Many of us are familiar with the fact that mosquitoes are attracted to things like certain blood types, body odors, and carbon dioxide. But one of the most frequently asked questions is, “Are mosquitoes attracted to light?” The answer is a resounding yes.
In fact you might not realize how much they are attracted to light. Below we answer a few questions about mosquitoes and their attraction to light so that you can choose the best lighting options for your home.
Are mosquitoes attracted to light?
Phototaxis refers to the tendency of pests to be attracted or repelled by light. Insects such as mosquitoes, moths, and bugs are positive phototaxis insects, which simply means that light sources attract them. This behavior is in contrast to that of cockroaches that are repelled by light sources, which is called negative phototaxis.
Science ABC suggests that a number of theories abound pertaining to mosquitoes’ attraction to light. To help mosquitoes locate their prey, nature armed them with visual, heat, and chemical sensors. Over time, meaning hundreds of millions of years, however, they have fine-tuned their visual abilities to the extent that they can hunt for prey by navigating with the help of light from the moon and stars.
It’s a natural instinct for moths especially to fly with the help of natural light emanating from these sources – it helps them avoid obstacles and stay upright and directed on a straight path.
However the downside is that they tend to confuse the artificial lights that we use in our homes with the lights emanating from astronomical bodies. Due to artificial lights, insects mistake night time for day time and seek light to hunt.
This explains why mosquitoes are attracted to lights, especially in outdoor locations and even inside our homes. In fact they find certain lights irresistible, and they will travel some distance to reach something if they believe it to be in their interest. Most of us have witnessed bugs and moths dive straight into a light source, accidentally killing themselves in the process.
Still another scientific theory explains that mosquitoes mistakenly believe the artificial light sources to be flowers, as these lights may seem similar to the ultra violet light reflected in them. And we know that, for most insects, a flower represents food.
Finally, a rather interesting theory is that insects think the artificial lights are female moth pheromones! All in all, regardless of the theory, it’s quite evident that insects including mosquitoes are attracted to light.
What kind of light do they prefer?
Now that we know the answer to the question, “Are mosquitoes attracted to light?” is in the affirmative, let’s examine what types of lights that attract these pests.
Since phototaxis – attraction to light – does not apply to all spectrums, they’re not attracted to some spectrums that fall outside their scope of interest. Science shows that mosquitoes are most attracted to UV lights that have a cool, blue tone. Knowing this can help you decide which outdoor lights you should choose, and which you should avoid.
It’s said that yellow and red lights may help us steer clear of mosquitoes. Fortunately, it presents opportunities for us to avoid mosquitoes by using lights that fall outside of this spectrum.
However, it may not be a foolproof method of preventing mosquitoes since they are also attracted to other elements like body odors and carbon dioxide. Using a mosquito auto spray in Houston TX is particularly helpful for eliminating these pests from your yard.
Which lights attract mosquitoes the most?
Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) attract the most flying insects. This bulb beams violet wavelengths, which is sure to make all mosquitoes rush towards it. Older LED lights are also a preference because they emit a high amount of UV light.
Is there a light that won’t attract mosquitoes?
Yellow lights are the best thing to use in your outdoor areas to keep mosquitoes away. Because they emit less UV, flying insects don’t find them as attractive as other light sources.
If you prefer to use LED lights for your outdoor areas, make sure you choose yellow LED lights instead of blue-toned ones. Some LED light bulbs are created with reduced UV and blue light levels. This makes them much less of a mosquito magnet.
Do mosquitoes also get attracted to light colored clothes too?
Yes. Mosquitoes may get attracted to white colored clothes especially in the night as they mistake the reflective nature of white color to be light and seek it out to investigate. One theory also suggests that short wavelength colors are as attractive to insects as ultraviolet light.
What services can Unique Outdoor provide to keep mosquitoes away?
Our LED landscape lighting replicates the warm light of standard halogen and incandescent light, so it isn’t the blue color that mosquitoes love.
We also offer mosquito control systems and monthly fogging options because we know that changing the type of light around your home isn’t enough to keep it mosquito-free.
If you’re looking for an automatic mosquito spray system in Houston, TX, consider our automatic mosquito control misting system as it can be programmed to dispense a fine spray of mist at pre-set times, according to your requirements or controlled with the touch of a button. It offers convenience, enhanced efficacy, and ease of use – all at once! Contact us to talk to a professional about your mosquito control needs.