Tag Archives: MOSQUITOES

THE SECRET LIFE OF MOSQUITOES: their favorite colors, and more

Who knew that mosquitoes have favorite colors?

Dark colors, like black, blue, and red, are most attractive to mosquitoes. This is because mosquitoes notice these colors more easily than they do light colors.

Even though it is estimated that 20% of all people are highly attractive to mosquitoes genetically, the mosquitoes’ final choices as to who to bite depends on who they notice first. Once a mosquito has seen people, it makes its choices based on smell. Carbon dioxide is particularly attractive to these bloodsuckers. Mosquitoes usually zero in on people who exhale more carbon dioxide, such as larger folks, or pregnant women. Not on these lists? You are still not out of the woods: mosquitoes appear to find the smell of beer very attractive.

On the topic of mosquitoes, I had a very interesting experience about 14 years ago, when I was living in Virginia Beach, Virginia, possibly, according to me, the mosquito capital of the world (they have all sorts of mosquitoes there – big ones, small ones, in between ones, and more, and they all seem to like people like me) So, anyway, one evening, when I was busy swatting away stealth attack mosquitoes, I had a brainstorm. I had been reading Machaelle Small Wright’s MAP and Behaving As If the God in All Life Mattered, and I got it into my head that I could contact the “diva” of mosquitoes. So, I centered myself, and went looking, or, rather, I put out a call, and waited. You are free to believe this or not. I  know it is way woo-woo, but this is the way it happened. Shortly, I felt a presence and knew I was in contact with a “head mosquito”, if you will. I explained patiently that I did not want to hurt any mosquitoes, but that the mosquitoes were hurting me. I offered a deal to not kill any mosquitoes, so long as no mosquitoes bit me. I did add in the caveat that I am somewhat mosquito-ist, in that I cannot distinguish one kind of mosquito from another, and, so, if she wished to accept my offer and play ball with me, she would have to contact any other mosquito divas and let them know the terms, and I also made it clear that if any mosquito, of any size or type ever bit me again, I would wage an unholy war on all mosquitoes I ever came across.  I know, I know – it sounds like I was hallucinating or something, but I did live out the rest of my year in Virginia Beach unbitten. As a matter of fact, I never saw another mosquito that year, and, until yesterday, I had not seen another one since.

Unfortunately, yesterday morning, I saw a nice big mosquito in my shower, just as I was going to get in. I learned that Scrubbing Bubbles will nicely fell a marauding mosquito.