Home Australia Four colors that mosquitoes love and that you should avoid wearing this summer, or you risk being bitten to pieces

Four colors that mosquitoes love and that you should avoid wearing this summer, or you risk being bitten to pieces

0 comment
Scientists have predicted it will be a mosquito season

It’s that time of year when the quiet skies are filled with an annoying hum.

Scientists have predicted it will be a “very bad” mosquito season, warning of a rise in insect-borne diseases.

While there are sprays, candles, and creams that keep pests away, another method comes down to the color of the clothes you wear.

Researchers at the University of Washington found that mosquitoes are attracted to red, orange, black and cyan, a color between blue and green.

But insects were found to ignore green, purple, blue and white, suggesting they are the best to wear when outdoors this summer.

Scientists have predicted it will be a “very bad” mosquito season and warn of a rise in insect-borne diseases.

Jeffrey Riffell, a biology professor at the University of Washington, said in a statement: “One of the most common questions I get asked is, ‘What can I do to stop mosquitoes from biting me?’

‘I used to say that there are three main signals that attract mosquitoes: breathing, sweat and skin temperature.

«In this study, we found a fourth signal: the color red, which can not only be found on clothing, but is also found on the skin of all people.

‘Your skin tone doesn’t matter, we all give off a strong red signature. Filtering out those attractive colors from our skin or wearing clothing that avoids those colors could be another way to prevent mosquito bites.’

The study, published in 2022, was conducted by monitoring the behavior of female yellow fever mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti, when presented with different types of visual and olfactory cues.

Like all mosquito species, only females drink blood and the bites of A. aegypti can transmit dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya and Zika, which can cause death.

The researchers observed the insects in miniature test chambers that were filled with an odor and different visual patterns, including a colored dot or a human hand.

Without any olfactory stimuli, the mosquitoes largely ignored a dot at the bottom of the chamber, regardless of its color.

When a pinch of carbon dioxide was added, the Mosquitoes flew towards red, orange, black or cyan dots, but avoided green, blue and purple ones.

Humans exhale carbon dioxide, which insects can smell, and the experiment showed that the gas makes mosquitoes’ eyes prefer certain wavelengths in the visual spectrum.

It’s similar to what might happen when humans smell something good.

“Imagine you’re on a sidewalk and you smell cake batter and cinnamon,” Riffell said.

It’s probably a sign that there is a bakery nearby and you could start looking for it. Here we begin to learn what visual elements mosquitoes look for after smelling their own version of a bakery.’

‘Most humans have ‘true color’ vision. We see different wavelengths of light as different colors: 650 nanometers appear red, while wavelengths of 450 nanometers appear blue, for example.’

Mosquito season begins in March and continues through the fall, and while every state sees its fair share, Los Angeles, California, had the largest infestation in 2023.

According to Termiix, New York City came in second, followed by Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas, Atlanta Georgia and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

This is because urbanization and housing construction contribute to more insects.

They tend to accumulate where there is stagnant water in order to reproduce.

You may also like