Stay Bite-Free: Colors To Avoid Wearing That Attract Mosquitoes
Whether you’re hosting a gathering, enjoying a relaxing day in your backyard, or tending to your garden, remember to protect yourself from pesky pests this summer. Many of us know that mosquitoes are a nuisance that can disrupt outdoor activities. They can also pose health risks due to their ability to transmit diseases. While factors like certain scents and wet and humid environments contribute to mosquito attraction, it might come as a surprise that colors can also play a role.
According to a study by the University of Washington, Professor Jeffrey Riffell and his team discovered something fascinating. When mosquitoes catch a whiff of certain compounds, like carbon dioxide from our breath, it triggers their eyes to search for particular colors and visual patterns. These bugs associate those signals with a potential host.
Choose your colors wisely.
Best Life shared what colors to avoid wearing outside if you’re worried about mosquito bites. Most people know that wearing black in the summertime can increase your body temperature because it absorbs light and converts it to heat. However, many people are unaware that black clothing also acts as a major attraction for mosquitoes.
David Price, ACE, director of technical services and associate certified entomologist at Mosquito Joe, explained to Best Life that while mosquitoes don’t actually see colors, they see contrasts in the light spectrum, and black creates more contrast and absorbs more heat. Apparently, the color black has a longer wavelength, so after smelling carbon dioxide, mosquitoes will gravitate toward these hues more.
The study also said that Aegypti mosquitoes, which are known to carry viruses like Zika, have a strong attraction to the color cyan. This preference is due to cyan’s dominant wavelength, which creates a distinctive silhouette that helps mosquitoes identify potential meals, even when the host is moving.
In another study, researchers revealed an interesting fact about yellow fever mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) and their response to carbon dioxide, a gas that humans naturally exhale. Surprisingly, these mosquitoes exhibited an increased sensitivity to certain colors, such as red, orange, black, and cyan, which are predominantly long-wavelength visual cues. They were observed to fly faster and linger longer around objects of these colors.
Curious about which colors you should steer clear of when it comes to mosquito attraction? See what other colors attract mosquitoes here.