Every summer, there are always those people that mosquitoes seem to love it. A recent scientific explanation reveals the reasons for this injustice. According to Jeffrey A. Riffel, professor of biology at the University of Washington, three signals attract mosquitoes. These are respiration, perspiration and body temperature. During another study, he discovers a fourth reason: color.
Avoid wearing these colors if you want to be spared
Jeffrey A. Riffel and his colleagues traced the path followed by female mosquitoes. The latter therefore placed them in a controlled environment to find out where they were biting. It was a room two meters in length. The mosquito therefore had the choice between different colored targets. Thanks to an installation of sixteen cameras and a 3D tracking system put in place, the flight path of the insect became more apparent. The experience begins with a jet of CO2, this odorless gas for the human nose, but which the mosquito loves. The cameras reveal the colored targets by which insects headed first.
During the experiment, the insects seem to have a special attraction to colors which imitated that of the skin. So these are red, orange and cyan (blue). To some extent, the color black was very attractive to these insects.
Mosquitoes are attracted to these colors! https://t.co/FN5rx2fx3v
— Futura – Exploring the world (@futurasciences) July 15, 2022
These four colors are therefore to be avoided this summer if you want to stay away from mosquitoes. The study also showed that certain colors left these insects indifferent. These are white, green and purple. They are therefore recommended to deal with these pests this summer.
It’s not a myth. Mosquitoes have a favorite color!
For a hungry mosquito, the color red is the promise of a good blood buffet. According to Professor Riffel:
“The color red is not only present on your clothes, it is also present on the skin. Skin color doesn’t matter, we all emit a strong red signature. Filtering out these attractive colors on our skin or avoiding wearing clothes of these colors could be another way to prevent mosquito bites.”
The mosquito’s preference for the Red color is a condition written into the genes of this insect. However, the mutation of certain genes has made certain mutant mosquitoes indifferent to red-orange colors.
In general, in his quest for foodthe mosquito will first be attracted by the smell before visually choosing its favorite restaurant.
The unlikely myths about mosquitoes
Several mosquito myths make up most of our beliefs about these beasts. But as you might expect, most of them are very wrong.
the mosquito skin myth is one of the first that still survive today. During the summer seasons, the phrase “I have mosquito skin, because I like sugar!” comes out at every opportunity.
However, blood type or blood taste has no influence on mosquito behavior. They will be more attracted to the carbon dioxide that the body exhales and sweats.
The myth about mosquito’s preference for some foods does not hold. No study to date demonstrates its veracity. Thus, eating more garlic or foods rich in vitamin B, absolutely does not reduce the risk of being bitten. However, consuming beer can attract more mosquitoes to anyone.
How to fight mosquitoes effectively?
Mosquitoes carry diseases potentially fatal. According to the researchers, these would have contributed to the death of almost half of all humans who have lived on our planet.
To reduce the need for harmful pesticides for the environment, understanding the modus operandi of these insects is the best thing to do. Thanks to the study carried out by Professor Riffel and his colleagues, we know which colors are now to be avoided this summer.
However, avoiding colors should not be the only weapon to combat them. When staying in places where these insects are more numerous, scientists strongly recommend the use of mosquito repellent. However, vacationers should also consider a vaccine beforehand.