Using their highly sensitive olfactory organs, these mosquitoes can select more attractive persons over less attractive ones by identifying chemicals present in breath, sweat and other skin emanations originating from the persons. Though not adequately understood, these evolutionary host preferences may benefit the mosquitoes in a number of ways including the identification of hosts with more nutritive blood, or those who are less defensive against mosquito bites." (Okumu et al. 2010) |
Mosquitoes are not only attracted to dark damp places and still water so they can lay their eggs, but also to humidity. Considering that the average person sweats about 500ml of water a day, humidity is either an indicator for water or and for a potential meal, both clearly attractive opportunities.
Eiras and Jepson (1994) found that human sweat plays a significant role in the attraction of the Aedes aegypti. Interestingly, only in combination with heat does the mosquito respond to human odour. Eiras and Jepson (1994) believe that this is because heat is needed to activate various compounds as well as develop the correct vapour pressure for their distribution.
Mosquitoes have been known for a long time to look for the increased CO2 concentrations in the air to find their prey. Smallegange et al. (2010) demonstrated this beautifully in their semi field experiment where they released a certain amount of mosquitoes that were allowed to at any time choose between the treatment or control trap.
Use this list of items and activities that attract mosquitoes as a list of things to avoid or that can be used as bait to lure mosquitoes away from you.
Many mosquitoes use vision to locate hosts from a distance. Dark clothes and foliage are initial attractants. Carbon Dioxide
You give off more carbon dioxide when you are hot or have been exercising. A burning candle or other fire is another source of carbon dioxide. Lactic Acid
You release more lactic acid when you have been exercising or after eating certain foods (e.g., salty foods, high-potassium foods). Floral or Fruity Fragrances
In addition to perfumes, hair products, and scented sunscreens, watch for the subtle floral fragrance from fabric softeners and dryer sheets. Skin Temperature
The exact temperature depends on the type of mosquito. Many mosquitoes are attracted to the slightly cooler temperatures of the extremities.
Mosquitoes are attracted by perspiration because of the chemicals it contains and also because it increases the humidity around your body. Even small amounts of water (e.g., moist plants or mud puddles) will draw mosquitoes. Standing water also allows mosquitoes to reproduce.
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