Can Colors Repel Mosquitoes?

Mosquito season has arrived and the team at The Fish’n Canada Show is always looking for a way to mitigate these pests: colors may be the answer.

Colors can be used as an unexpected method to repel mosquitoes, which is surprising considering these bothersome insects not only intrude upon our personal space but also inflict itchy and swollen bites on our skin if we are unfortunate enough to be targeted. In more severe instances, specific mosquito species have the capability to transmit life-threatening illnesses such as malaria and dengue fever. This is precisely why it is crucial to be knowledgeable about swift mosquito eradication techniques, even if you have already attempted various repellents and deterrent plants.

Scientists from the University of Washington have discovered that specific colors have the ability to repel or attract mosquitoes. In a study published in Nature Communications, the researchers found that the mosquito’s olfaction, or sense of smell, plays a significant role in its response to visual cues and colors. Interestingly, this color preference is only evident when carbon dioxide (CO2) is present, which we exhale during respiration.

By taking into consideration that mosquitoes are attracted to our breath, sweat, and body temperature, it becomes apparent that eliminating the colors that initially attract them could assist in keeping them away.

Colors That Repel Mosquitoes

Blue

The study unveiled that mosquitoes showed a dislike towards the color blue, which is consistent with their known attraction towards darker colors. While navy blue tones, known for their heat-absorbent properties, are preferred by mosquitoes, lighter blues, on the other hand, reflect more heat and light, which repels the pests.

Purple/Violet

In a similar vein, mosquitoes showed a disregard for the color purple. This can be attributed to the fact that violet possesses the shortest wavelength among all colors in the visible light spectrum. As mosquitoes favor colors with longer wavelengths like red and orange, they tend to steer clear of purple.

This information can be advantageous if you own any purple clothing or have outdoor furniture that incorporates such colors!

White


In general, mosquitoes tend to avoid light-colored objects that reflect heat, making white an excellent deterrent. Interestingly, white served as the control object in the study. The objective was to pair each color in the test chamber with a white object to facilitate a comparison of the results.

The research revealed that even with the presence of CO2 sprayed in the test chamber, mosquitoes intentionally avoided the white object and instead gravitated towards the colors they preferred.

Green

Contrary to common expectations, research has demonstrated that mosquitoes have a tendency to avoid the color green. During a study, a researcher extended their bare hands outside the test chamber, which attracted the mosquitoes. However, when the same researcher inserted their hand wearing a green glove into the test chamber, mosquitoes completely disregarded it and flew right past. This pattern persisted even when the green glove was treated with CO2 to enhance mosquito attraction. It appears that mosquitoes do not have an affinity for the color green.

While these findings are promising, experts advise that other preventive measures should still be taken. Citronella, which emits a citrus scent offensive to mosquitoes, is a good deterrent and is often included in mosquito repellent sprays. Additionally, mosquito trap devices can be effective, as they use a combination of light and suction to lure and trap mosquitoes.

Colors That Attract Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are typically attracted to dark colors such as navy or dark blue, red, orange, and black. The reason behind this preference is that darker hues have a tendency to trap heat, and when you wear such colors, you may sweat more, inadvertently providing mosquitoes with a desirable host.

Interestingly, mosquitoes are more likely to detect red wavelengths, regardless of skin tone. So, if you have these colors present around your home and yard, you may unintentionally be attracting mosquitoes to those areas.

Source

One Response

  1. A definite asset to undertake when out in the great outdoors. With that information in mind, it is likely well worth investigating what colors repel other insects and “no-see-‘ums” that populate our world. An environmentally safe sollution by any means.

    In that respect and knowing that colors do attract fish, I have also discovered that certain colors will also repel some species of fish. I had a tropical aquarium a few years back and a very intesting phenomenon came to light. I had a yellow pencil in my hand while observing these fish and just out of curiousity, held it againt the tank where the fish swimming. To my surprise, the fish in a panic, darted to the other end of the tank. I repeated this experiment several times and got the same result. They must have perceived the yellow pencil as some sort of threat from a predator.

    As we know, most tropical fish are raised in captivity and have never been exposed to an actual threat in the wild. In my opinion their reaction was instintive and or impulsive. When the bite is off, this too is something to consider when we as fishermen get all giddy about the different color combinations of lures. Are we actually attracting some species of fish while repelling others?

    Color me impressed.

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