9 Facts About Mosquitoes You Should Know
Mosquitoes lurk where we least expect them, and many people suffer due to reactions to their bites. Here are some facts about mosquitoes that you may not have known!
Today there are many products available in lotions, sprays, repellents, bracelets, among others, that promise to prevent mosquitoes from biting us and cause us those annoying allergies.
However, it has been found that these insects are increasingly developing resistance to many of these products. This is making us conclude that they aren’t so effective.
The most worrying thing about mosquito bites is that in addition to causing skin allergies, they’re also carriers of parasites and viral diseases such as:
- Dengue fever
- Chikungunya virus
- Various types of encephalitis
Keeping in mind that more attention should be paid to these insects that seem so insignificant, here are some facts about mosquitoes that you should know about.
Facts about mosquitoes
The blood group
When mosquitoes bite us, what they try to do is absorb the proteins in our blood. In this sense, it’s believed that people who belong to blood group O are more likely to be bitten by these insects. However, there’s no scientific evidence in this regard.
Mosquitoes have the ability to locate their prey thanks to their power to detect carbon dioxide emanating through breathing. Thanks to an organ called the maxillary palp, which is located in their jaw, they can locate a large mammal that is even 50 meters away (165 feet).
Those who have a strong body build or who are physically active should try to protect themselves more. This is because by exhaling more carbon dioxide, they’ll attract more mosquitoes.
In addition to carbon dioxide, mosquitoes can also locate their victims more easily because of the body odor given off when sweating. These odors can be lactic acid, urea, and ammonia.
The most susceptible people in this case are those who:
- Have a high body temperature
- Have a fever
- Have played sports
Various research also states that certain species have a predilection for different types of pH (alkaline or acidic).
A person who drinks a single can of beer may increase the attraction of insects. It’s believed that this attraction is due to the presence of ethanol (alcohol) in the beer, but this has not been proven.
The color of clothing
Although it may seem absurd to many, mosquitoes aren’t only able to find their prey by smell, but also by color.
For this reason, it is suggested that when a person wears clothing that clashes with the environment, such as black, navy blue, or red, mosquitoes may be more easily attracted.
Studies have found that a pregnant woman attracts twice as many mosquitoes. This is because:
- They produce 21% more carbon dioxide
- Their temperature also rises higher than normal.
Mosquitoes are attracted to areas of the body where more bacteria are located. For this reason, it isn’t surprising that they often prefer to bite on the feet and ankles.
Reaction of the immune system
Many people believe that the size of a bite depends on how long the mosquito has spent sucking the blood.
However, the truth is that this depends on the reaction of the immune system to the venom that is introduced into the skin after the bite.
Although companies are still trying to develop products that are completely effective in repelling mosquitoes, at the moment it’s still all in research.
- However, the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) suggests fighting them naturally by applying a few drops of lemon eucalyptus essential oil to the skin.
- The other natural alternative is to apply garlic essence to the skin. However, due to its unpleasant smell, this alternative is not so widely used.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Rozendaal, J. A. (1997). Mosquitos and other biting Diptera. Vector Control: Methods for Use by Individuals and Communities.
- de Gentile, L., & Carsuzaa, F. (2013). Escabiosis, pediculosis y picaduras de artrópodos. EMC – Dermatología. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1761-2896(13)64745-7
- Pérez-Arellano, J. L., Bolaños-Rivero, M., Fernández-Soto, P., & Muro, A. (2010). Artrópodos y enfermedades. Medicine – Programa de Formación Médica Continuada Acreditado. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-5412(10)70109-8
- Ortega Casanueva, C. (2018). Alergia a la picadura de insectos. Pediatria Integral. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-444-53636-5.00002-0