Do you notice that mosquitoes seem to like dark places? You often hear them buzzing around at night, flying off when you disturb them and buzzing around when you suddenly turn on your bathroom light. Yes, mosquitoes do actually prefer dark places, and here are the reasons why…
1. Mosquitoes are generally more active at night
There is one simple reason why you often see mosquitoes at night — many mosquito species are nocturnal, especially those from the genus Anopheles. These are the culprits for the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases like malaria.
They are nocturnal because the night has better conditions for their survival. The winds are more tolerable for their weak wings. The heat is more tolerable compared to when the sun is out. And because there is little to no heat at night, their surroundings are also more likely to be moist, an ideal condition for their breeding.
However, take note that there are also mosquito species that are active during the day, such as those from the genus Aedes. This means you are vulnerable to mosquitoes at whatever time of day.
2. They come out at night because of more tolerable winds
Mosquitoes are tiny creatures. Average adult mosquitoes are only around four to eight millimeters in size. And you rarely find them bigger than 16 millimeters long. These bloodsuckers are also very weak fliers. In fact, you can avoid mosquitoes at night by simply turning on the fan and pointing it at you while you sleep. The weak artificial wind from the fan is enough to blow mosquitoes away.
Mosquitoes are aware of this vulnerability. This is why they go out at night when the winds are more tolerable. Winds don’t just blow them away. Winds are also just very exhausting to fly against.
Don’t let their size and vulnerability to winds fool you though. Mosquitoes are still some of the deadliest animals on the planet.
3. Mosquitoes like dark places — to avoid the sun
Another disadvantage of their size is their vulnerability to heat. You may think that heat is a trivial thing. But mosquitoes are so small that something that we feel is trivial is actually extremely dangerous to them.
The mere heat from the sun can dehydrate and kill them. This is one of the reasons why you notice that mosquitoes seem to like dark places. When it’s dark outside, they are free to fly around without thinking about the sun and the heat that can kill them. When it’s dark inside, they don’t need to worry about an artificial light source like a fluorescent light that will heat up the place.
4. They like dark places because these areas are more likely to be moist
Mosquitoes live in moist areas, such as ponds, rainforests, and swamps. Near human settlements, they live in unattended pools of water, such as those in bird baths, flower pots, and garden ponds. They take advantage of the moisture and breed on a thin film above the water.
Mosquitoes like dark places because these areas are more likely to be moist. Of course, since there is no light source that is heating up the place, it is less likely for moisture to evaporate.
5. They use the moon and stars to navigate
You see more mosquitoes at night because these creatures use the natural light from the moon and stars to navigate when they are flying. It helps that these celestial bodies are not as hot as the sun, so they have little to no negative effect on mosquitoes.
Of course, these celestial bodies and their natural lights are more visible at night, and that’s why mosquitoes are more comfortable roaming around during this time of day. The night is just perfect for mosquitoes. It doesn’t have a lot of pesky winds that blow them away. It’s not too hot to endanger their lives. And it features lights that help them navigate.
6. They are attracted to darker colors
A room can become dark even if there is sunlight seeping in, especially if many of the items in the room have darker colors. Mosquitoes are also attracted to darker colors themselves. This is because items with darker colors are easier for them to see. This is the reason why many people notice that mosquitoes seem to be more attracted to them when they are wearing dark-colored clothing.
You can use light colors when choosing clothing or decorating rooms. This is not a surefire way to avoid mosquitoes, but it may help if you partner it up with other mosquito prevention tips.
7. They are also attracted to artificial light
Mosquitoes are attracted to darkness, but they are also attracted to light. This can be confusing. But don’t worry. The mosquitoes themselves are confused.
As mentioned earlier, mosquitoes use natural lights such as moonlight and starlight to navigate when they are flying. But during the night, there are artificial lights around, such as those from homes and street posts. Mosquitoes confuse these artificial lights with natural lights, so they look like they are “attracted” to them.
In other words, you are not completely safe from mosquitoes just because you have the lights on. These bloodsuckers do like the darkness, but their confusion can lead them to the light.
8. You are more vulnerable to mosquito bites when the sun is down
Nighttime just has the perfect conditions for mosquitoes to thrive. The things they hate the most — heat and wind — are tolerable during this time of day. Natural lights are also very visible to help them navigate. And most of all, you won’t be able to easily spot them because of the general decrease in visibility during the night.
This makes you more vulnerable to mosquito bites. In the worst cases, these bites can lead to dangerous diseases like dengue and malaria. They can also be itchy, potentially leading to scratching, wounds, and infections.
Mosquitoes do like dark places
Mosquitoes like dark places because these areas have the perfect conditions for them to thrive. This also means you are more vulnerable to mosquitoes in the dark. However, mosquitoes can be found in the daytime too, and even when there is light in your room. Don’t get the idea that you are completely safe from these dangerous creatures just because the sun is out or you have a lamp on beside your bed.