Mosquitos are a big problem to people, and they can be even more of an issue when you kill one. They may seem harmless at first but mosquitos have killed more humans than wars or natural disasters combined!
So, are you risking even more mosquitos trying to bite you if you kill one in your home?
No scientific evidence shows that killing an individual mosquito has repercussions involving others especially targeting you. This myth is born from anecdotal observations where those more prone to mosquito bites were bitten after killing one or more mosquitos. Nevertheless, certain things do attract these pests.
In this blog post, I will go into even more detail over whether killing a mosquito will attract other mosquitos, as well as what the best way to deter them is and how to kill them more effectively. So, please read on.
Does a dead mosquito actually attract others?
No research has shown that mosquitos use any chemical secretion to communicate with others of the species to target a human that kills them. If further bites occur it is merely because you are already an attractive target for this pest. However, swatting mosquitos can have other very serious dangers.
Mosquitos, unlike pests such as wasps, do not live in groups or colonies. That means that there is little benefit to them to send out a danger signal via pheromones when they die. So, it’s unlikely that simply killing one will attract others who wouldn’t already target you naturally.
However, a case of a woman who died from an infection raises the worrying issue of how and if you should kill a mosquito. According to sources, the smashed insect that was rubbed into a wound led to a fatal diagnosis. This is why some professionals suggest you don’t sway mosquitos, especially feeding ones, but flick them off instead.
So, using deterrents or other ways of killing mosquitos, such as bug zappers, may be safer than smashing them into your skin.
What makes mosquitoes more attracted to you?
Mosquitos are attracted by many things but particularly by scent and chemical excretions. Color of all sorts as well as smells, both floral and biological can draw them close. Some humans have certain chemical compositions, such as higher body temperature, which also seem more alluring.
There is no one thing that mosquitos like, and if you fall into one or more categories of these things you are much more likely to be targeted by this pest.
What you wear: Dressing in light-colored clothing is a surefire way to avoid attracting mosquitoes. And staying away from blood-like hues like red, and bold colors such as black and navy and dark blue won’t hurt either. be sure to wear long sleeves and pants to keep these pests off your skin. Mosquitoes will bite through tight clothing, so loose fitted clothing is recommended.
How you smell: Mosquitoes are attracted to scented soaps, deodorants, and moisturizing lotions. Mosquitos are also drawn to things that stink, like sweaty skin and smelly feet or socks.
What you eat: Mosquitos are attracted to certain smells, among which is beer and cheese, which is a fact my wife tries to use against me!
Your chemical composition: If you have faster breathing (they like CO2) or warmer body temperature, mosquitos may pay closer attention. Some people’s biological makeup just makes them a better target for mosquitos.
When you exercise: Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide your produce when you exhale as well as the lactic acid released through normal exercise.
If you’re pregnant: Female mosquitos, who are the only ones that feed on blood, can be attracted to pregnant female humans. This is because during pregnancy women release different types of chemicals than normally.
Your genetics and blood type: This has been found to be more likely if you have Type O blood. Studies suggest that genetics are a factor in attracting mosquitoes, but scientists believe this is dependent on the mosquitoes’ ability to detect chemicals in the person’s sweat and odors.
What attracts mosquitoes to kill them?
In addition to some great products on the market which you can use to attract mosquitos, one of the best baits to use is carbon dioxide.
You can build your own DIY mosquito bait trap with things you probably already have around the house.
For the first step, you’ll need:
- A plastic bottle (a 2-liter works well, but any kind would do)
- Hot water
- A marker
- Box cutter
- Tape (duct, scotch, or electrical)
- Yeast (1 gram – grocery stores carry packets of active yeast in the baking aisle)
- Brown sugar (1/4 cup)
Cut the bottle in half, by making a mark about halfway down. For plastic bottles, this is usually about 4 inches from the top of the lid.
Mark a circle around the empty bottle as your cutting guide and then cut along it with scissors or a box cutter.
Cut the bottom half of the bottle using your box cutter. Be careful not to cut yourself in the process.
When pouring the hot water into the container, be very careful not to splash yourself and/or have an accident. You’ll need a bout one and third cups of water.
Mix ¼ cup of brown sugar with a quart-sized plastic water bottle. Stir thoroughly until the sugar is dissolved. Let it cool for 20 minutes. Yeast needs sugar in order to activate and create carbon dioxide.
Add the packet of active yeast to the mixture of cooled water and sugar. Don’t add it when the water is hot because you could kill the yeast. Also, you don’t need to stir the yeast in. You should see some bubbles on the surface of the jar, but this could take some time depending on the strain of the yeast, which is a sign that this mixture smells really tasty to mosquitoes.
To assemble the mosquito trap, please follow these steps. Turn the top of the bottle upside down and put it inside a water-filled bottom half (lid on). It should look a bit like a funnel. Mosquitoes will come in through this funnel and then be unable to escape back out of it. Seal the edge of a plastic bottle using tape.
What’s the best way to deter mosquitos?
One of the best natural repellents I’ve found against mosquitos is lavender. You can use crushed flowers or essential oil, it all helps keep these pests away. Having sprigs of lavender in your bedroom or spraying a water-based mixture on your skin before bed will help you get a good night’s sleep.
Another good way to keep mosquitos off you while you sleep is a good mosquito net. Making sure your net is secure around you and tucking the edges in will keep mosquitos from getting inside. Be wary of any holes or weak spots, as these are a more likely entry point for pests.
Killing mosquito larva provides another way to help get rid of this nuisance pest. Larvae can be found in water that collects in ponds and other water features. When these areas are drained there is less chance for mosquitos to breed.
You can also invest in a good bug zapper (link to Amazon) which will give you protection from all manner of flying pests. They are especially helpful for keeping mosquitos away at night.
How do I stop mosquitos from getting into my home and car?
The best way to keep mosquitos out of your house and your car is to use a good scented deterrent, such as lavender, and to secure all entries with a screen to keep insects out.
If you keep getting mosquitos even after taking precautions, it’s likely that you have a gap in your defenses. Double-check all the entry points and make sure that you have your screens firmly in place.
You can also investigate to see if you are getting mosquito larvae in your local water feature. If that is the case, you can research how to introduce natural mosquito predators onto your property.
Animals such as bats and certain birds will eat these pests and other animals such as frogs and fish will feast on their young.
Is killing mosquitoes cruel?
History suggests that killing mosquitos is a natural form of human preservation as these pests have been responsible for millions of deaths over our species existence. If you can repel mosquitos, morally this may be better. It’s an inescapable fact that these insects spread deadly diseases and in most cases, extermination is the best form of defense.
Killing any animal just because they are an inconvenience is probably wrong and we should all do our best to minimize the threat of pests by changing our own behavior.
Nevertheless, in many places mosquitos can lead to terrible afflictions such as malaria and dengue fever. So, as a defense against this, it may be better to strike first.
This being said, only female mosquitos are to blame as they are the only ones of the species that consume blood. if you see a mosquito feasting on flowers, leave it be as this is a male and they are doing a vital job for the ecosystem.