Recent research has helped scientists to understand how mosquitoes use their sense of scent, sight and heat to find humans and animals to feed upon.
Ever wonder how mosquitoes find you so quickly and identify you as a nice tasty treat? I know I did! Apparently its a three step process that allows them to close in own their prey.
As stated in new research published in the journal Current Biology, mosquitoes are first attracted to the scent of CO2 — which is exhaled when humans breath. This is the initial thing that mosquitoes pick up on, and they can detect it from an amazing distance of about 30 feet to 160 feet. Once they’ve detected the CO2 they move in closer on their newly acquired target. Their next step is to pick up on visual cues. They don’t have to move too far before they can use sight to find humans. They can see you from a distance of 15 feet to around 50 feet. Finally, they use the detection of heat coming from the human body to finalize their approach. Mosquitoes are drawn to heat from within 3 feet.
It has been known for awhile that scent, sight, and heat all contribute to mosquitoes ability to detect their targets, but this is the first time that scientists have been able to determine the exact process of their approach.
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For more on this story check out the BBC website http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-33549777