Mosquitoes flying around

Mosquitoes 101: What Attracts Mosquitoes to Your Home?

August 17, 2021

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

Mosquitoes are prevalent during warm weather months, interrupting family outings, backyard parties, chores, and any other outdoor activities you may be doing. Mosquito bites cause itchy, red bumps, and they are known carriers of serious diseases. While you can never fully eliminate these pests, there are steps you can take to deter them from your property. 

What attracts mosquitoes to your home?

Stagnant water is one of the primary attractions for mosquitoes. And since mosquitoes only need a small amount of water to reproduce, they can use even tiny puddles of water to lay their eggs and complete their reproductive cycle. 

Some of the places mosquitoes can lay their eggs include: 

  • Children’s toys
  • Buckets
  • Discarded tires
  • Garbage can lids
  • Garden tools and supplies
  • Pet bowls
  • Plastic tarps
  • Rain gutters that don’t drain entirely

Cleaning, discarding, or regularly emptying these items of any water is a good maintenance routine that can help deter mosquitoes from laying eggs around your home.

raft of mosquito eggs on a pond's surface
Mosquito Eggs

How to keep your yard free from mosquitoes 

Your yard will never be 100% free from mosquitoes, but there are some steps you can take to mitigate them effectively.

  1. Have your yard treated by a professional pest control service.
  2. Keep your lawn regularly mowed.
  3. Clean up clutter and debris that may be housing pools of water.
  4. Maintain gutters so that they drain adequately.
  5. Employ the use of mosquito-repelling plants like citronella, lavender, marigold, catmint, and rosemary.

What attracts mosquitoes to people? 

Mosquitoes are drawn to any warm-blooded animal. Some research has suggested that they might be particularly drawn to certain body types and conditions, such as:

  • Type O blood
  • Warmer body temperatures
  • Pregnant women
  • People that are exercising or exerting themselves
  • Sweat

What you wear

Mosquitoes are drawn more to dark-colored clothing, rather than lighter garments. They also prefer floral-scented colognes, body wash, lotions, and perfumes. Avoid wearing these items outdoors if you tend to draw mosquitoes or are in an area with a high population.

What you eat and drink

Mosquitoes prefer the taste of blood from people who eat foods rich in salt and potassium or drink alcohol and can even locate their preferred targets through the scent they produce. They are also attracted to the lactic acid your body produces after an intense workout. 

Types of mosquitoes and the diseases they spread

The Unites States is home to 176 known mosquito species, but three types are most prevalent.

Culex mosquito

Culex mosquitoes, also known as common house mosquitoes, are the most widespread species in the US. You can recognize a Culex mosquito by its dark short palps, dark beak, and somewhat reflective bronze or blue-green scales. They feed on birds, humans, and other animals. 

Culex mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water and mature from egg to adult in about one week. You’ll typically find them in or near barrels, horse troughs, ponds, poorly maintained pools, puddles, creeks, ditches, and marshy areas. They can spread the West Nile virus, Japanese encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, filariasis, and avian malaria.

Close up of a culex mosquito on a white background
Culex Mosquito

Aedes mosquito 

Aedes mosquitoes, also called yellow fever mosquitoes, live in tropical, subtropical, and temperate climates. They prefer to feed on human blood and are far more likely to spread disease than other common mosquitoes. 

Aedes mosquitoes are the prominent mosquito species to spread Zika, dengue, and other more common viruses. They’re smaller than house mosquitoes and range between four and seven millimeters long. You’ll recognize them from their dark bodies with white markings on the legs and lure-like markings on the thorax.

Close up of a aedes mosquito
Aedes Mosquito

Anopheles mosquito

Commonly known as the malaria mosquito, the anopheles mosquito is the primary vector for malaria. The females have antennae with few hairs, while the males have bushy antennae and a long beak. Their habitats are commonly fresh and saltwater marshes, grassy ditches, stream and river edges, mangrove swamps, and temporary pools of rainwater.

Close up of an Anopheles mosquito on a white background
Anopheles Mosquito

Mosquito bite FAQ

What types of mosquitoes bite?

Only female mosquitoes bite people and animals, as they need blood to produce eggs. All of the prevalent species of mosquitoes found in the US have biting females. A mosquito bites by piercing your skin with a mouthpart called a proboscis to suck up blood.

Why do mosquito bites itch?

When a mosquito bites you, it injects its saliva into your skin. Your body then reacts to the saliva, resulting in intense itching. When you scratch a mosquito bite, the skin becomes inflamed and causes the itchy sensation to intensify.

Do mosquitoes bite multiple times?

Unfortunately, yes. There is no limit to the number of bites one mosquito can inflict. A female mosquito will continue to feed on available blood until she’s full, which is one of the reasons mosquitoes can spread diseases rapidly.

How long do mosquito bite bumps last?

Most people generally see a mosquito bite bump fade over three to four days. For some, it can take up to a week to completely heal. Healing can take longer if you scratch or irritate the skin surrounding a mosquito bite.

What happens to mosquitoes after they bite you?

After they consume enough blood, they’ll typically rest for a few days before laying eggs. They may bite several different sources before drinking enough blood. After laying eggs, they repeat the cycle.

close up of a mosquito biting skin on an arm

Mosquito control services

The best way to protect your property from heavy mosquito activity is by hiring a professional pest control service like Hawx Pest Control. With proven methods, qualified technicians, and the best products and services available, Hawx is the undisputed leader in pest control. We offer safe and affordable techniques to address your current problems and preventative treatments to avoid potential threats before they happen. Contact us today for a free estimate to get your mosquito problem under control.

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