Scientists say that understanding how mosquitoes track humans can save lots of lives in the future. It is interesting to note that among more than 3000 species of mosquitoes, only a few of them are able to have suck human blood.
Researchers say that this is an important subject as mosquitoes carry dangerous diseases like Dengue, Zika and even Malaria. It is estimated that close to half a million people lose their lives to these diseases every year.
Understanding How Mosquitoes Track Humans Can Save Lives
When mosquitoes evolve to bite humans, they become dangerous disease carriers. This is the reason, it is important to understand how mosquitoes target humans.
According to studies, mosquitoes choose human targets based on odor. Female mosquitoes such blood as they use it to produce eggs. In this regard, it is important to understand why a female mosquito ignores other targets and chooses humans.
If we have the answers to these questions, it becomes easy to produce much effective repellents in the long run. Apart from that, baits can be developed to lure the mosquitoes away from humans. These methods can save a lot of lives in the future.
Even though the chemicals found in human odor and animal odor are the same, the ratio in which these chemical compounds are mixed may be different. Scientists say that female mosquitoes are able to calculate the complex chemical math and figure out if the target is a human or a dog or a flower.
Scientists have created genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in order to understand how mosquitoes are able to smell humans. So far, the researchers are able to understand that mosquitoes have about 60 types of neurons that detect odors.
Researchers say that mosquitoes evolved to target humans in the last 5000 years and this is a rapid evolution. The CDC has called mosquitoes as the world’s deadliest animal. In this regard, scientists say that mosquitoes may evolve in the near future also and develop resistance for repellants.
As it is very complex to understand how mosquitoes detect smell and target humans, we should be following simple measures to keep ourselves safe from them. In this regard, the simple thing we can do is to keep our backyard clean so that they do not get enough places to breed in large numbers.
Apart from that, it is important to understand that mosquitoes love to lay eggs on stagnant water. If we can avoid such things around the home, it becomes easy to control their menace by some margin. Scientists also say that mosquitoes are not great fliers. For this reason, if you are sitting under a fan, you are less likely to get bitten by a mosquito.
The research in this regard has progressed only in recent years as the technology required to study the brains of mosquitoes were not available in the past. This technology was recently developed and further research will help the researchers to understand more about mosquito behavior.
The ability of mosquitoes to identify the smell of humans is its biggest advantage. If scientists are able to alter this in some manner, the mosquitoes will not lose their ability to bite humans. But they will not be able to identify the targets easily in future. This knowledge can be used by companies that manufacture repellants and other such products.
Apart from that, it also becomes easy to make mosquito attractants so that mosquitoes can be diverted away from our habitats. This will be useful in farms and other large areas where attractants can be placed in far away places from humans. In this manner, the mosquito menace can be controlled to a major extent in future.