What attracts mosquitoes?
Wondering what attracts mosquitoes to you or other people? Here are several main things everyone should know in order to avoid or to lure these insects.
Carbon dioxide from the breath of humans and animals helps mosquitoes to find their prey. A burning candle or other fire is another source of carbon dioxide. However, CO2 alone is not enough to attract mosquitoes.
Everyone of us releases lactic acid when exercising or consuming particular foods. This chemical is used in some of mosquito traps as an attractant.
When people and animals breathe, they exhale mixture of carbon dioxide and octenol, which is actually a type ofalcohol. Octenol is sometimes described as 'cow’s breath in a can', and is a remarkable lure for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes and other biting insects have extremely-sensitive receptors that can detect this chemical from almost 100 feet away.
Circulating blood in animals and humans radiates body heat. As mosquitoes have sophisticated heat sensors, they follow body heat and exhaled gases and fly to their target. The exact temperature depends on the type of mosquito.
During breathing people also exhale water vapor and perspiration is produced during active movement. Even small amounts of water will attract mosquitoes as it could mean possible blood source or possible breading site.
Mosquitoes can see their victims from within 30 feet by locating the changes in waves of light around them, caused by moving objects.
Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors, so wearing dark is not the best thing if you want to avoid being bitten. Dark foliage is another attractant.
Although some of mosquito trap manufacturers state that they use mosquito attracting or repelling sounds, scientists have proven there is no particular sound frequency that would be interesting to mosquitoes.
Scientific experiments show that only one of mentioned sources is not enough for mosquitoes to react – combination of several things as carbon dioxide, lactic acid and octenol attracts mosquitoes best.
One of the studies by entomologist Daniel L. Kline showed that worn human socks alone attracted very few mosquitoes. However, a significant increase occurred to CO2-baited traps when combined with a worn sock for most mosquitoes, including species of Aedes, Anopheles, Coquillettidia, Culex, Culiseta, and Psorophora.