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Mosquitoes and black clothing

Travel Forums General Talk Mosquitoes and black clothing

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1. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

Hi everyone

I recently bought a black Paclite jacket for trekking. In the meantime, I was reading somewhere that you should avoid wearing the colour black as the mozzies eat you alive.

I dont know too much about mosquitoes, as I havent been to very different climates before. Will I find them at high altitude?

Dont want to keep the jacket if it's going to end up being a waste of money....any advice anyone?


2. Posted by rolla (Full Member 32 posts) 11y

hi ev,
never heard about mosquitoes at high altitudes, but u never know, hope somebody more experienced than me will post their knowledge.
on the other hand, it's true u should always wear bright clothes in mozzy-infested areas, but it's not 100% sure u'll die from mozzy-bites if u wear black. it totally depends on the countries u're talking about, when u're going and which season it's gonna be there, etc.
but i have an experience about climates where u might need ur jacket and be infested: it's lapland, or scandinavian countries in general, in summertime. u'll be literally breathing mosquitoes, but it doesn't matter at all which colour u're wearing, so just wear ur black jacket and self-control.
good luck

3. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

I've never heard that one about mosquitoes liking black. You'll find if you're in in a group that mosquitoes are more attracted to certain people than to others. Some will get eaten alive and some will have just a bite or two. It depends on chemistry, I think: how much you sweat, if you wear body lotion or perfume (apparantly they like that very much), and some 'unknown' that just makes certain people much more tasty.

All you can really do is be sure to cover up as much as possible (loose clothing is best), don't wear scented anything, and buy a good bottle of DEET.

4. Posted by Mikey B (Respected Member 181 posts) 11y

Hi Ev

It's true that mozzies are attracted to darker colours so it does make sense to wear light colours if possible. However if you're going to be trekking at reasonably high altitude you shouldn't find them much of a problem. Where are you going to be trekking?

I seem to remember reading or hearing something about mozzies not being able to survive above 10,000 feet, although don't quote me on that.

5. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

Hey Ev!

Mosquitoes are attracted to dark clothing. They are also attracted to scents such as body lotion, soap, perfume, etc. and to carbon dioxide & pheramones found in perspiration.

These links may help answer some of your questions:

Mosquito Attractants
More on Mosquitoes

Hope this helps!

6. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

Thanks for the advice everyone.;)

I'm going to be doing the Inca Trail anyway, and probably a lot of other less strenuous ones. I'm also thinking about spending some time in Mendoza and maybe doing some trekking in the Aconcagua region...

Then in Asia, I'm planning on Mount Kinabalu and hopefully some treks in Nepal or India (that's if I ever get that far)

Tway, didnt know that about body lotions and perfume. Must remember that. I think I'll have to start getting into the mindset here at home, i.e. not wearing deodrant or perfume to the office, stink the co-workers out of it for a while.

I wonder are men like mozzies, if you dont smell nice and wear bright luridy clothes, they'll leave you alone....

7. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

THanks Isa!
Just saw your post.

Thanks for the links - just gonna check them now!;)

8. Posted by Mikey B (Respected Member 181 posts) 11y

I think mosquitos not liking altitude is linked to the drop in temperature as you climb.

I know that when I was in Bolivia there was only a risk of malaria once you came off the altiplano and desended towards the Amazon Basin where it was obviously warmer as well as lower.

Oh I think we can safely say that mosquitos are far more selective than men

9. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

Quoting Mikey B

Oh I think we can safely say that mosquitos are far more selective than men

That may be true - but sometimes men get it right too!!!

10. Posted by Hien (Moderator 3906 posts) 11y

Hi Ev,

Yes, mosquitoes ARE attracted to dark coloured clothings. As a matter of fact, a couple of mosquitoes are flying around my dark blue shirt and black pants as I type now. And they're annoying. This is when the mosquito swat comes in handy! Zap!!! Zap!!!

All my sibblings and I have developed this leg shaking syndrome whenever we're seated in a mosquito prone area. This will prevent the mosquitoes from biting our legs, and at the same time, allow you to do some exercise while you're seated. This leg shaking starts on its own subconciously. It normally has a slow rhythm, and it'll get more intense when the legs senses the existence of mosquitoes around!

FYI, leg shaking is frowned upon by traditional Chinese customs as it is believed that you're actually shaking all your wealth away. When we were small, our mother will scold us whenever she saw that. We just couldn't help it but to shake our legs! When we're older, she just nagged about it once in a while. We always tell our mom what we saw; our bosses and wealthy men shaking their legs!