Mosquitos: Always on my skin, never on my clothes.


| 5 Comments


Mosquitoes are annoying. Period. I am sure they serve some scientific purpose but I don't know what it is and refuse to acknowledge what it is so my irrational hatred won't be rebutted. Therefore this article is not about their "purpose". However, I have always wondered why one never finds a mosquito on their clothes but always on their bare skin! Do they smell the blood they yearn for through my skin? (Does blood even have a scent?) This article helps explain that.

A study at the University of California Riverside has unlocked the answer, and more importantly if there's anything we can do to stop these pesky bugs!  For years it was thought the complex antennae of the mosquitos were the key to them finding our bare skin and feasting. Upon further research, however, "...the very receptors in the mosquito's maxillary palp that detect carbon dioxide are the ones that detect skin orders as  well, thus explaining why mosquitoes are attracted to skin odor -- smelly socks, worn clothes, bedding -- even in the absence of carbon dioxide." Fortunately, there is good news, as they were able to focus in on two "compounds" that can help deter the mosquitos from our flesh.  They hope to use these compounds to both "mask" the scent on us and to "pull" the mosquitos interest away from us.  There is even some methods that can work for multiple people in an area, including some that don't even require skin application.  Further research on this subject may help you and I at our next family picnic, but could be essential to eradicating the mosquito epidemic that currently plagues some prominent third world countries.

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5 Comments

this is pretty cool because i always thought that mosquitos just flew around until they happened to run into something they can suck the blood out of. I guess its safe to assume that the purpose of bug spray is to mask the scent of human odor so the mosquitos cant find us. Or do bug sprays have something that the mosquitos don't like that keeps them away?

I decided to look up your question about bug sprays and it turns out that most bug sprays have pesticides like DEET. So, it seems that bug sprays do not cover up human odor and have chemicals that animals can detect and are attracted to. Check this out: http://www.underthemicroscope.com/everyday-science-how-bug-spray-works/

Wow this is so interesting, I hate mosquitos and the annoying bumps they leave on my skin all summer when they bite away at my skin, I had always wondered why they bite humans and if they bite other animals as well. Apparently mosquitoes don't just bother humans! They bite other animals such as dogs but unfortunately for them they get much worse effects from the bites. Dogs can get Heartworm decease from a mosquito bite! Check it out here:
http://www.hartz.com/Dogs/Health/Parasite_Protection/mosquito_bites_and_your_dog.aspx

Here is some background on the topic: "Heartworm disease is a serious parasitic condition caused by a worm, Dirofilaria immitis, which lives in the blood vessels and heart of infected pets. The disease is spread by mosquitoes. When an infected dog is bitten by a mosquito, the blood that is withdrawn can contain heartworm offspring. When the mosquito bites a second dog, the offspring are passed through. Inside the host, the heartworm can grow into a parasite up to a foot in length. The parasite can cause injury to the lungs, arteries and the heart. Symptoms include:

Lethargy
Coughing
Vomiting
Difficulty breathing
Fainting
Exercise intolerance"

Mosquitos are easily one of the most annoying insects on this planet. Not only do they bite you, but they leave obvious and the most itchy bumps on your body. Why do mosquito bites itch anyways? It is said that the saliva from the mosquito gets left behind creating a "histamine" response which makes the area around the bite and the are itself itchy. Scratching it only makes it worse, making the saliva spread and elongating the healing process... Here is some more information of the saliva of mosquitos http://www.curiosityaroused.com/health/why-do-mosquito-bites-itch/

Mosquitoes are horrible. I don't know anyone in their right mind that's ever said "I like mosquitoes". Your post was very interesting, and it left me wondering if other pesky bugs or flies are attracted to the same things as mosquitoes are. This article taught me that things such as food, garbage, sweat, etc. attract flies, so hopefully we can all stay away from them this summer! http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/what-attracts-flies-12129.html

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