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What Attracts Mosquitoes?

what attracts mosquitoes

“Why do I always attract all the mosquitoes in the area?” Has this ever been you, wondering if there is something about you that makes those winged pests seek you out more than others around you? We’re here to tell you that you’re not crazy. There are some factors proven by research that attract mosquitoes to you more than others.

In this article, we will be covering why mosquitoes are attracted to certain things, how they find their prey (that’s you), and some ways you can attempt to reduce this magnetic force that seems to attract all the mosquitoes in the area right to you. 

What attracts mosquitoes to people?

In the early 1900s, mosquitoes were believed to detect humans by the warmer temperatures rising from our bodies’ surface. Due to increased observation and lab testing of the mosquito, it has been discovered that the mosquito uses its senses of sight and smell to find the hosts it latches onto.

Your body’s chemistry is a main factor in what attracts a mosquito to you. If you have the qualities that mosquitoes hunt for in their host, we’re sorry to say, but you’re probably dinner. 

mosquito attracted to human smell

Bodily scents

The primary factor that a mosquito looks for in a target is the amount of carbon dioxide that is being released out of your body whether it is through your nose, mouth, or your skin. 

Research experts say that an excessive amount of carbon dioxide is released by those who have a high metabolic rate.

Pregnant women and larger people tend to exhale more meaning that they are also tempting targets for the mosquito.

Do certain colors attract mosquitoes?

Mosquitos can see pretty well as they can detect movement and colors with their eyesight. Mosquitoes are attracted to darker colors because they can contrast a target against a background. So we suggest wearing bright or pale colors when going outside on a warm evening. Colors such as white, light blue, light yellow and light pink do not attract mosquitoes as much as darker colors. 

Are mosquitoes attracted to a certain blood type?

Mosquitoes have been known to prefer Type O blood when tested in research labs, but that does not mean they will ignore any other types. There are eight common blood types out there. Some of our clients have asked us if mosquitoes prefer a certain blood type. The answer to this is yes. Mosquitoes have a preference when it comes to blood type. During a study conducted by the United States National Institute of Health, mosquitoes seemed to prefer hosts with type O blood. After type O blood, the mosquitoes seemed to go after type A blood. Based on this information, those with type O or A blood should put on a little extra mosquito repellant. 

Are mosquitoes attracted to light?

If mosquitoes were attracted to light like some other bugs, we could set up some of those UV and black light traps and let them take care of every mosquito around. Unfortunately, a scientific study has been done disproving the effectiveness of these light traps for mosquitoes.

The experiment did in fact catch mosquitoes, however, there were not enough to prove that a light source directly attracts them. This study reported that only about 5% of the total daily catches in these light traps were mosquitoes. Many of the other insects in the traps were actually bugs that eat pests like mosquitoes. These light traps could in fact prove to be more harmful than helpful.

Can mosquitoes see where they are going?

Mosquitoes actually have very good eyesight and some very aggressive species hunt during the day. A mosquito will use its sense of sight when hunting by day and its sense of smell during darker hours. As mentioned before, mosquitoes use their eyesight to contrast a host against darker colors. This is why it is advised that you wear bright colors when around areas known to have mosquitoes.

Do certain smells attract mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes are not attracted to the typical types of strong scents that we would think to identify like honey, garlic, or rotten meat. Mosquitoes are attracted to the subtle scents that come off of humans and animals.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) states that there are around 340 different scents that human skin gives off. 

Some of the scents that mosquitoes look for when targeting their prey are carbon dioxide, lactic acid, ammonia, and the bacteria in our sweat.

One study discovered that the odor of human feet seemed to attract mosquitoes. A used sock was placed near mosquitoes for testing and it successfully attracted enough of them to confirm the hypothesis.

Mosquitoes are also attracted to the scent of some flowers, as they feed off of nectar as many other insects do. Male mosquitoes only feed off of flower nectar, while females feed off of both nectar and the blood of a host.

Mosquitoes are attracted to the smells that draw them to their food. If they smell their next meal, or something that is mimicking it, that is where they’re headed.

What attracts mosquitoes to your yard?

When a mosquito is attracted to a location like a yard it is because of its one job in life. Procreation. When mosquitoes are not looking for something to eat, they are looking for a nice place to live as well as lay their offspring. So what is the type of environment mosquitoes look for that your backyard has?

Standing water

If you have any amount of water that is sitting stagnant in your yard, you can be sure that it will eventually attract mosquitoes in warmer months if it remains there. These locations are spawning points for hundreds of mosquitoes as they hatch from eggs to larvae and finally buzzing mosquitoes.

Warm temperatures

Mosquitoes start to come out of their hibernation state when the weather starts to get warmer. If the temperature in your area is starting to climb, this is when you should be on the lookout.

Moisture

Mosquitoes thrive off of moisture. Have you ever noticed that you may be bitten by more mosquitoes the morning after a heavy rain? Moisture that remains in debris and tall grass can attract mosquitoes to your yard.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are several ways that mosquitoes can hunt you down and sometimes you don’t know that they’ve been on you until they’re gone. Some of these things you cannot control, like the amount of carbon dioxide you give off and your natural human scent. You can attempt to wear bright clothes to detract mosquitoes, but if you are dealing with a mosquito problem, you will not be able to deal with it on your own.

You can try everything possible to keep mosquitoes away from you, but the chances are that at least a couple will find you or your yard. Mosquitoes look for food and a place to breed, so if either of those options are around your house for them, you can expect a visit. 

If you have noticed that there are a lot of mosquitoes around your property and you are constantly getting bitten, we can help you. Our trained professionals are equipped with the tools needed to control mosquito populations and keep them away from your home for good!

Contact Clegg’s today for a free inspection and we will give you the best solution for your mosquito problem.

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