Mosquitoes can be more than just a nuisance – they can also cause serious diseases. Therefore, it makes sense to want to avoid areas that are prone to mosquitoes. Unfortunately, while there are some areas where you can be fairly certain to find mosquitoes, mosquitoes really can be found just about anywhere.
Mosquitoes need water to breed. Anywhere you find standing water, you’ll also find mosquitoes. The water source can be as small as a puddle in your backyard or as big as a local lake. Some mosquitoes breed in salt water, while others need fresh water to reproduce. Some mosquitoes even lay their eggs on damp ground and wait for a flood to occur to hatch the eggs. Traditional mosquito repellents can help protect you from these pests, but if you’e going to be out in the sun, you might want to try one of the newer products that combines an insect repellent with sunscreen.
If you need to avoid mosquitoes, stay away from wetlands, swamps, marshy land, creeks and rivers. Sometimes, all it takes is a small eddy to provide a place for mosquitoes to breed. Avoid areas where it looks like water has been standing, like a bird bath, an abandoned tire or a run-off ditch. Koi ponds aren’t usually a problem because any pond that’s stocked with fish will likely see the fish munching on mosquito eggs or larvae.
And when it comes to crowds, humans exhale carbon dioxide and release lactic acid when we exercise or eat certain foods. In fact, these two chemicals are used in many mosquito traps to attract mosquitoes. Anywhere you find people in large numbers – especially if they’re eating or sweating – you’ll find mosquitoes. Overall, this is less likely during the day – although there are some mosquitoes that like to be out and about during the day – and more likely at dawn and dusk.
Mosquitoes also like the smell of animals. In fact, most mosquitoes are more content to bite a smaller, more compliant mammal than to bite a human, where they’ll likely be swatted at. You’ll find some mosquitoes at the zoo, but if you have a pet dog, check out his dog house and you may be surprised at the number of mosquitoes you find.
Another draw for mosquitoes is sweet smells, like those found on flower and fruits. To avoid mosquitoes, stay away from outdoor flower beds and orchards. Avoid using products that smell sweet, like scented shampoo, body wash and perfume. There are certain flowers you can plant that mosquitoes specifically don’t like, including marigolds. If you want to be outside to enjoy your garden, think about including some of these plants to make it more hospitable.
Movement and color can also catch a mosquito’s eye. They like dark colors and dark foliage, so avoid those things to avoid mosquitoes. If you’ll be attending an outdoor concert at night, be sure to pack your repellent – the combination of the crowd, darkness and movement may make the event a virtual mosquito smorgasbord.