According to a new research mosquitoes sniff humans before they bite. The bump on your skin from a mosquito is proof that mankind doesn’t control nature as much. The mosquito is still a thorn in our lives and it’s able to spread everything from dengue to yellow fever to malaria.
These kinds of diseases are spread to humans via pathogens the mosquitoes inject in the bloodstream each time they take a good bite.
Even though there are tons of repellent liquids and insecticides, there is still a constant battle between man and the small varmint. However, maybe the answer to control the damage from mosquitoes lies somewhere else altogether. Researchers have recently discovered that the mosquito smells its prey before it bites. A number of experts from the University of Washington and from the California Institute of Technology have gathered some clues on how the tiny monster is able to strike which such accuracy.
Jeff Riffell, a co-author of the study and biologist at the University of Washington said that there isn’t much information on how the mosquito searches for its host and how it decides where exactly to land and begin to feast. The study claims that mosquitoes use smell in order to detect prey that has warm blood and then make use of their sight as well as other instruments to target its victim.
Scientists have finally cracked the code when it comes to mosquitoes. Smell is the main instrument these little vermin use in order to attack their victims. Researchers made use of tunnels in order to analyze how mosquitoes behave in the laboratory. Riffell said that the wind tunnel is an excellent tool as it can be adjusted to recreate the environment and the conditions in which the mosquitoes live in. By using wind tunnels the scientists were able to test different conditions and analyze how the mosquitoes handle them.
Carbon dioxide was among the most attracting agents for the little creature. This basically means that every time humans exhale, mosquitoes can sense the smell from miles away. Riffell said that they gave the mosquitoes odor stimulus and it’s almost like the carbon dioxide made mosquitoes blindly go into a black dot that was releasing the odor. The recent study shows that it’s not just only a type of stimulus or odor that attracts mosquitoes but a combination of signals.
The information gathered by the scientists is extremely important as it may one day help people find a repellant against these terrible little vampires.
The study was published in the Current Biology journal on July 16.
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