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Why Do Mosquitoes Always Buzz Near Our Ears?

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The first barbeque of the summer is always a blast… until the mosquitoes start to buzz around. But why do they do this? What possible evolutionary purpose would there be for mosquitoes to fly closely to our ears? The buzzing sound is caused by the flapping of their wings, and the sound doesn’t reach very far, meaning that it can only be heard when they are nearby.

The buzz

The buzzing noise is created by female mosquitoes. In fact, pretty much every mosquito you will ever encounter is a female. Male mosquitoes feed on flower nectar, which makes them very passive and uninterested in mammals. Females however will need to consume blood after mating in order to have the energy needed to produce their eggs.

For this end, females have a set of tools that allows them to find their next meal. They are able to detect carbon dioxide as it leaves the bodies of warm-blooded mammals and hone in on the source. This is why they buzz around our ears. As we breathe out the carbon dioxide rhythmically, the mosquitoes come closer and closer to the source.

Once it is close enough, the mosquito will be able to detect our body heat, and at that point, it can land. Using the taste sensors on its feet, it will then determine whether the human or mammal is right for feeding. Some studies suggest that mosquitoes prefer type O blood, while other researchers believe that the mosquito can detect the genetics and diet of the person and determine whether the blood is suitable.

Our skin gives off a number of scents which mosquitoes are able to detect and decode. For example, they are able to tell if men have more or less diverse bacteria on the skin, and they will choose the men with less bacteria. They will also prefer people that wear dark colors.

Another interesting thing about the mosquito buzz is that it is caused by the fact that the mosquito flaps its wings at a rate of 500 times per second, reaching a frequency of 450 to 500 hertz. The pitch of this frequency creates the musical note A, which is also the note used by an orchestra to tune itself before the concert.

Hearing this buzzing noise too often when you’re out and about in your yard means that you likely have a mosquito infestation. Contact us today and we will help you remove it.

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