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Are Mosquitoes Attracted to Carbon Dioxide?

a mosquito on denim

Are you a super attractor for mosquitoes? These pesky insects are attracted to many odors and chemicals that humans give off, and some people attract them more than others.

The good news is that there are several steps you can take to make yourself less attractive to mosquitoes, such as wearing light-colored clothing and using an effective insect repellant.

If mosquitoes have become a nuisance on your property, the best way to control them is to identify where they are laying their eggs. Female mosquitos can lay hundreds of eggs at a time, and it doesn’t take long for them to hatch into larvae. Knowing what larvae look like and where they live while they molt is an important step in eliminating a mosquito infestation.

One place that mosquitoes love to lay eggs is inside pet water bowls. Read this guide to learn how to keep them out of your pet’s water. Finally, call a professional pest control service for mosquito control. An expert can identify where they are laying their eggs, eliminate the infestations and put preventative measures in place to keep them from coming back.

Are Mosquitoes Attracted to Carbon Dioxide?

Did you know that mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide and skin odor? They have receptors that pick up on the carbon dioxide that humans and animals emit. They also use skin odor, body heat and perspiration to find their next host.

Mosquitoes can detect carbon dioxide from far distances and zero in on humans. Humans and animals emit carbon dioxide in their breath, and mosquitoes detect it in the air. Once they detect it, they look for and hone in on their next target.

Only female mosquitoes bite humans and animals. They need the protein from blood to develop eggs and reproduce. For sustenance, female and male mosquitoes feed on the nectar of plants.

However, male mosquitoes can still become a nuisance to humans. Even though they do not bite, they love hanging around humans. Researchers believe it is because they are looking for female mates, and the females are often near humans.

Female mosquitoes carry diseases they can transfer to their hosts, which is why you should do your best to deter them from biting you. There are a few ways you can repel mosquitoes every time you go outdoors.

How To Deter Mosquitoes Outside

First, wearing light-colored clothing can help keep these pests away from your skin. Along with detecting carbon dioxide, mosquitoes find hosts using sight and smell. Darker clothing traps heat which can make you sweat more. Mosquitoes can smell the different chemicals that are emitted through our sweat. Additionally, darker colors stand out easier against the lighter color of the sky, which can make it easier for them to find you.

Next time you go outdoors, wear light colors like cream, white or pastel shades. Wearing long sleeves and pants also gives mosquitoes less exposed skin to bite into. In warmer months, try wearing shirts with long sleeves that are made of light fabric so that you don’t get too hot.

However, mosquitoes can bite through skin-tight clothing, so wear loose-fitting clothes that add space between the fabric and your skin. Clothing with tightly-woven fabric is also harder for mosquitoes to bite through. You can also wear sneakers and boots instead of sandals to protect your feet.

Next, use an effective insect repellent to keep mosquitoes away. Masking the smell of your sweat is a good idea because mosquitoes are attracted to perspiration. There are also clothing options that have insect repellent embedded into them.

Finally, mosquitoes are not good fliers. Swatting at them a few times will force them to move on to another host. They cannot fly in the wind, so carrying a personal fan can also keep them away.

If your property is attracting annoying mosquitoes, contact a pest control service before they get out of hand.

mosquito larvae

What Does Mosquito Larvae Look Like?

The mosquito life cycle has four stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. After a blood meal, female mosquitoes can lay between one hundred and four hundred eggs at a time. She lays them in water or somewhere wet, like damp soil.

Around a week after laying, the eggs hatch in water and become larvae. Larvae molt three times before becoming pupae, which molt once into adult mosquitoes. Knowing what mosquito larvae look like is important because you may see them on your property.

Mosquito larvae, also called wigglers, start off looking like furry worms. They are less than a quarter of an inch long and have a hard head. Their bodies are soft, and their abdomens have ten segments. They breathe through a siphon tube that is attached to their abdomen and pulls in air at the water’s surface.

Wigglers hang upside down at the water’s surface for up to two weeks, but most of them do not take that long. During this time, mosquito larvae eat as they go and molt through the larvae stages. They feed on tiny microorganisms in the water like algae, fungi and plankton.

By the time mosquito larvae finish molting, they measure around half an inch. The fourth time they molt, they become pupae. Pupae continue to live underwater until they shed their casing and grow into adults, which is when they emerge into the air. The average time between hatching to adulthood is ten days.

How To Stop Mosquitoes From Multiplying

There are several ways that homeowners can deter mosquitoes from multiplying on their property. First, since females lay eggs in wet areas, it’s important to clear out any standing water. Water that is stagnant for a week quickly becomes a mosquito nesting spot.

Keep your rain gutters clean so that water easily flows through them. Do not leave out buckets, kid pools or other containers full of water on your property. Bird bath water should be replaced every two weeks. If you have pets or livestock, replace their water often. Inspect your outdoor water faucets and make sure they do not leak.

Identify all other areas that could collect water, such as turned-over trash can lids, decorative ponds, fountains, plant holders and wheelbarrows. Ditches that do not flow are also great breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Contact a pest control expert to identify all potential breeding areas for mosquitoes on your property. They can help you deter mosquitoes from your home.

a dog drinking water out of its bowl

What To Do About Mosquito Larvae in Pets Water Bowl

Your pet’s outdoor water bowl is a common place to find mosquito larvae. You do not want your pet to ingest the larvae or the bacteria they carry, so it’s important to deal with the problem.

First, empty the water bowl. Do not let your pet drink from it again until it is thoroughly cleaned. Create a disinfecting paste using baking soda, salt and water.

Refresh your pet’s water bowl every day to eliminate the chance of mosquitoes laying their eggs inside it. You should also give it a thorough rinse every day to remove any eggs that were laid the day before.

There are several ways you can prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs in your pet’s bowl in the first place. Consider switching to a water fountain feeder that keeps the water moving. Not only will it taste fresher for your pet, but the movement will also block mosquitoes from laying their eggs.

You can also add apple cider vinegar to your pet’s water bowl to deter mosquitoes. Make sure you do not add more than what is advised for your pet’s weight.

There are also mosquito dunks that contain a bacteria that is only harmful to mosquito larvae that you can add to your pet’s water bowl. The water is still safe for your pet to drink.

If you have ponds on your property, it is also a good idea to add mosquito dunks to the pond water. You can also install underwater aerators to keep the pond water moving and deter mosquitoes.

The most thorough way to deal with mosquitoes on your property is to contact a pest control specialist. They can find the spots where mosquitoes are laying their eggs on your property and eliminate them. They can also give you prevention tips and install methods to deter mosquitoes from your property.

Kick Mosquitoes Off Your Property

You cannot help that mosquitoes are attracted to you since you cannot control the fact that you emit carbon dioxide. However, you can take steps to deter them from biting you and spreading their diseases.

Along with deterring them from your skin, you also want to deter mosquitoes from your property. Eliminating the places where they can lay eggs is a major first step in the process. One of the first places you should look for mosquito larvae is in your pet’s outdoor water bowl.

Call a pest control service today to treat your mosquito infestation. Mosquitoes lay hundreds of eggs at a time and mature into adults quickly, so controlling them is important to do before the population gets out of control.

ABC Can Reduce Mosquito Populations on Your Property

If you’re ready for relief from mosquitoes, contact ABC Home & Commercial Services. Our professionals will create a customized mosquito control plan. This way, you and your family members can feel more at ease in your outside space again.

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