Health & Fitness: Is your lighting attracting mosquitos? This is how your decor affects the pest

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Knowing how to mosquito-proof your home comes down to many factors – from keeping your space clean to growing natural deterrents in your garden. However (and perhaps unsurprisingly), your choice in lighting fixtures also has an impact on this pest activity throughout your home.

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If you've already read up on how to get rid of mosquitoes, then you may know that mosquitoes don't hate any kind of light. Though, some tones are less preferred than others. Therefore, your lighting ideas matter when it comes to attracting – or deterring the infamous fly.

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So, from the chandelier in your entryway to the lamp on your bedside table, this is how your decor impacts the mosquito level in your home.

Can mosquitoes see LED lights?

'Mosquitoes aren't any more attracted to LED lights than any other kind of lights,' says Charles van Rees, Ph.D. Conservation Scientist and Naturalist.

Though, while mosquitos are drawn to LED lights, Charles explains that mosquitoes aren't as attracted to light as other insects that may be drawn to a LED glow. 'Generally speaking, cooler-colored LEDs tend to attract lots of other insects like moths, beetles, and lacewings,' he says. Alternatively, mosquitoes are cued in on red and orange colors (as they are associated with the smell of CO2 from a human target's breath).

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As the expert explains, it comes down to the colors that attract or repel mosquitoes, with red and orange-toned lights amongst the most sought-after shades. 'A dark red or orange light might be more attractive to them if they are actively hunting. The LED part doesn't make a difference,' Charles explains.

What type of light do mosquitoes hate the most?

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'Mosquitoes don't hate any kind of light. However, some colors don't seem attractive to them when they are looking for an animal to bite. These are dark purples, blues, greens, grays, and other light shades,' Charles says.

This is because most mosquito targets, such as large mammals, are composed of 'various brownish or tan shades' that are a mix of various orange and red colors – not blues and greens. Therefore, lights that don't have an orange or red glow are likely to be less favored by mosquitoes. 'Yellow might be a good option since it doesn't distract or attract other types of non-biting insects, either,' the expert adds.

What lights do mosquitoes like the most?

'Colors we know to be attractive to mosquitoes include darker colors, such as black and deeply saturated dark colors (dark brown, dark red),' emphasizes Emma Grace Crumbley, an Entomologist with Mosquito Squad.

These colors absorb light and heat, as opposed to lighter colors like white which reflect heat. Mosquitoes can detect the heat absorbed and held by darker colors and are therefore inclined to investigate for potential hosts (as hosts, like humans, also give off heat).

When are mosquitoes most attracted to light?

While non-LED light sources may appear less attractive, Emma explains that any light used at night (when temperatures are at their coolest) runs the risk of attracting mosquitoes.

'Though mosquitoes may be less interested in LED light sources, they still perceive these lights,' she says. 'Light perception is only one of many cues mosquitoes use to identify hosts, so multiple factors (skin odors, CO2 production, exposed skin, etc.) should be considered when assessing the best ways to avoid mosquito bites.'

To discourage the insect from your home (during the day or night), it is a good idea to invest in mosquito repellent plants (and clean stagnant water to discourage them from sitting in your home).

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