Attracted by certain colors, virulent during the day… What recent studies on mosquitoes say

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

The high temperatures sign, 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 from Princetown University, in the United States, is interested in the appetite of mosquitoes for humans. Using high-resolution medical imaging, the scientists collected odor samples from about fifteen volunteers who had not taken a shower for several days. At the same time, they also used samples of feathers and hair to recover the scent emitted by dogs, sheep, rats or even birds.

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

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

Favorite colors

Another study also reveals that mosquitoes have favorite colors. Researchers at the University of Washington sprayed several surfaces covered in 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. To avoid getting bitten, wear green, purple or blue clothes instead.

Finally, a third study, published this 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 than we thought during the day. . According to these researchers, 20 to 30% of mosquito bites occur during the day. Even if the majority of bites always take place in the early evening or at night, this discovery makes it possible to better understand the fight against mosquitoes.

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