In the evenings many flying insects will swarm around your porch lights. Bugs rely on light for navigation as they search for food. While most of them may be harmless, female mosquitoes use it as an opportunity to bite you for blood. Let’s find out whether light attracts mosquitoes or not.
Mosquitoes are dreaded insects that attack human being and other animals for blood. The bite of the female anopheles mosquito can transmit a number of serious diseases including malaria. To effectively control mosquitoes in your home and yard, you need to understand what attracts them.
Are Mosquitoes Attracted to Light?
Mosquitoes aren’t really attracted to light the reason you don’t see them during the day. Usually, they become active in the evening or night time. Sometimes they rely on soft natural light of the moon or starts for navigation. The closeness of artificial light from bulbs make it impossible for them to maintain a good angle for clear movement.
Carbon dioxide in breath and sweat is what attracts mosquitoes to their host. This can happen in even total darkness when there is no any visible form of light. It is for this reason most mosquito killers are designed to emit carbon dioxide so that these dangerous insects can be lured into the trap.
What about ultraviolet (UV) light?
Mosquitoes are neither attracted to ultraviolet light. This is the main reason why bug zappers are not effective at killing them. Bug zappers produce ultraviolet light that attracts bugs which are then electrocuted by a highly charged grid. Many studies have established that out of thousands of insects a bug zapper kills per day, less than 5% are mosquitoes.
Most people buy a bug zapper with an aim of exterminating mosquitoes in their homes or backyards but end up with a big disappointment. Mosquitoes remain active even in an areas with a working bug zapper. This led to many questions on how a bug zapper work before it was discovered that mosquitoes are disinterested in UV light.
It is a wrong plan to use a bug zapper on mosquitoes. Thousands of bugs killed by this device are usually harmless. Insects are important part of our ecosystem, they serve as food for many wildlife and act important roles in agriculture such as pollinating and enriching soil with nitrogen.
Does yellow light keep away mosquitoes?
Changing your outdoor bulbs to yellow light is one of the ways of keeping bugs away from porch light. Generally, mosquitoes and other flying insects have smaller visible spectrum compared to humans. It is hard for them to detect a yellow or red light.
Switching to yellow bulbs will incredibly reduce the number of bugs in your outdoor but will not stop mosquitoes from attacking you. Their ability to detect carbon dioxide will still lead them to their host. You should therefore consider other ways of controlling mosquitoes in your yard.
How to Control Mosquitoes in your Yard
Light can neither attract nor repel mosquitoes and should not be used as a way of controlling them. But there are various things you can do to prevent mosquito bites while on your patio, deck, balcony or garden.
- Remove any standing water in your yard. Mosquitoes love stagnant water and this is where they usually breed from. Empty any collected water in items around your yard including birdbaths, flowerpots and other open containers.
- Regularly clean your gutters and downspouts to remove any debris that may clog the drainage system. Any puddles of water collected on the gutters or in the drains will immensely attract mosquitoes.
- Keep your backyard clean by picking up leaves and other debris. Mosquitoes love hiding in such dark areas during the day.
- Trim your lawns and shrubs as overgrown grass and hanging tree brunches provide a good damp areas for the hiding and breeding of mosquitoes.
- Add bug screen on your windows, doors and outdoor areas such as patios and porches. The gauge mesh is designed in a way that even small sized mosquitoes cannot go through.
- Cover any items that may harbor mosquitoes in your backyard. Examples include boats, pools, hot tubs, grills and more.
- Invest in a good mosquito repellents for outdoors. The most effective products contain DEET, citronella oil or other essential oil. Use as directed by the product manufacturer.
- Wear long-sleeved tops and long pants when outdoor in the evening to avoid mosquito bites.
- Contact pest control agencies for fumigation services, they are the best for controlling pests at community level.
Majority of bugs get attracted to light, and that is why you see them busy around your porch light every evening. However, mosquitoes aren’t interested in UV, yellow or white light. This is why they are hardly controlled by a bug zapper.
Carbon dioxide in the breath and sweat is what attracts these blood sucking insects to their hosts. In this guide we have recommended various ways that can help in reducing the population of mosquitoes in your backyard for peaceful evening relaxations, dining or partying.