Mosquitoes are pesky creatures that can ruin a summer night. They’re not just a nuisance, either—they can also be dangerous, as they can transmit diseases like malaria, Zika, and yellow fever. So why do mosquitoes attack at night? And what can you do to prevent it?
Here’s a look at some of the scientific reasons why mosquitoes are more active at night — and how to keep them from biting you.
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Why do mosquitoes attack at night or bite you in your sleep?
Mosquitoes are more likely to bite you at night because of their circadian rhythms and yours. What I mean by that is that like human beings feel sleepy and active at different times of the day, insects like mosquitoes do too.
The circadian rhythm of most mosquitoes is such that they are most active from dusk to dawn. This means that they are typically active around the time you go to sleep! Further, your body and bed are a great source of heat and bloodmeal.
Let’s not forget that mosquitoes are, in fact, cold-blooded insects. Therefore, they need your body heat and blood to survive.
Research conducted by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA shows us that almost 80% of malaria-causing mosquitoes tend to bite people during their nighttime sleep. Therefore, it certainly is necessary to prevent mosquito bites!
How to prevent mosquitoes from biting or attacking you at night in your bed?
I depend on multiple methods to prevent mosquitoes from biting or attacking me when I’m sleeping in my bed at night. So, here’s my go-to list for prevention methods, excluding the obvious method of buying over-the-counter mosquito repellants!
Put up a mosquito net over your bedframe or sleeping area before you sleep.
One of the most effective ways to prevent mosquito bites is to hang a mosquito net over your bed or sleeping area before you sleep. Mosquito nets are a cheap and reliable way to protect yourself from mosquitoes, and they can be used in any part of the world.
The culture or idea of using mosquito nets as a barrier between mosquitoes and people sleeping in the bed is thought to stem from the great land of India and other Asian countries. Even today, it is common to see mosquito nets in most households in this country!
Prevent bugs in your yard and garden by taking the necessary measures.
There are a few things you can do to prevent bugs, including mosquitoes, from entering your yard and garden. One is to close up any gaps in screens or doors with weather stripping.
Another is to get rid of any standing water, including in buckets, bird baths, or kiddie pools. Finally, you can spray your yard with mosquito repellent to keep them at bay.
Put up bright lights in your bedroom.
It sounds hilarious, but mosquitoes have been found to avoid biting people and go dormant when exposed to bright lights. So, if you really want to prevent mosquitoes from biting you at night, put up bright lights in your bedroom.
Exposure to light at night suppresses the biting of mosquitoes, so this will help keep them away. Of course, if you need all the lights in your room switched off in order to have a good sleep, this method may not be ideal for you.
Sleep with your socks on.
It’s no secret that feet stink. The bad bit about it is that mosquitoes are attracted to a lack of hygiene and, therefore, to sweat. I would advise you to try putting socks on before you turn in for the day because it will help mask the stench of your sweat from mosquitoes altogether!
Wear full-length pajamas or pants to bed.
Mosquitoes are known to be drawn to the carbon dioxide that we exhale, as well as to our body heat and certain scents. They can also see us in the dark better than we can see them.
To reduce your chances of being bitten by mosquitoes at night, wear full-length pajamas or pants to bed. Make sure that your clothes are light-colored so that the mosquitoes can’t see you as easily. And make sure that you cover all of your skin, including your feet and ankles.
Sleep with the fan switched on.
Mosquitoes are attracted to their targets through a variety of senses, but the primary way they find their prey is through smell. They use carbon dioxide and scent to hone in on their target, so by using a fan to create a draft, you can make it harder for them to find you.
Additionally, mosquitoes are weak fliers and don’t fly well in windy conditions, so having a fan running will help keep them at bay.
Shower before you go to sleep.
In continuation from the previous point, another way to make sure that mosquitoes are not attracted to any scent coming from your body is to simply shower and wash all the sweat and grime off.
An added benefit of showering before bed is that you are bound to have one of the most relaxing nights ever. Not only will showering clean your body, but it’ll also help your nervous system calm down and enter a stupor state.
Spray essential oil solutions in your bedroom and around your bed.
You can also make use of essential oils to prevent mosquitoes from attacking you or biting you in your sleep. These oils release scents that mask or confuse the mosquitoes’ sense of smell, preventing them from finding you as a target.
It is important to dilute essential oil solutions before spraying them around your bedroom, as they may be harmful in high concentrations.
What time do mosquitoes typically emerge from their hiding places?
Mosquitoes typically emerge from their hiding places at dusk and dawn. This is when they are attracted to different colors of light, depending on the time of day. For example, mosquitoes are drawn to blue light in the morning and green light at night.
Interestingly, different types of mosquitoes are attracted to different colors. Aedes aegpypti, the most common mosquito in the U.S., is drawn to light colors during the day.
However, Culex pipiens mosquitoes—the type that typically bites people at night—are attracted to light colors in the evening hours.
Anopheles mosquitoes, which can spread malaria, are instead drawn to darker colors at night. Although malaria is not a common disease in the U.S., it’s important to be aware of the risks when traveling.
When do mosquitoes usually attack you to feed on your blood?
Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and will bite you to feed on your blood. It is almost impossible to find a mosquito-free moment, so it is important to battle mosquitoes regularly to prevent them from attacking you.
Are mosquitoes nocturnal insects?
Mosquitoes are classified as nocturnal insects because the majority of their activities, such as feeding and mating, take place at night. However, this does not mean that you are off the hook during the daytime. Some mosquito species prefer biting during the day.
What type of weather are mosquitoes most active in?
Mosquitoes are ectothermic, which means that their body temperature is regulated by the environment. This means that they become more active when the temperature is lower and slower when it is higher.
Therefore, the ideal time for these pests is when the temperature falls below eighty degrees Fahrenheit. Any higher than that, such temperatures are likely to cause dehydration in mosquitoes.
This is one of the prime reasons that mosquitoes are most active at night when the temperatures are lesser than during the day.
What you’ve learned in this article is that mosquitoes attack you at night because they are mostly nocturnal and in dire need of sharing your body heat and sourcing a bloodmeal for their nutrition. And while that is an uncomfortable thought, you have also learned various ways to prevent mosquito attacks on you during your nighttime nap!