Originally Posted by Extemporaneous
...They don't actually repel bugs, but they don't attract them.
Does anyone use yellow lights in their cockpit when your lounging at night ...
The difference between insects attracted to light and insects not attracted to light is a phenomenon known as phototaxis.
Certain insects such as cockroaches or earthworms have negative phototaxis, meaning they are repelled by exposure to light.
Moths, flies, mosquitoes, and many other night-flying insects have positive phototaxis, meaning they are naturally attracted to light. There are numerous interesting theories, that attempt to explain this phenomenon.
The vision of flying insects is shifted away from long-wavelength red toward the shorter blue and near ultraviolet (black light) wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. Sources which radiate ultraviolet energy and blue light are most visible (attractive) to flying insects, while those with a deficiency of ultraviolet and blue are less visible (attractive).
Accordingly, insects cannot see the yellow light (as well as they can see blue or ultraviolet light), and are, if positively phototaxic, less attracted to it.
Floodlighting the cockpit, from a distance, also reduces any phototaxic attraction to the seating area.
Carbon dioxide is the most universally recognized mosquito attractant
, and draws mosquitoes from up to 100 feet. When female mosquitoes sense carbon dioxide, they usually adopt a zigzagging flight path within the plume to locate its source. Once in the general vicinity of a potential host, other cues predominate, including body odours (sweat, lactic acid, etc.) and heat. Odours produced by skin micro-flora also play a part in inducing the mosquito to land. Over 350 compounds have been isolated from odours produced by human skin. Either singly or in combination, many of these compounds may be attractants - and many may be repellents. Visual stimuli, such as movement, also factor into host-seeking. What can be safely stated, though, is that ingestion of garlic, vitamin B12 and other systemics has been proven to have no impact on mosquito biting. Conversely, eating bananas did not attract mosquitoes as the myth suggests, but wearing perfumes does. People drinking beer
have been shown to be more attractive to mosquitoes. Limburger cheese has also been found to be attractive. Scientists have theorized that this may explain the attractancy some mosquitoes find for human feet. Citronella candles have a mild repellent effect, but do not offer significantly more protection than other candles producing smoke.