosquitoes are not attracted to the light. They use light to be able to make a logical sense in the environment where they are.
Mosquitoes are insects attracted to the carbon dioxide emitted by their victims; thus, they can find their food source. Most of the traps you will find to kill mosquitoes use carbon dioxide to attract them and do not use light.
Which Lights Attract The Mosquitoes Mostly?
Mosquitoes that are attracted to light always prefer ultraviolet (UV) light. This attraction to the light source is called phototaxis, although it is not applied to all spectra of light. Many pests can use light to navigate in search of food.
Are mosquitoes attracted to light? You should know that light does not repel or attract mosquitoes; this is a misconception many people have. However, you can use some yellow and red lights to make your victims less visible to mosquitoes.
But as previously said, these insects have very powerful senses that these lights will not prevent them from seeing you. LED bulbs generally tend to attract more insects and mosquitoes than lights that have a warmer hue.
What Else Are Mosquitoes Attracted To?
Do you want to know what else can attract mosquitoes? Find out more about this below:
Some mosquitoes, apart from eating blood, also eat nectar. So if you have many flowers, your garden will be very attractive to them.
Stagnant or accumulated water
Any place containing accumulated water like birdhouses, clogged gutters, water pipes, etc., will attract more mosquitoes. These pests will reproduce more quickly in these places that contain water. If you want to eliminate them, you must avoid this stagnant water.
Tall grass and shrubs
These types of tall bushes will protect mosquitoes from the sun during the day, so if you have tall grass, more mosquitoes will have in your garden.
Mosquitoes do not bite people at random; if a person generates or feels more heat, they will go to them. Mosquitoes are born with eyes that can pick up thermal sensory information. These people with greater heat can be overweight people, pregnant women, runners, etc.
People who drink alcohol
People who are drinking will be more prone to mosquito bites.
Wear certain clothes
Mosquitoes are attracted to some clothes; they are more attracted to the brightness of the color. Since they have very poor eyesight, they will use your silhouette to get to you. If you are wearing dark clothing, mosquitoes can get to where you are more easily.
Are mosquitoes attracted to light? As you can see, place yellow bulbs in the entrances to your house that will not prevent these insects from biting. If you have an infestation of these pests, you should seek help immediately because they are very unpleasant and annoying, just like their bites.