Mosquitoes: the one drawback of cool summer evenings. These pests can ruin your outdoor fun with itchy bites and annoying buzzing.
But what draws these pests in during the early morning and twilight hours? Do mosquitoes like light, or does the bright hue turn them away?
Check out our blog, and we’ll tell you everything you should know about mosquitoes, their light sensitivity, and how you can prevent these bloodsucking pests with Innovative Pest Solutions!
Insects That Are Drawn to Light
We all know about these pesky bugs that flit around and hit your exterior lighting. As soon as you flip a switch, pests come out of the woodwork to circle your deck or porch lights. Check out this list of common light-attracted bugs!
Moths: Moths are the most well-known light-loving insects, often appearing on porches and decks.
Beetles: Some beetles, such as fireflies, glow worms, and click beetles, are attracted to light. These beetles use light to communicate with each other and to attract mates.
Flies: Certain species of flies, such as houseflies, are attracted to light. This may be because they use the sun as a navigation tool, and light bulbs can mimic the sun’s rays.
Midges: Midges are small flying insects that are attracted to light. They may be drawn to light because it resembles their natural habitat, which is often near water.
But what’s the answer to the age-old question of why some insects seem to be drawn to the light like moths to a flame (quite literally!)
One of the most commonly accepted explanations is that they use light as a navigational tool. Many insects may rely on the moon to guide them as they fly at night. However, artificial light sources can confuse their internal compass, causing them to fly in circles around the light source instead of continuing on their intended path.
Some insects mistake artificial light for natural light, like the sun or moon. Nights can be cold and lonely, too, so other insects could head toward the warmth and humidity produced by light sources, especially in cooler climates. Food acquisition could also draw pests near, as insects may mistake them for light-producing bugs.
The reasons why some insects are attracted to light are complex and can vary depending on the species and context. But what about mosquitoes? Do mosquitoes like light like their other insect brethren?
Do Mosquitoes Like Light?
So, do these blood-sucking insects have a love for light like some of their winged counterparts? Well, the answer is a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no.
You see, while mosquitoes are not necessarily attracted to light in the same way that moths or beetles are, they do seem to like certain light sources under specific conditions.
Mosquitoes are more likely to head toward the light that emits UV radiation, such as black lights or mercury vapor lamps, rather than standard incandescent or LED bulbs.
Why do mosquitoes like light sources such as these? They’re perhaps drawn to polarized light, which they can use to orient themselves in their environment. UV light sources tend to produce more polarized light than other types of light, making them more attractive to mosquitoes.
However, light is not the primary factor that attracts mosquitoes. Some types of mosquitoes are actually repelled by UV light that draws others near!
Instead, these insects prefer carbon dioxide and other chemicals that humans and animals emit when they exhale. Mosquitoes tend to be more prevalent in areas with high human or animal activity, regardless of the amount of light present.
So, while mosquitoes may not have a love for light in the same way that some other insects do, they can still be attracted to certain types of light under specific circumstances.
But when avoiding these annoying insects, your best bet is to use bug repellent, wear protective clothing, and limit your time outdoors during peak mosquito activity hours.
Keeping Mosquitoes Away From Your Yard
So, do mosquitoes like light? Not exactly! If you flick a switch on at night, they’re not likely to come running. However, your presence outdoors can give them a reason to stick around. Here are some tips to help prevent a mosquito infestation!
- Remove Standing Water: Mosquitoes breed in standing water, so removing any standing water around your property can help reduce their numbers. This includes things like emptying birdbaths, turning over empty plant pots, and cleaning out gutters.
- Use Mosquito Repellent: When spending time outdoors, use an effective mosquito repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, or other EPA-approved ingredients.
- Wear Protective Clothing: Mosquitoes are less likely to bite through loose, long-sleeved shirts and pants, so protective clothing can help prevent bites. Here’s a great guide to help you prevent mosquito bites while hiking. Try these tips out in your yard!
- Install Mosquito Nets: Cover outdoor seating areas with mosquito nets to prevent mosquitoes from entering.
- Use Fans: Mosquitoes are weak flyers and have difficulty flying in windy conditions. Using a fan to create a breeze can help keep them away.
You can eliminate lingering bugs around your light fixtures by choosing yellow light bulbs, keeping lights away from your entryways, and trimming nearby vegetation. These methods won’t eliminate bugs but may make your evenings less pesky.
While mosquitoes aren’t naturally attracted to backyard fixtures, they can still assemble in spaces you enjoy. For effective mosquito control, contact us here at Innovative Pest Solutions! We’ll remove existing mosquito infestations and help prevent them from returning. Give us a call today!