Four colors mosquitoes love not to wear this summer – otherwise you risk being bitten to shreds

It’s that time of year when the still air is filled with an annoying buzzing sound.

Scientists have predicted it will be a ‘very bad’ mosquito season and warned of a rise in insect-borne diseases.

While there are sprays, candles and creams that keep the pests away, another method comes down to the color of the clothes you wear.

Researchers at the University of Washington discovered that mosquitoes are attracted to red, orange, black and cyan – a color between blue and green.

But the bugs appeared to ignore green, purple, blue and white, suggesting these are best for wearing outside this summer.

Scientists have predicted it will be a ‘very bad’ mosquito season and warned of a rise in insect-borne diseases.

Jeffrey Riffell, a professor of biology at the University of Washington, said in a statement: “One of the most common questions I am asked is, ‘What can I do to prevent mosquitoes from biting me?’

‘I always said there are three main factors that attract mosquitoes: your breath, your sweat and the temperature of your skin.

‘In this study we found a fourth signal: the color red, which you find not only on your clothing, but also in everyone’s skin.

‘The shade of your skin doesn’t matter, we all give off a strong red signature. Filtering out those beautiful colors in our skin, or wearing clothes that avoid those colors, could be another way to prevent mosquito bites.”

The study, released in 2022, was conducted by monitoring the behavior of female yellow fever mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti, when presented with different types of visual and olfactory cues.

Like all mosquito species, only females drink blood, and bites from A. aegypti can transmit dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya and Zika, which can lead to death.

Researchers observed the insects in miniature test chambers filled with an odor and various visual patterns, including a colored dot or a human hand.

Without any olfactory stimulus, mosquitoes largely ignored a dot on the floor of the chamber, regardless of its color.

When a dash of carbon dioxide was added, the mosquitoes flew towards dots that were red, orange, black or cyan – but avoided the dots that were green, blue and purple.

Humans exhale carbon dioxide, which the insects can smell, and the experiment showed that the gas caused the mosquitoes’ eyes to prefer certain wavelengths in the visual spectrum.

It’s similar to what can happen when people smell something nice.

“Imagine standing on the sidewalk and smelling your pie crust and cinnamon,” Riffell said.

‘That’s probably a sign that there’s a bakery nearby, and you might want to look for it. Here we discovered what visual elements mosquitoes look for after smelling their own version of a bakery.’

‘Most people have ‘true color vision’. We see different wavelengths of light as different colors: 650 nanometers appear red, while wavelengths of 450 nanometers appear blue.”

Mosquito season begins in March and continues into the fall, and while the state sees its fair share at some point, Los Angeles, California had the largest infestation in 2023.

According to Termiix, New York City came in second, followed by Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas, Atlanta Georgia and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

This is because urbanization and housing construction contribute to more insects.

They tend to accumulate where there is standing water so they can reproduce.