Scientists still don’t fully understand the subtle chemistry of what attracts mosquitoes to humans. However, entomologists are certain that the following are mosquito attractants:
- Carbon dioxide and other chemicals in the breath that you exhale
- Chemicals your body emits
- Body heat
- Visual cues such as color, size and contrast
Mosquitoes are very effective at reproducing
Attracting, trapping and killing just one female mosquito at the start of mosquito season can prevent the birth of up to 25,000 more mosquitoes that season alone!
The importance of water
All mosquitoes need water to complete their lifecycles. Some mosquito species lay their eggs directly on the surface of water. Others lay drought-resistant eggs into containers or depressions in the ground – then, when the area is flooded by rainfall or another water source, the eggs are able to hatch.
Mosquito activity in cold weather
Many mosquitoes are able to hibernate in cold winter months. Their development ceases, and they remain still and inactive. Once temperatures rise in the spring and summer, the hibernating mosquitoes and mosquito eggs become active again.
What mosquitoes eat
Mosquitoes rely on sugar as their main source of energy. Both male and female mosquitoes feed on plant nectar, fruit juices, and liquids that ooze from plants.
Blood for reproduction
Females mosquitoes lay multiple batches of eggs and require a blood meal for every batch they lay. Male mosquitoes do not lay eggs – as a result, male mosquitoes don’t require blood meals, and therefore, do not bite.
Most mosquitoes die before they are able to bite and take a blood meal. In general, mosquitoes that do live to reproduce are only able to take one blood meal before they, too, are killed or die naturally.
Why mosquito bites hurt
Mosquito bites leave welts and itch because when females bite they salivate into the wound. Proteins in the saliva facilitate the taking of the blood meal by preventing the blood platelets from coagulating and by dilating blood vessels. The welts that appear after the mosquito leaves are not a reaction to the wound but an allergic reaction to the saliva injected to prevent clotting.
In addition to properly installing and using a SkeeterVac®; mosquito exterminator, you can reduce mosquito breeding around your home significantly by reducing the amount of water that is stagnating on your property.
- Dispose of cans, plastic containers, pots, or similar water-holding containers that have accumulated on your property.
- Drill holes in the bottom of containers that you must leave out of doors – trash cans, recycling bins, etc.
- Clean clogged roof gutters on an annual basis.
- Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use.
- Turn over wheelbarrows, empty planters, or children’s toys.
- Don’t allow water to stagnate in birdbaths.
- Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools that are not being used. Don’t forget that mosquitoes breed in the water that collects on swimming pool covers.
- Use landscaping features or drainage tools to eliminate standing water that collects in low spots on your property.