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Are Mosquitoes Attracted to Light?

Have you ever wondered if mosquitoes are attracted to light?

Whether or not you like it, mosquitoes are just a part of life, particularly life in the summertime. They are constantly crashing the party in your patio area, backyard, in your tents when you go camping, and so on. Could a change in your outdoor lighting make a difference? 

Are Mosquitoes Attracted to Light?

During the day, mosquitoes avoid light, and head into quiet shady areas. They are most active in the early morning and in the evenings, when sunlight is low.  

Mosquitoes are like most nocturnal insects. Mosquitoes aren't drawn in closer to light (nor are they repelled by it). They use light they can "see" to help them navigate from one point to another. But they don't perceive light the same way we do. 

Mosquitoes navigate by angling themselves in relation to natural light they perceive (usually the moon and stars) to travel from one point to another. 

When we're talking about artificial light, it is physically in much closer proximity to mosquitoes and other bugs, obviously, than the moon and stars. This makes it difficult for them to maintain a good angle in relation to the light, and it actually disorients them to a degree. But they do the best they can to use even artificial light to help them travel.

What mosquitoes are really attracted to is carbon dioxide, sweat, body heat, and body odor. This is how they find their food . . . US! And sometimes animals.


Are Mosquitoes Attracted to Ultraviolet Light?

Mosquitoes are not attracted to ultraviolet light any more than they are to regular artificial light. You might think your bug zapper is killing hundreds of mosquitoes in a sweep, but those are not mosquitoes. They are other flying insects, including midges (cousins of mosquitoes), and yes, your bug zapper is likely doing a good job killing tons of these! But not mosquitoes. 

For this reason, you will never find a mosquito trap in the store that emits light. Mosquito traps utilize carbon dioxide to bring mosquitoes in to trap them. In other words, bug zapper lights don't do much to kill mosquitoes.  

Do Yellow and Red Lights Repel Mosquitoes?

You may have heard someone tell you to replace your outdoor lighting with yellow or red lights in order to repel mosquitoes and other bugs. Red and (especially) yellow lights do indeed work well to attract FEWER bugs, but they do NOT repel them.

But they work well to make us less visible to mosquitoes. 

Colors That Attract Mosquitoes

You may have also heard that wearing certain colors can help get mosquitoes to avoid you. This is true to some degree, but not entirely. Remember that mosquitoes don't perceive light (or color) the way we do.

Also remember that they hunt with senses other than their eyes.

It is true that darker colors absorb light and retain heat, which will make mosquitoes more attracted to you. They will also be less attracted to you if you wear lighter colors, which reflect light away from you (and keep you cooler).

Mosquito Control

So you've got pesky mosquitoes in your yard, garden, and patio that disrupt your cookouts and summer fun. 

Try an effective plant oil-based mosquito control product for spot treatment, like Maggie's Farm Home Bug Spray, Maggie's Farm Flying Insect Killer, or Maggie's Farm Mosquito Fogger. Plants hate mosquitoes and other bugs just as much as you do, and the natural oils they produce to protect themselves are amazingly effective at killing and repelling bugs of all sorts. 

For longer term, more thorough coverage, you can treat wider areas of your lawn with effective hose-end plant oil-based pest control products like Maggie's Farm Mosquito & Tick Killer and Maggie's Farm Yard Bug Spray

An effective plant-oil based DEET-free personal mosquito repellent, like Maggie's Farm Natural Insect Repellent can help you keep mosquitoes away from and off of you and your family members.  

Citronella candles and electric mosquito traps can also come in handy in repelling and controlling mosquito populations around your patio and yard. For ornamental water around your yard, you may want to consider using mosquito dunks.

For more on controlling mosquitoes, read the following articles:

How to Prevent Mosquitoes in Your Home and Yard

When is Mosquito Season in My State?

How to Prevent a Mosquito Infestation Naturally

Do I Need to Call A Pest Control Professional?

You can do quite a bit yourself to help manage mosquitoes around your home and yard. If you've got an overwhelming mosquito infestation around your home, consider calling a pest control company.

How do you control mosquitoes in your yard? We want to hear your tips and tricks! Leave us a comment below!


For scientifically-tested, effective mosquito control in your home that is friendly to the environment, try Maggie’s Farm pest control products. Our promise is that our plant and mineral-based products are developed by scientists and seasoned pest control professionals to be the most effective.


  • Cindy I read in NYT article a large fan is excellent deterrent.

    David Cotter
  • I’m looking for a safe way to reduce mosquitoes around my grandchild‘s play area that I built her and I was looking at bug lights and found your article very good nteresting.

    Cindy Young

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