With summer coming, traveling and wanting to spend time with parents in rural areas or near the beaches, perhaps one of your main tasks used to be preparing for mosquitoes. Take with you the appropriate equipment to wage war on this vampire being.
Your task becomes more complicated if you have young children. From where you do not know, perhaps you will be surprised by the bites of mosquitoes that everyone knows, which consists after he has drunk of blood until he is full or enough for his females to lay eggs, as male mosquitoes are less interested in paraphrasing humans and feeding on their blood. Read also In search of a cure for dengue fever, an entomologist provides his arm with food for mosquitoes How do deadly parasites slip into human cells? On World Malaria Day… a vaccine developed by Oxford University proves great effectiveness A new innovation.. Volcanic glass spray is a safe chemistry to combat mosquitoes
But why do these blood-sucking insects hover around our ears in the first place? Why is it making this annoying noise?
“Tinnitus is mostly just a side effect of mosquitoes banging their wings in the air,” says Michael Reel, professor of entomology at the University of Arizona.
Why female mosquitoes and not males?
It’s possible that the sound you hear is from a female mosquito. That’s because male and female mosquitoes lead completely different lives.
Whereas males usually hang out, sip flower nectar, and don’t care much about humans, females need to find a blood meal after mating in order to have enough energy to produce eggs. Females are also equipped with unique tools to parasitize on their human victims.
How do you find its victims?
Reel told Live Science that female mosquitoes infer their human victims from a distance, through the carbon dioxide we exhale in the form of conical columns, where “the carbon dioxide stimulates the female mosquito to start looking for a host.” It flies back and forth to trace this concentration gradient back to the source.
In other words, mosquitoes are buzzing around our heads because that’s where we expel the most carbon dioxide. As they approach, the female mosquito is guided by body heat and a column of carbon dioxide to land on the victim.
Female mosquitoes use the taste sensors on their feet to determine if this is a human or an animal carrying suitable blood for its next meal.
What is her favorite blood?
While some studies suggest that blood type O is preferred by mosquitoes, professor of entomology (Riel) is skeptical, as no convincing research has found a link between blood type and mosquito preferences.
Instead, other factors, such as genes and even a person’s diet, are thought to play a larger role in how “appetizing” a person is to mosquitoes. Your skin “emits this unique combination of scents that are more attractive to some mosquitoes than others,” Riel says.
Another study found that female mosquitoes were more attracted to men who had less diverse bacteria on their skin than those with more diverse skin bacteria.
Mosquitoes, this vampire, also tend to wear dark colours, especially black.
Does tinnitus have anything to do with love music?
When the female flies toward the target, she beats her wings in the air about 500 times per second at a frequency of 450 to 500 hertz. This frequency is located on note A, which, coincidentally, is what the orchestra itself tunes to before the concert.
And while this sounds like a high-pitched drone to us, it’s music to remind mosquitoes. In fact, male mosquitoes, whose wingspan frequency greatly exceeds that of the female’s, listen to the female’s ringing tones when they are looking for mates.
Riel tries to demonstrate this effect through the practical experience of his students, by passing a tuning fork on an A note over a cage of female mosquitoes. In each test, the females did not react.
When he performs the same show on the cage of male mosquitoes, they flap their wings, frantically searching for the “beautiful” that emits those attractive vibrations.
Why do mosquitoes search for our feet?
According to Riel, we may easily see mosquitoes buzzing around our ears, but most mosquitoes are not attracted to our heads. But it is more inclined to seek out our feet, which contain bacteria that give off a tempting smell to mosquitoes. However, we rarely notice a buzz around our feet.
A study 1996 published in Trends in Parasitology found that female mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles, which are responsible for transmitting the malaria parasite, are attracted to bacteria on human feet.
These same bacteria, called Brevibacterium linens, are the same bacteria that give Limburger cheese its distinctive odor. Another study , conducted in 2013 and published in the journal PLOS One, confirmed that mosquitoes are actually attracted to Limburger cheese.
How can mosquitoes be avoided?
To avoid mosquitoes, the best thing to do is wear long, light-coloured clothing, use insect repellent and stay away from mosquito hotspots, such as wetlands for example, at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.