Well, that’s because they possess a spectacular (for them, annoying for us) ability to circle in on us from distance and head straight to exposed skin, (avoiding the word naked, 😀 ). It sucks that apart from being annoying little insects, they kill one million people annually by transmitting malaria, one of the worlds most infectious diseases globally.

HOW DO THEY DO IT?

Female mosquitoes, use nerve cells (cpA neurons) that contain receptors that smell carbon dioxide that we give off during exhalation (males don’t suck our blood, as only the females need it for its iron protein to make their eggs). Weirdly, the pesky pests can still find you even if you held your breath.

Most mosquitoe repellants contain chemicals that shut down both the receptors that detect carbon dioxide, and human odor. This has the effect of attempting to find your phone, switched off, in a dark room, and the mosquitoes keep going round in circles unable to find our bare skin and leave us with itchy spots. Cool huh?

Scientists, who are literal lifesavers, had to weed through compounds that had the right mix of effectiveness, safe for use and whose smell was not repugnant to find repellants for areas like Africa, Asia and South America, that are infested with mosquitoes.

DID YOU KNOW?

Mosquitoes feed on nectar and water (females only need blood to make their eggs).

They have a lifespan of one-two months, at best (They compensate that with laying lots of eggs).

Mosquitoes also transmit Dengue viruses and filarial worms (Nasty little bugs).

Mosquitoes can drink upto thrice their weight, (beer companies will wish humans had this power)

Mosquitoes don’t have teeth, (I’ll take it Colgate would do badly in Mosquitoville), instead, they use a long, pointed part (proboscis), to draw blood

Darker clothes make you a more attractive target, the heat-retention from dark clothes helps mosquitoes find you by your body heat.

Mosquitoe saliva causes the bumps brought by bites, while one tube sucks in blood, another pumps in saliva (disgusting!) which contains an anti-coagulant (to prevent clotting) and a painkiller (I’m sure it’s more of to avoid detention and not because they care).

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Categories: Opinion

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