The Arab Bedouin tents are black and it gets hot where they camp.
A good shade that blocks the sun totally is important.
They probably buy canvas now but in times past they made their own tent fabric from animal hair and made it black with soot.
If a sun shade is open on all sides there is air convection caused by the hot air rising off the black tarp.
This is why a tent is a waste of money because in hot summer you only want shade and tents have sewn in sides and floors that are in the way. Screened windows don't cut it for ventilation like no sides at all.
But as soon as the wind blows and it cools off and maybe rains you want the shade to turn into a fully closed in tight to the ground shelter.
A little bit of smoke from a wood burning cookstove puts mosquitos on the run.
The little bit of heat from a tiny cookstove under a tarp helps air circulation even when the sun is hot
That is why I use a tarp, wood stove/chimney in all seasons and in whatever country. I am not restricted to burning wood, I can burn any kind of fuel in my cookstove.
I had seen a post where someone was talking about their blue tent and they said the same thing. That's why i had asked the question.
Originally Posted by gargoyle
I never really thought about the amount of air movement under the tarp. In that case it really doesn't matter the distance between hammock and tarp if the sides are up and the air is moving, even if only lightly.
I just had this visualization of me baking in the stagnant air below my sun saturated black tarp.
Just my 2 cents worth...I always try to find a dark, muted blue tarp. If camping under canopy it does a fair enough job blending into the shadows and remaining "stealth" unless you are actively telling your eyes to look for blue, in which case it really "pops". Hard to explain, but a real neat trick for blending into the landscape while still making it easy to find your way home at dusk or when camping far off trail. Blue also provides a nice level of shade. And mosquitoes are drawn to blue, but this is not neccessarily a downside. It means that any mosquitoes in the immediate vicinity of your hammock may be drawn to the piece of nylon instead of the tasty treat dangling in the hammock below it, where they can easily be turned into those oh-so-satisfying little red smears when you smash them against the tarp. Some older houses have ceiling beams on the porches painted blue for this reason, draws the mosquitoes up and away from you
I nosed around a little online and found a lit review that seems to answer some of the questions here. Here's the sections that deal with color as an attractant to mosquitoes:
"Brett (1938) established the presence of color preference in Ae. aegypti by exposing mosquitoes to different colored cloths. Using daylight through a window as the light source, Brett counted the number of Ae. aegypti alighting on cloths stretched over a hand-enclosing box in a three-minute period. Each trial used either black or white as a standard and presented an equal area of the test color and the standard. Although the order of attractiveness for different colors was not the same when compared to black vs. white, the general order which emerged was black (most attractive); red (very attractive); grey and blue (neutral), khaki, green, light khaki, and yellow (less attractive). Howlett (1910) stated that mosquitoes are attracted to black and to dark colors. Gjullin (1947) counted Aedes mosquitoes landing on the back of different shirts worn by one man. The order of attractancy was black, blue, red, tan, green, yellow, and white. Aedes lateralis, a dark mosquito, could be using the dark material as protective coloration, but since Aedes dorsalis, a gray mosquito, is also attracted to black the most, dark colors are most likely attractive to mosquitoes during host-seeking, not as camouflage.
Brett (1938) also measured the reflection factors for the colors used to ensure that mosquitoes were responding to colors and not to the amount of light reflected. He found that brown was significantly more attractive than blue, though both had nearly the same reflection factor. Finally, Brett looked at trichromatic coefficients of the colors (amount of red/green/blue) separately, finding a positive attraction to the red component, negative correlation between the green component (combined with reflection factor) and number of mosquitoes landing, and no significant correlation with the blue component."
Kind of interesting to me. There're many different attractants--for example, don't douse yourselves in beef bullion :mellow:. You can check the whole lit review here:
Thanks Darl Bundren, interesting article. I know Ray Jardine has a bit in one of his books about colors, bugs, skeeters and slugs. Kind of interesting but not as scientific, just his personal observations.
I am making a very light colored tarp, I am sure I will need sun glasses in the morning. I hope the skeeters like the top of it better than me.
An article I read a few years ago as I pondered tarp colors.
Black trap will be definitely more than warn because of the color because all of us know this rule that black color absorbs more heat than other color. The purpose of traps will be gone useless with this color so for a good result and to get the permanent relieve from mosquito , change the color immediately :)
First trip using my OES 4-season tarp in dark forest green was interesting. I rigged it relatively steep as we were expecting some nasty weather and when I ducked under it to hop in the hammock there was literally a cloud of mosquitoes and gnats under the tarp. There were almost no bugs out just flying around in the open. I doubt the color had as much to do with the darkness created by the enclosed space.
Makes sense to me. Mosquitoes are supposed to use infrared to detect victims and red is the closest colour in terms of frequency. Using that logic, blue/indigo/violet would be the least attractive. Don't know how much that would act as prevention compared to the IR given off by our body heat.
Originally Posted by Darl Bundren
On an anecdotal note, I've often spent the sleepy morning hours watching the skeeters bounce off my bug net.
I'd agree. When pondering while in my hammock I briefly thought about the CO2 concentration being higher at the peak of the tarp but it didn't make sense scientifically so my best guess is it is slightly cooler in the shade of the tarp.
Originally Posted by zukiguy