Mosquitoes are from the family Culicidae that has been evolving since the late Cretaceous period, around 99 million years ago. They are one of the most annoying insects worldwide. Therefore, peoples use many types of precautions to avoid these insects.
So, have you ever been wondered how mosquitoes see colors or what colors do they hate? If yes, then this article is perfect for you.
Mosquitoes usually hate light or more subdued colors like white, ivory, cream, British tan, khaki, pastel yellow, and soft gray shades. On the contrary, certain dark or bright colors attract them too, like black, navy blue, dark green, red, orange, and many more.
The science behind the explanation is that light colors release less carbon dioxide compared to darker tones. Therefore, it is difficult for mosquitoes to sense you.
Later in this post, we will discuss more on mosquitoes’ vision and “how they sense us” in detail. With this knowledge, you can avoid mosquitoes by making small changes in your life. So, without any delay, let’s begin.
What color do mosquitoes hate?
According to various researchers, light colors repel mosquitoes the most. They generally hate hues with lighter tones like tan, cream, white, khaki, or yellow shades. However, using light colors doesn’t protect you from them.
If your body is producing more carbon dioxide, then mosquitoes can easily spot you by their maxillary palps. They are good at sensing CO2 from living beings, and this ability assists them to navigate even in complete darkness.
Also, dark color clothes absorb more carbon dioxide compared to lighter ones; that is why it is always noticed that mosquitoes love to sit or attract on dark or bright hues.
But still, our body produces carbon dioxide naturally; hence, changing colors only provide a little bit of assistance to keep away from mosquitoes.
- 1) Sight-
Like other insects, mosquitoes have two types of eyes; compound and photosensitive (ocelli). The compound eyes have many hexagonal ommatidia (lenses) that allow them to detect motion by forming multiple images of a thing.
Mosquitoes have mosaic vision, and they can see colors but not like humans. In other words, their eyesight helps them to identify any nearby object with higher sensitivity and low resolution with colors. They don’t have clarity in the vision. Also, they rely on different senses to detect you.
According to researchers at the California Institute of Technology, mosquitoes can see their hosts up to 15 meters away in the presence of carbon dioxide.
- 2) Smell-
Female mosquitoes detect their host through a smell as far as 170 feet. They can easily smell the host’s attractive gases like carbon dioxide from a very long range. This ability helps mosquitoes to navigate even in the dark.
- 3) Sensing Body Heat-
Not only sight and smell, but mosquitoes can also sense the host’s body heat at a distance of fewer than 4 feet.
In a nutshell, it will be much better to use mosquito repellent spray or cream so that they can’t sense you from a far distance and avoid making contact with you. Their vision is primarily the same as a cockroach’s eyesight.
What colors are mosquitoes attracted to?
Mosquitoes are predominately attracted to dark colors like black, dark green, navy blue, and many more. It is because dark hues absorb and emit more carbon dioxide than lighter shades. And mosquitoes easily smell carbon dioxide gas as far as 170 feet.
Also, according to the new research in 2015, it is unveiled that mosquitoes also love bright or glowing colors like red, orange, yellow, etc. These colors are easily visible to them at a certain distance.
Are mosquitoes colorblind? Can mosquitoes see color?
Mosquitoes are not colorblind. They can see color but not like humans. Their eyes comprise 2000+ mini lenses that are sensitive to many colors. Also, like many other insects, mosquitoes’ vision can perceive a wide range of electromagnetic spectrums compared to humans.
The research shows insects like mosquitoes, non-biting midges, can sense ultraviolet light from 300 to 400 nm wavelength. This indicates that mosquitoes may see UV-A lights too.
Apart from UV light, mosquitoes can also discern the infrared spectrum. Some shreds of evidence prove beetles, mosquitoes, and other insects are attracted to infrared light because they can efficiently sense heat.
Can mosquitoes see in the dark?
Mosquitoes cannot see clearly in the dark unless they are within 50 feet range of their host. Mosquitoes can easily notice their host in a close range, even in the complete darkness.
However, they also have other abilities to navigate in the dark. Mosquitoes have antennae and a maxillary palp on their head through which they can sense their favorite gas, carbon dioxide.
All living beings exhale CO2 gas, and it attracts mosquitoes. Additionally, when mosquitoes are under a meter range within the host, they can easily sense their body heat.
An experiment was conducted where mosquitoes were placed in a glass shell, and carbon dioxide gas was injected subsequently. It revealed that mosquitoes blindly follow the area where CO2 is coming from. Then, chemicals were put in the shell at different temperatures.
The researchers observed the change in behavior among mosquitoes where they showed a strong preference for the warmer chemical (especially about 37 degrees Celsius).
Can mosquitoes see in the light?
Mosquitoes can easily see in the light, but they avoid direct exposure to sunlight because it will dehydrate them. Unlike other day bugs, mosquitoes generally navigate at night with the help of light coming from the moon or stars.
However, artificial lighting can make it difficult for mosquitoes to see. But not all colors. They can spot their route under blue lighting. Therefore, it is recommended to use yellow light bulbs to repel mosquitoes.
How do mosquitoes see the world?
Mosquitoes see the world as the same as other insects with their thousands of mini lenses. They have a hazy vision, and their eyes are qualified to glimpse the world in high sensitivity and low clarity. Also, mosquitoes cannot differentiate humans from other animals. For them, we all are hosts.
Mosquitoes do not see details. For them, most of the entities are large blocks. Their vision allows them to distinguish colors and the difference between non-living and living things.
Every insect has its unique way of navigating in complete darkness. Mosquitoes sense CO2 from their host, and it allows them to blindly follow their host, whether its day time or night.
Therefore, you have often seen that mosquitoes are more attracted to you when you are covered with sweat. Because at that time, your body is releasing more carbon dioxide than average, and mosquitoes can easily sense you.
Mosquito vision vs Human Vision
|Mosquito Vision||Human Vision|
|Are near-sighted||Are far-sighted|
|Can see colors||Can see colors|
|Forms blurry images||Forms images with clarity|
Here, we conclude our article on “What color do mosquitoes hate,” along with other relevant queries. We will be back with another post on the ways to repel mosquitoes. Till then, stay tuned with us and read the article below.
1 meter = 3.28 feet
Response Of Adult Mosquitoes To Light-Emitting Diodes by University of Nebraska
Monty is a founder of How It See. Being a life science student in a reputed university, he always wonders about an eclectic correlation between science and nature. After engaging in various college projects, Monty determined to share all his knowledge with you as a writer. In the meantime, he loves to research and study about the various types of colorful animals.