Some mosquitoes like biting certain people more than others. Of course, the mosquito is only choosing who to bite based on whichever odor is most pleasing to the mosquitoes senses. One of the cues that will get a mosquito’s attention is your breath, or more specifically, exhaled carbon dioxide. Therefore, if researchers could figure out how to disrupt a mosquitoes’ sense of smell, then maybe they would not be biting people all of the time. This was the thought behind a recent study conducted at the University of California at Riverside.
Researchers have discovered three different volatile odor molecules that can destroy a mosquitoes’ ability to detect carbon dioxide. The researchers focused the study on the three most deadly mosquitoes. These mosquitoes carry dengue fever, west Nile virus, Zika virus, malaria, yellow fever and more.
The researchers also experimented with luring mosquitoes into traps with the odor of carbon dioxide. The findings present a host of different mosquito control options that would seem to be effective at preventing loss of life.
Have you ever know someone who had become ill while traveling as a result of an insect-borne disease?