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Mosquitoes – All Your Questions Answered!

mosquitoe biting

Ever wonder why your significant other gets bitten by mosquitoes and you don’t? If mosquitoes really like certain colors? Do citronella candles actually repel mosquitoes? At what temperatures do mosquitoes become active?

If you asked these questions about these pesky little flies, look no further. We’ll delve into all things mosquitoes and come up with a game plan for mosquito control to keep you from becoming a mosquito’s next meal.

Why do some people get bit and others don’t? 

Mosquitoes use a combination of visual and scent cues to hone in on their next target.

Probably the main cue is the plume of carbon dioxide you emit as you respirate. Some people naturally emit more carbon dioxide than others (heavier people and pregnant people tend to). 

Additionally, the chemicals in your sweat play a role i.e., lactic acid increases as you expend more energy. Thus, if you’re naturally a bit more sweaty and active than your friend or partner, there’s a better chance you’re going to be lunch for the next hungry female mosquito (remember only females mosquitoes bite as they need the proteins in your blood for egg production). 

Moreover, those with O blood type have been up to twice as likely to be bitten than those with type A. Thus, the overarching takeaway is your genes (since all of this is pretty much genetically determined) play a large part in whether you’re more attractive to mosquitoes than other people or not.

Do mosquitoes really like certain colors?

Surprisingly YES! While color may not be the biggest factor, your genes probably are. Mosquitoes tend to prefer darker colors than lighter colors. 

The reason might be that lighter colors indicate daylight and daylight is bad news for small bugs that are deeply affected by wind currents and drying out from the sunlight. 

Darker colors probably indicate shaded areas where mosquitoes are safer from the drying effects of the sun and air currents. That’s why a thick, densely vegetated yard with lots of standing water is the perfect habitat for mosquitoes to thrive.

Do Citronella Candles repel mosquitoes?

In short no. Essential oils work by blocking chemical receptors on the insect’s nose aka antennae. 

However, several studies indicate that citronella doesn’t block enough of these receptors on the insect’s nose and it can still sense your carbon dioxide and other cues as noted above.

If you need a tried-and-true repellent stick with DEET which can have up to a 60 percent effectiveness rate at repelling mosquitoes. 

At what temperatures do mosquitoes become active?

Insects are cold-blooded and therefore don’t use energy from their food to generate body heat but are dependent on their environment. 

Once temperatures are at 50 degrees or more at night, the molecules in the insect’s body are moving about at a rapid enough pace to get all the chemical processes for life to get rolling. That’s why in spring and summer the mosquitoes come out en masse.

All this info is pretty cool, but how will it help me keep mosquitoes from making my outside life intolerable?

Wear lighter colors that cover your body.

A proven repellent like DEET.

Keep your yard from overly dense vegetation and standing water.

Lastly, call the professionals at Spencer Pest Services. Our trained technicians can help reduce the mosquitoes around your home!