New Research is Helping Us Find New Ways to Control Mosquitoes

A mosquito’s ability to target humans seems a little mysterious, right? Not really. They are programmed to look for three things when looking for a blood meal to go lay their eggs: carbon dioxide, heat, and odor. Humans give off all three of these but the mosquitoes really only need two of these to decide we are a good meal.

Researchers have found that carbon dioxide is the most important cue for a mosquito choosing a blood meal. The researchers created mutant mosquitoes that could not detect carbon dioxide and when the mosquitoes were put in a situation with just heat or skin odor they would not bite.

The researchers took the experiment a step further and put a bunch of “regular” mosquitoes and some of the mutant mosquitoes, who could glow in the dark, in a greenhouse and then counted how many of each type landed on the humans. The mutants were still successful in finding a target, but not as good as the “normal” ones. When put in the room with a mouse the mutants really did not do well.

The mouse gives us some important information, the mosquitoes don’t want to waste their time on something that may not help them to lay eggs. This is important to us because it gives us a clue on how to make a better repellant for mosquitoes and control mosquitoes.

This is important to us because it gives the Pest Management industry a clue on how to create more effective products and treatment protocols for mosquitoes. The good news is Northwest Exterminating has an Integrated Mosquito Management program. IMM is an environmentally friendly way of managing mosquito populations at your home or place of business. Please visit the website under the Pest Control tab, or give your local Northwest Exterminating office a call to learn more about this program.

Kate King
Northwest Exterminating
kking@callnorthwest.com