New Study Shows Mosquitoes may be Attracted to Certain Colours

March 28, 2022

New Study Shows Mosquitoes may be Attracted to Certain Colours

When mosquito season hits, you should do everything you can to avoid being bitten. New research has found the colours you wear also play a role.

How do Mosquitoes Find You?

While mosquitoes can see, they do not see clear images. They first detect you by smelling carbon dioxide from your breath. After visual identification, they use heat sensing receptors in their antennae to find exposed parts on your body.

New research has found that the colours you wear also play a role in how mosquitoes find you. This was discovered by researchers at the University of Washington and published in the journal Nature Communications

They tracked the behaviour of a certain species of female mosquitoes when they were given different types of visual and scent cues. Mosquitoes were put into small test chambers and exposed to different stimuli, including coloured dots.

When there was no odour like carbon dioxide in the test chambers, the mosquitos mostly ignored the coloured dots. Once carbon dioxide was introduced, they flew toward dots that were red, orange, black, or cyan. Dots that were green, blue, or purple were ignored.

It should be noted that there are hundreds of different species of mosquito, so this attraction is not necessarily all encompassing of all species.

Experts note that mosquitoes are attracted to darker colours, as light colours are perceived as a threat. This is why many species avoid biting in direct sunlight. 

How to prevent mosquito bites

  • Use registered insect repellents
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants
  • Treat your clothes with 0.5% permethrin
  • Get rid of standing water around your home
  • Use screens on your windows and doors
  • Wear lighter colours