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Attracted to certain colours, virulent during the day... What do recent studies say about mosquitoes

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Several recent studies provide a better understanding of the behavior of mosquitoes, which multiply with the high temperatures of recent days.

The high temperatures indicate, as every year, the return of mosquitoes. Three recent studies conducted around the world now allow us to better understand their behavior.

The first, conducted by researchers at Princetown University, in the United States, is interested in mosquitoes’ appetite for humans. Using high-resolution medical imaging, the scientists collected odor samples from about 15 volunteers who hadn’t showered for several days. At the same time, they also used samples of feathers and hair to restore the scent of dogs, sheep, rats and even birds.

The researchers then blew these two scents on mosquitoes and proceeded to observe their brains. As a result, several nerve centers in the mosquito are activated in the presence of a human scent, but not in the presence of animal scents.

Published in the famous magazine Naturethe researchers’ conclusions are clear: mosquitoes are biologically equipped to detect human odor, depending on our sweat and the CO2 we emit.

Favorite colors

Another study also shows that mosquitoes have favorite colors. Researchers at the University of Washington sprayed different surfaces covered with different colors with human scent. They noticed that mosquitoes systematically prefer the colors red, orange and black. The reason: The wavelength emitted by these colors is reminiscent of that of human skin. Instead, wear green, purple, or blue clothes to avoid being bitten.

Finally, a third study, published Monday, May 16, by the Institute for Research and Development (IRD) and the Pasteur Institute of Bangui in the Central African Republic, shows that mosquitoes bite much more during the day than we thought. According to these researchers, 20 to 30% of mosquito bites occur during the day. Even if most bites always happen in the early evening or at night, this discovery makes it possible to better understand the fight against mosquitoes.

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