Top Ten Ways You Attract Mississippi Mosquitoes Without Knowing

Serving Families Throughout Hattiesburg
mosquito biting on a residents skin

Since they are directly responsible for over a million worldwide deaths each year, mosquitoes are considered one of the most dangerous animals in the world. While over fifty species of mosquitoes are found in Mississippi, the two most common are the Asian tiger mosquito and the yellow fever mosquito also known as the Aedes aegypti. The Asian tiger mosquito is distinctly black with white markings on its body, legs, and thorax and a single white stripe down its middle. These mosquitoes are active year round in our warm climate. They can carry Eastern equine encephalitis or EEE, West Nile virus, Dengue fever, and they are a primary vector for Chikungunya. They are also capable of transmitting the Zika virus.

The yellow fever mosquito is dark brown to black with silver-white markings and is active primarily during the morning or late afternoon and is a vector of urban yellow fever and dengue.
Does it ever seem like mosquitoes follow you? Below are ten ways mosquitoes lock in on their targets. Many may come as a surprise to most people.

  • Colors - Mosquitoes are not known for their eyesight. They tend to pick out targets whose silhouette stands out against the sky. Bold and dark colors make you easier to lock onto.
  • Heat - Mosquitoes feed on warm-blooded animals. Their eyes can pick up thermal information. The warmer your temperature, the more likely a mosquito is to target you.
  • Carbon Dioxide - Female mosquitoes have nerve cells called cpA neurons that detect carbon dioxide. If you are breathing, mosquitoes can sense your presence.
  • Exercise - While a healthy activity, exercise does many things to attract mosquitoes. While exercising, you are likely to produce increased heat and carbon dioxide but also sweat and lactic acid which are attractive to mosquitoes.
  • Flowers - Only female mosquitoes have the piercing-sucking mouth parts to ingest blood needed to develop eggs. Both males and females sip nectar, honeydew, and fruit juices as a means of sustenance. Having flowers on your property may attract a disproportionate amount of mosquitoes.
  • Alcohol - Backyard barbecues are a popular place for mosquitoes. Not only are they attracted to the crowd, but also anyone who is drinking beer.
  • Blood Type - Are you a universal donor? People with type O blood are up to twice as likely to be bitten by mosquitoes than people with other blood types.
  • Pregnancy - As if swollen ankles and food cravings were not enough - pregnant women are more easily detected, and more likely to be bitten, by mosquitoes.
  • Shade - Ever notice how mosquitoes are most annoying at dawn and dusk? While these obnoxious pests are attracted to the heat of our bodies, they prefer to stay in the cool of the shade.
  • Standing Water - Perhaps the biggest and hardest to eliminate mosquito attraction is water. Mosquitoes need water to reproduce and are naturally attracted to areas that provide it.

Turn Attraction To Repulsion

While there are countless ways we can attract mosquitoes, there are essentially only two means of repelling them. We can either reduce their populations or avoid being bitten. The best control comes from integrated pest management that reduces breeding areas. This includes routine larviciding in breeding areas that cannot be eliminated and focuses on killing adult mosquitoes only when and where it is necessary to limit the use of an insecticide.
Take advantage of Havard Pest Control’s seventy years of experience. Call today to find out more about how we can help you reduce mosquito populations on your property and protect yourself from some of the most dangerous pests in the world.