You’ve got the whole setup: your citronella candles are on deck, your bug zapping lights are on in full force, and you’ve doused yourself in mosquito repellent for good measure. And yet – could it be? You’re still hearing the shrill whine of mosquitoes! Despite your best efforts to derail the pests, you may actually attract mosquitoes without even knowing it.
Mosquitoes prefer some scents over others, and some people’s natural body odor is simply more attractive to the bugs. Rather than focusing on the scents you can’t control though, let’s talk about the ones you can!
When mosquitoes aren’t making a snack out of you, both males and females feed on the nectar of flowers. If you’re smelling like a flower, you may be accidentally attracting mosquitoes! When you know you are going to be outdoors in potential mosquito territory, pay attention to the perfumes, deodorants, and lotions you apply.
Lactic acid and alpha hydroxy acid are two other scents that mosquitoes just can’t get enough of, and these are commonly found in lotions. They’re also found in sweat, which is one reason mosquitoes tend to swarm when you’re working out or doing yard work. You can minimize your lotion use though, so in addition to steering clear of floral scents, leave the lotions with lactic or alpha hydroxy acids in the medicine cabinet for the day.
Candles can also attract mosquitoes, but the reason might not be exactly what you expect. When candles burn they release carbon dioxide. Mosquitoes love carbon dioxide, because usually this is an indication that a warm-blooded creature is moving about! Although the actual scent of your apple pie cupcake candle might not be drawing in the mosquitoes, the carbon dioxide it releases might.
Colors that Attract Mosquitoes
Some experts say that certain colors attract mosquitoes, others say there is minimal to no effect. Our perspective is that it’s better to err on the side of caution. Wearing darker colors may attract mosquitoes because they stand out against the horizon. Combining your increased visibility with the fact that you’re a carbon dioxide-exhaling, warm-bodied human may, indeed, have an effect on mosquitoes’ ability to locate you. Wearing lighter colors may help, but take this one with a grain of salt.
Remember that mosquitoes need water to breed, so periodically inspect your yard for areas with mosquito-breeding conditions. Get rid of damp brush as quickly as you can, dump out pots and buckets with standing water, and divert downspouts away from the house. Look in places you may not regularly see as well, like gutters and pockets in trees that can hold water.
These are just a few temporary guidelines for protecting yourself from mosquitoes. If you’re seeking a longer-term solution, take a look at our mosquito misting systems and barrier treatments or contact Palmetto Mosquito Control for more information on your particular mosquito control needs.