Why do mosquitoes prefer biting you?It turns out red is more attractive

2022-05-14 0 By

We look forward to hot summer days, but hate annoying mosquitoes.What kind of people do mosquitoes like to bite?That’s what scientists have been working on.Aedes aegypti, a common mosquito species, flies toward specific colors, including red, orange, black and cyan, when it detects the scent of a human, according to a new study published in Nature Communications.The researchers believe these findings help explain how mosquitoes find their hosts, as human skin, regardless of overall pigmentation, sends a strong orange-red “signal” to mosquito eyes.Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are attracted to certain colors, including red, according to new research by University of Illinois biology professor Jeffrey Riffell.”Mosquitoes are attracted by three main factors: human respiration, sweat and skin temperature.In this study, we found a fourth clue: red.It’s a color you can find not only on your clothes, but on everyone’s skin.””It doesn’t matter what color you are because all of us are emitting a strong red signal,” said Jeffrey Riffel, senior author of the study and professor of biology at the University of Illinois in the US.Filter out this tempting color from your skin, or avoid wearing these colors, or another way to prevent mosquito bites.”In the experiment, the team tracked the behaviour of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.They sprayed the tiny test chamber with specific smells and showed different types of visual patterns, such as a colorful dot or a human hand.In the absence of any scent stimulus, the mosquitoes largely ignored the dots at the bottom of the room, no matter what color they were.After spraying the room with carbon dioxide, mosquitoes continued to ignore the dot, whether it was green, blue or purple.But if the dot is red, orange, black or cyan, the mosquito will fly towards it.Researchers say most people have “true-color” vision: seeing different wavelengths of light as different colors, such as red at 650 nanometers and blue at 450 nanometers.Researchers don’t know if mosquitoes perceive colors in the same way that human eyes do.But most of the colors that mosquitoes like when they smell carbon dioxide — red, orange and black — correspond to longer wavelengths of light.Human skin, with or without pigmentation, emits long signals in the red-orange range.The study reveals how a mosquito’s sense of smell affects its response to visual cues.Knowing which colors attract hungry mosquitoes could help design better repellents, traps and other methods to deter mosquito bites.Source: Science and Technology Daily