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New study suggests certain colors you wear could attract mosquitoes to bite

todayJune 14, 2024 3

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Could those irritating mosquito bite bumps soon become a thing of the past?Researchers at the University of Washington are studying the understanding of the feeding behaviors of mosquitoes. “They are so small,” said Jeffrey Riffell, a UW professor of biology who studies mosquito sensory systems, particularly their sense of smell. “They have such tiny, tiny brains, but yet they’re amazingly flexible and robust at doing what they’re doing, which is biting us.”Riffell and his team are specifically interested in how mosquitoes locate their food sources, including the difference in behavior between male mosquitoes, which primarily feed on nectar, and female mosquitoes, which require blood to support their egg production.VIDEO: TOURISTS ACCIDENTALLY LET SWARM OF ‘OVER 2,000 MOTHS’ INTO THAILAND HOTEL ROOMIf you think you are a mosquito magnet, it’s probably the case. Some individuals are bitten way more than others, researchers say.”The smell of our skin, the sweat, the breath, our carbon dioxide that we’re emitting is actually a really strong cue for the mosquitoes,” Riffell said. “And of course, the clothes that we’re wearing.”Mosquitoes have a dislike for white and green, but they are particularly drawn to red, and especially black, Riffell adds. His team is studying how mosquitoes use their visual and olfactory senses to target and obtain a blood meal.”Mosquitoes are remarkably good at trying to locate a person to drink their blood,” Riffell adds. “They are vampires, and they’re very good at what they’re doing. Their eyes, their vision, their nose – everything about them is geared towards finding us and biting us.”AMERICA’S MOST BED BUG INFESTED CITIES MAY SURPRISE YOUMosquitoes can also learn from their interactions. If they find you attractive and bite you, they may start to like biting you. Yet they are also able to learn to avoid you. If you try to swat them, they may learn to stay away from you to some extent.Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of people die from mosquito-borne illnesses annually, which can spread malaria, Zika, dengue, yellow fever, West Nile and other diseases. “So the information that we’re kind of developing and finding in the laboratory has real world implications and can really help, I think many people in many different parts of the world,” Riffell said.

Written by: The Dam Rock Station

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