Are Mosquitoes Attracted To Light? – Types & Colors to Avoid

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In this article, we’ll answer the question “Are Mosquitoes Attracted To Light?”

We’ll also look at the types of lights that attract mosquitoes the most along with what lights you should avoid using in your home or yard.

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Let’s begin.

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What Light Attracts Mosquitoes?

Outdoor lighting often attracts mosquitoes. However, it is only by accident that these insects happen to fly near outdoor lamps, searching for their prey.

Most mosquitoes prefer living undercover during daylight hours to avoid predators, such as dragonflies, who would happily gobble them up for dinner.

When the mosquitoes come out at night, they use the light sources around your yard to find their victims.

The question ‘does light attract mosquitoes’ or ‘do mosquitoes like light’ is not as simple as we think. Mosquitoes often head for outdoor lights, but they’re really just using the light to see and search for the source of the carbon dioxide in our breath and sweat.

According to Penn State University’s Department of Entomology researchers, mosquitoes don’t like light, and it doesn’t attract them. The team found that only one type of mosquito, the female Aedes aegypti bites humans during the day.

Male mosquitoes are attracted to light and warmth because they need these things to survive. The light helps them find food and the warmth keeps them warm at night.

During the day, without artificial lights, it’s easy for them to navigate to heat sources that are far away.

However, at night, lights can confuse mosquitos and disrupt their sense of direction. So they move towards the light sources. This is why we often see mosquito swarms congregating close together near the same light at night, but not during the day.

Do Mosquitoes Get Attracted To Blue Light?

Before answering the question ‘are mosquitoes attracted to light,’ you must understand that colors affect all living things differently. Yes, mosquitoes do like light, and specific colors attract them more than others because of their eyesight limitations. Thus, they have a particular palette of color that they like navigating towards.

The blue light spectrum is one of the colors that attract mosquitoes. However, it’s not their only color preference when choosing a blood meal source.

The blue hue of your outdoor or indoor light may be enough to invite mosquitoes in. Mosquitoes, like most insects, are attracted by colors ranging from violet to green and blues hues. They have sensitive photoreceptors that allow them to see these types of lights, which is why they’re so intent on invading our space.

Are Mosquitoes Attracted To UV Light?

UV light doesn’t directly attract mosquitoes it simply helps mosquitoes navigate towards you. Any light that offers plenty of UV rays is the type of light that they will use to get around.

The reason it appears they are attracted to UV lights is that it’s similar to the sun, which also has lots of UV rays

Mosquitoes can detect a wide range of the color spectrum, from ultra-violet to green. They perceive these as extreme contrasts compared to warm colors like yellow or red.

The heat given off by any sort or form of lighting helps make mosquitoes feel comfortable when flying about at night, so consider your outdoor lights carefully if you want fewer mosquitoes coming around for tea.

Do Yellow and Red Lights Repel Mosquitoes?

You may have gotten recommendations from friends and family or the internet that red light bulbs can deter mosquitoes. Unfortunately, this is another myth since studies have shown that the light from red bulbs does not repel mosquitoes.

Experts recommend using yellow and orange lights outside to prevent mosquitoes from biting you; these colors are difficult for mosquitoes to see and as a result, they can’t really see you so it appears the mosquitoes are being kept away by the color of the light.

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We’ll dicuss this in more detail next.

What Type Of Light Are Mosquitoes Not Attracted To?

Light has long been speculated to be a form of attraction for mosquitoes. But, in truth, it only makes them more disoriented and incapable of finding their way around like they usually do.

However, some colors like yellow can be used to make you less visible and attract fewer mosquitos. This does not mean you will be free from mosquito bites because they have powerful senses themselves.

Newer, more modern yellow LED lights are your best choice if you want to avoid mosquitoes gathering around your light sources.

With the use of LEDs, there’s less risk that you’ll have to deal with those pesky mosquitoes. This is because most LED lights emit a yellow light, which means mosquitoes will go for other sources emitting blue hues.

However, there are some issues here if you don’t use LEDs, other light sources like incandescent light bulbs produce heat. Since mosquitoes like heat and use light to navigate, they will likely be attracted to the heat even if the light they emit lies outside of their color spectrum.

Here are some practical ways to protect yourself from mosquito bites.

Wear loose-fitting and long clothes

  1. Install bug screens around windows and doors
  2. For outdoors, use repellent candles
  3. Avoid giving out during dusk and dawn

Final Word

The theory that mosquitoes are attracted to light is just a misconception. The idea stems from the fact that they like people and will fly towards light, but this phenomenon doesn’t happen because of any attraction or repulsion.

It’s simply an insect disorientation problem before mosquitoes take off for their destinations. However, some colors of light can be used to make you less visible.

Still, there is no guarantee these insects won’t find you. Their powerful senses allow them to detect your whereabouts.

References:

https://digitalcommons.unl.edu