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Mosquito season is here – experts urge against these colors to discourage the pest from your home
The pesky mosquito is more than a nuisance – it is a pest that can, at best, cause an annoying bite – and, at worst, spread disease. It is, therefore, understandable that you will want to keep the creature out of your home – particularly in the summer when it thrives.
But knowing how to get rid of mosquitoes goes beyond eliminating standing water and using the correct repellent. Experts have warned that certain colors impact mosquito activity in your home – meaning your color ideas matter more than ever in the season of this pest.
So if mosquitoes are a problem in your home, it may be worth taking note of the colors they love so you can hide them away (all the while planting out some mosquito repellent plants) to further discourage these unwanted visitors. ‘Mosquitoes have compound eyes, meaning their eyesight is much poorer than ours. Like most insects, mosquitoes perceive the world in blurs of shapes and colors rather than crisp, detailed images,’ explains Emma Grace Crumbley, an Entomologist with Mosquito Squad (opens in new tab).
Therefore, the expert suggests mosquitoes rely on other factors such as CO2, heat, movement, and scents to navigate their flight and locate hosts and food sources.
With this in mind, these four colors are most attractive to the creature. Black and white living room ideas may have their aesthetic qualities, but it certainly has their appeal to mosquitoes, too. Sholom Rosenbloom, the Owner of Rosenbloom Pest Control (opens in new tab), suggests that the attraction comes from the creature’s need to avoid direct sunlight (since prolonged exposure to the sun can cause dehydration and early death of the mosquito).
‘This is why we see them more during dusk and dawn; because the sun threatens them,’ he says. In a similar way that black attracts mosquitoes, other dark and saturated colors have the same effect. At the peak of that list is dark blue. Emma says that dark blue (and other similar colors) are attractive to the creature who detect the heat absorbed and held by darker colors.
‘They are therefore inclined to investigate for potential hosts (as hosts, like humans, also give off heat),’ the expert says.
These colors are so powerful that scientists use them as a force of attraction when surveilling for mosquitoes by assembling dark-colored mosquito traps (often called ‘black traps’).Regardless of skin tone, red ‘wavelengths’ are detected by mosquitoes, meaning red is one of the colors that are most sought-after amongst this pest. Emma references current research that shows that exposure to odors such as CO2 ‘triggers mosquito attraction’ to colors like red – meaning they are likely to swarm towards red room ideas in search of prey.
‘Scientists believe mosquitoes use special temperature sensors to detect the presence of warm-blooded prey,’ Sholom adds. Just as red is favored amongst mosquitoes, orange projects the same ‘wavelength’ and is similarly attractive to the creature. ‘Perhaps this again is due to the limited detail in the insect’s sight, and detection of a shape distinct from its background hints to the insect that a potential host is nearby,’ Emma explains in her discussion of the popular tone.
However, it is important to remember that mosquito attraction combines sight and scent. ‘As such, multiple approaches should be taken to protect yourself from mosquito bites when working inside and outside your home. Whether you create a homemade bug spray or wear light colors that are not on the host wavelength, it is vital to protect yourself against this pest this season (and always).
The best colors for repelling mosquitoes, according to researchers at the University of Washington, are white, green, blue and purple. That isn’t because mosquitoes don’t like these colors, but because they reflect heat and light, which mosquitoes really don’t like, which is why they start to emerge at dusk.
Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.
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