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Mosquitoes And Light – Does Light Attract Mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes And Light – Does Light Attract Mosquitoes?

Are you wondering if mosquitoes are attracted to light? That’s great, you have come to the right place. It is definitely not fun waking up in the middle of the night due to mosquitoes constantly trying to suck your blood making you uncomfortable. From the noise, they make near your ears or the constant itching caused by mosquito bites, it is not a pleasant experience.

The Guidelines in this Page:

  • How Mosquitoes Function?
  • What Happens When Mosquito Bites you?
  • Does Light Attract Mosquitoes?
  • Are Mosquitoes Really Attracted to Yellow and Red Light?
  • Manipulating Mosquitoes with Light
  • Conclusion

How Mosquitoes Function?

Mosquitoes are among the most resilient life forms that we know of. These two-winged flying insects comprise of over 3,500 species under three major subfamilies. Toxorhynchitinae, Calcucinae, and Aniphelinae. Both male and female mosquitoes feed on nectar but female mosquitoes also feed on blood for developing their eggs.

With each female mosquito capable of laying hundreds of eggs in its lifetime, they feed on blood very often considering mosquitoes have a lifespan of just two weeks on an average. Most female mosquitoes are active during the dark and are not seen much during the day. When they draw blood from one victim after another, they tend to spread viruses and bacteria that contain diseases like malaria, dengue and more.

What Happens When Mosquito Bites you?

Mosquitoes feed through the process of the proboscis. They use their “mouths” which look like tube-like snouts to suck blood. While it might be not visible to the human eye clearly, using a microscope reveals that there are, in fact, six parts of a mosquito’s mouth.

The first two pairs of snouts are called mandibles and maxillae which resemble needles to pierce our skin and flesh. The bigger tubes then seek out blood vessels and draw blood. The first of these larger tubes are responsible for delivering the insect’s saliva into our blood while the other is responsible for sucking the blood.

Mosquito saliva contains proteins that allow the blood to remain fresh instead of clotting. This is why we have red itchy bumps on our skin after mosquito bites instead of the blood in the affected area clotting up. Normally, the affected skin heals on its own but if you notice rashes or other signs indicating that your skin may be affected, you should seek medical assistance.

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Does Light Attract Mosquitoes?

It is a known fact that mosquitoes try to get away from direct exposure to light during the day to avoid being dehydrated by sunlight. However, it does not mean that they are afraid of the light. Mosquitoes function just like any other type of night bug.

They make use of light to navigate through places but their perception of light is not exactly the same as that of humans. Natural sources of light from the moon and stars are taken advantage of by mosquitoes to navigate around. But artificial sources of light can confuse them.

This essentially proves that mosquitoes are not attracted to light like common urban myths might suggest. Instead, mosquitoes simply try to make sense of their surrounding environment by using light. In fact, they are more attracted to carbon dioxide because most hosts emit CO2 making it easy for insects to find them. Most mosquito products make use of CO2 to attract mosquitoes to deal with them.

Check out the video below for a more in-depth look at how mosquitoes and other insects interact with light:

Are Mosquitoes Really Attracted to Yellow and Red Light?

There is a common perception that mosquitoes are attracted to yellow and red lights. People often use them to repel mosquitoes, but is there any truth behind the claim? It is nothing but an urban myth that has passed on for years. Like we mentioned earlier, mosquitoes and most other insects are unable to perceive light the way we do.

Light has different wavelengths and mosquitoes are capable of sensing a much smaller spectrum compared to humans which means that they cannot perceive color. While there are bulbs that repel mosquitoes, it has nothing to do with color. Mosquitoes are attracted by carbon dioxide and water vapor, not UV light. It is actually the carbon dioxide that is emitted by the lights and bug zappers that attract mosquitoes into falling into traps. UV Light is also commonly known as black light in marketing terms.

Manipulating Mosquitoes with Light

While there are a number of theories that suggest why mosquitoes tent too fly towards light, there has been only one scientific conclusion so far. It has been revealed that artificial lights can interfere with how insects navigate. Like we mentioned earlier, mosquitoes and other insects make use of natural light to navigate during the night.

By using artificial light, including UV lights – mosquitoes can be burned in the process. A UV light is known to be highly reflective and it confuses mosquitoes heavily. While there are no specific lights that are guaranteed to attract or repel mosquitoes, ultraviolet lights and bluish hues tend to be the most effective.

If you are out to purchase repulsive lights to deal with mosquitoes, the information can come in handy. Most mosquito-killing products make use of bluish lights for the same reason and it is highly effective at dealing with them.

Conclusion

It has been proven that light does not attract or repel mosquitoes. They are capable of using natural light for navigation and it helps them with perception mildly but that is all about it. The common concept of light being attractive or repulsive is just a myth. While some lights can be used to repel mosquitoes, there is no single product that repels mosquitoes through the use of light alone.

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