Surprising Mosquito Facts You Should Know (to Help Keep the Mosquitoes Out of Your Summer Fun)
The SC Johnson bug experts share some less commonly known mosquito behaviors that may help you and your family get more out of the summer fun.
Did you know… ?
Only Female Mosquitoes Bite
There are about 3,500 species of mosquitoes and they can be found in virtually every part of the world. But not all mosquitoes bite people. While both male and female mosquitoes feed on nectar and plant sap, only female mosquitoes need your blood for reproduction.
Mosquitoes Prefer Darker Colors
If you're trying to avoid mosquitoes, opt for lighter-colored clothing. Mosquitoes can be attracted to darker colors.
Mosquitoes Do Prefer to Bite Some People Over Others
Chemicals such as carbon dioxide are emitted when you breathe out, and lactic acid found in your sweat, attract mosquitoes. If you keep getting bitten while those around you don’t, it’s because mosquitoes are attracted to your body chemistry over others.
Female Mosquitoes Can Detect You up to 120 Feet Downwind
Carbon dioxide can be detected up to 120 feet downwind. Other chemicals you emit, such as lactic acid, as well as visual cues, can be detected by a mosquito up to 15 feet. A mosquito can detect your body heat within 3 to 7 feet.
A Full Moon Makes Mosquitoes More Active
According to an American Mosquito Control Association study, a full moon can increase mosquito activity 500 percent.
Mosquitoes Need Only One Tablespoon of Water to Breed
Mosquitoes prefer to lay their eggs in still or stagnant water or wet earth, and they only require a small amount of water to do so. In fact, some types of mosquitoes only need a tablespoon of water to develop. Old tires, children's wading pools, toys, bird baths, potted plants and even a bottle cap can become their breeding ground.
DEET Does Not Kill Mosquitoes—It Deters and Repels Them
DEET affects the scent receptors mosquitoes use to detect chemicals such as lactic acid on our skin and carbon dioxide we exhale, but it does NOT kill them.
It Is Not the Smell of DEET That Repels Mosquitoes
When you apply it correctly, personal repellent with DEET forms a vapor barrier at the surface of your skin that deters mosquitoes from landing and biting you.
* DEET is the popular name for N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide. It is a colorless oily liquid with a mild odor. It is an active ingredient in many repellent formulas.