Content of the material
- Sometimes, it might feel like you’re a mosquito magnet. These flying insects are remarkable hunters, and particularly during the summer months, being bitten by a mosquito might seem like a daily occurrence
- What Do Mosquito Eggs Look Like?
- Why are mosquitoes attracted to light?
- What You May Not Know About Mosquitoes
- Data May Help Mosquito Control in the Future, but More Research Is Needed
- How Do Mosquitoes Find Their Host?
- Do mosquitoes hide in clothes?
- How to attract a mosquito?
- How long do mosquitoes live in a house?
- Why do mosquitoes come out at night?
- Can I just wait until it gets full and flies away?
- Isn’t it easier to just clap hands to smash the insect?
- Attracting Mosquitoes Indoors
- Reader Success Stories
Sometimes, it might feel like you’re a mosquito magnet. These flying insects are remarkable hunters, and particularly during the summer months, being bitten by a mosquito might seem like a daily occurrence
How do these irritating pests find you? They’re sneaky and stealthy, but can they see and do they use their vision to find their meals?
What Do Mosquito Eggs Look Like?
Mosquito eggs are tiny and it is likely that they will go unnoticed before hatching into larvae. Each egg is less than .03 inches in length. Without the use of a magnifying glass, you probably wouldn’t see them at all.
The shell of the egg, or the chorion, has two layers. The inner layer is opaque and the outer layer is transparent. When freshly laid, both layers look transparent and the eggs have a white appearance.
Over time, as the cells change, the eggs will become black or dark brown in color. The shape of the egg will depend upon the species it comes from. Some are oval-shaped and others resemble more of a boat shape.
Mosquitoes may lay their eggs so that they fall close together. The eggs then connect with each other, making a raft-like formation of between 100 and 400 eggs.
Some species lay their eggs individually, or in small groups, however. Although laid individually, they could drift towards each other and connect, forming a shape that resembles a woven mat.
The eggs rest on the water using the tiny flotation devices which are attached to them. These natural devices are chambers filled with air and are formed on the eggs’ outer layer (exochoria).
Anopheles walkeri, or marsh mosquitoes, lay two different types of egg. In the summer months, they lay eggs that will hatch quickly—the same as most other species. When fall comes, they will lay their winter eggs.
These eggs are slightly larger in size compared to the summer variety. Before they hatch, they have to be exposed to freezing temperatures and then they slowly warm up. This tells them that winter arrived, then passed, and now it is time for them to hatch.
Why are mosquitoes attracted to light?
Mosquitoes exhibit phototaxis, which is the attraction to light.
They’re equipped with very precise and sensitive visual and chemical receptors.
During the night, any sources of light will be an attractive bait to them and they’ll naturally fly towards it. They suspect a possible food source and go into hunting mode.
From my experience, mosquitoes are easily baited out by using blue light.
You can use this to your benefit by using electronics like your computer screen, laptop screen, phone screen (which attracts bugs by itself), tablet, etc.
When all the other lights are off and the only light source is the soft, blue glow from your electronic device, the mosquito can’t resist to stop hiding and fly towards it.
This seems to work much more effectively compared to traditional lighting from a bulb.
You can swap this light source for any of the above techniques and see how it works out for you.
Use this to your benefit when you need to lure out that one, single mosquito hiding somewhere in your room.
What You May Not Know About Mosquitoes
It is not enough to learn about what attracts mosquitoes and what can repel them. You may also want to get to know some facts about them, so you can understand them better.
First, there are over 3,000 different species of mosquitoes throughout the world. And each one has a unique feeding habit. In fact, some species are not attracted to blood at all. Others also feed during the day, while a few are active in the evening.
Second, female mosquitoes are the only ones who bite humans because they need the nutrients in your blood to lay eggs. Male mosquitoes and female mosquitoes that are not laying eggs simply feed on nectar.
Third, mosquitoes can detect traces of carbon dioxide from 75 feet away. So now you know why they can instantly find you even in the dark.
Finally, if you want to repel bugs around your yard, you can grow marigolds. This plant produces a fragrance that insects do not like. If all of this doesn’t work and you have a persistent mosquito problem in your yard, check out our review of the Best Mosquito Foggers.
Data May Help Mosquito Control in the Future, but More Research Is Needed
The researchers hope the insights can be used to help develop new methods for mosquito control and lower the spread of mosquito-borne diseases in the future, they note in the study.
The results offer new insight into how mosquitoes compensate for having relatively poor eyesight, and it’s possible that more research might one day yield new methods of mosquito control (and therefore lowering the spread of mosquito-borne disease), says Antoine Cribellier, a PhD candidate researching mosquito flight at the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands who wasn’t involved in the study.
One such direction he and his colleagues are studying are ways to trap mosquitoes. Knowing more about mosquito host-seeking behavior will help those efforts, he says. Reducing the number of mosquitoes in a given area can also help, he adds. “An easy and very efficient way of doing that is to get rid of any standing water (like a rain bucket in your garden) where females can lay their eggs.”
Unfortunately, he adds, “this study doesn’t tell us much about ways for people to avoid mosquito bites.”
RELATED: Home Remedies for Mosquito Bites
To repel mosquitoes, it’s necessary to either mask the scent from the hosts (you and me) that attracts the insects to begin with, or to interfere with mosquitoes’ sensory systems, explains Joseph Conlon, a technical adviser for the American Mosquito Control Association, who was not involved in the new research.
“I don’t necessarily find any earthshaking data [from this research] that should influence personal protective measures.”
What experts do recommend to avoid mosquito bites is:
- Cover arms, legs, and other exposed skin
- Use insect repellents
- Stay indoors at dawn and dusk (when mosquitoes tend to be most active)
- Use a fan or find an area that is breezy (mosquitoes are weak fliers; a little airflow can help keep them away)
One limitation of the study is that mosquitoes were tethered in a controlled environment in a lab, and it’s possible their flight responses might be different in the open air. Also, the Aedes aegypti is a species of mosquito that is active during the day, and it’s possible results might differ for mosquitoes that come out at night, Conlon notes.
How Do Mosquitoes Find Their Host?
So yes, mosquitoes can see, but it’s just one way these insects detect their hosts. According to researchers at the California Institute of Technology, mosquitoes can see their hosts when they’re about 5-10 meters (or about 16-32 feet) away.
So, what other signals attract mosquitoes, and what other methods do they use to find hosts? Here are just a few examples:
- Carbon dioxide – Perhaps more than sight, mosquitoes rely on smell to find hosts, and carbon dioxide is one of the most important signals mosquitoes use when searching for a blood meal. Mosquitoes have antennae and odor-sensing organs called palps. They are highly sensitive to the presence of carbon dioxide gas, which is produced by hosts as they exhale. It is thought that mosquitoes can detect carbon dioxide from more than 150 feet away, and this is often their first signal that a host is within range.
- Sweat and other scents – According to researchers at the University of California, Riverside, odors from perspiration can attract mosquitoes. Additionally, the insects may be lured by the lactic acid, uric acid and ammonia contained in sweat, as well as other scents such as perfumes and colognes.
- Body heat – Researchers at the California Institute of Technology also concluded that mosquitoes can pick up on a host’s body heat. The insects are typically able to detect the change in temperature at a distance of about 8 inches from the host. According to experiments, this is the final signal the mosquito uses to determine its host’s location.
The signals mosquitoes use to find hosts show that these insects are more sophisticated than most people have assumed and are able to rely on multiple sensory cues to locate meals.
Do mosquitoes hide in clothes?
Yes, mosquitoes hide in fabrics and clothing are just one of them.
They also like blankets, drapes, curtains, and even carpeting. They’re not picky and soft fabrics offer them a soft surface that’s easy to grab and warm to the touch.
Your clothes are just one source. If you have a lot of clothes (like your closet or dresser/armoire), then this is just layers upon layers of soft, warm surfaces for them to nest and wait for their next meal.
They’re not picky of where they hide- they just need a source of shelter, mammalian blood, and humidity from water. This is why they’re so prevalent. Everything from the used tire trade to your own car is a possible home for mosquitoes.
So, here are the most frequently asked questions about how to deal with mosquitos in your house.
How to attract a mosquito?
The question seems absurd, as most of us would like to keep mosquitoes away. But sometimes it’s necessary to attract it in order to kill it. So, mosquitoes are attracted by heat and light (an electric lamp or a candle have both). The easiest way to lure a mosquito is by using your phone.
How long do mosquitoes live in a house?
From four days to a month when it comes to bloodsucking females. Males live up to nine days, and they do not bother you that much. Although even one day is too much, given how strongly they disturb you and deprive you of sleep. So hoping they will disappear by themselves makes little sense.
Why do mosquitoes come out at night?
Because it’s easier for you to notice its buzzing in the silence of the night. In fact, they just avoid the sun – like all vampires do. Sunlight can dehydrate their fine bodies and kill them faster than one might expect. So natural selection has made them nocturnal.
Can I just wait until it gets full and flies away?
Not recommended. Maybe you have enough blood to share it with a little insect, but this sort of charity may cost you. Mosquitoes spread various diseases, including malaria, tularemia, and various sorts of encephalitis. So we’d only recommend this if you want to become a saint and practice your patience.
Also read: Best Mosquito Fogging Machines Reviewed
Isn’t it easier to just clap hands to smash the insect?
You can even use chopsticks to catch it like master Miyagi showed. But it’s rather about self-perfecting than about getting rid of mosquitoes. If your aim is to kill the insect, you better use efficient methods than spectacular.
Attracting Mosquitoes Indoors
By now you should have learned plenty of ways to lure mosquitoes out of hiding effectively and quickly. Attracting mosquitoes indoors is a creative process more than anything. Hopefully, this list has given you some inspiration to get going. You now know what they love, so use that knowledge to your advantage!
If you have already been bitten or want to take them out with some more of those big guns (such as the mosquito trap mentioned before), I do have a recommended products page that will help you on your way. There I categorize all anti-mosquito products out there that I’ve tested, reviewed and I know will work for anyone. So if you’ll want to beat them once and for all, do check out some of those reviews as well. Good luck hunting them!
Reader Success Stories
Xanthe Smithton Sep 13, 2021
“This information helped me deal with a few sneaky indoors mosquitoes — I hadn’t been able to see them well enough to kill them, but the yeast trap did the trick. Even better, I had all the elements on hand, so didn’t have to spend extra money!” …” more