If you are one of those people who always get bitten by mosquitoes, a new scientific report will be of great interest.
A study was carried out to find out why some people are more prone to mossie bites than others. You always get one annoying person don’t you, who never seems to get a bite while you are covered in itchy red spots.
Now there is a way to keep the insects away – lots of swatting.
The research, published in Current Biology, found that the mechanical perturbations of swatting and shivering are recognised by the insects – who then learn to stay away from the scent of that individual.
The report explains: “Host defensive behaviour is a major source of mortality for mosquitoes , with hosts operating as both predator and prey.
“The ability by mosquitoes to possibly learn which individuals are more, or less, defensive, will have strong fitness consequences for the mosquitoes.”
The mosquitoes, however, will need to find another host to feed from so the secret is – wave your arms about like an idiot but don’t tell your friends why!
I only wish the same were true for wasps – I am ashamed to admit I am one of those people who waves their arms about madly when a wasp comes near, only to be told that ‘stay still and they won’t sting you’. Advice which in my opinion, is a load of rubbish!