Study Says Mosquitoes Learn From Being Swatted At


Female hiker being attacked by bugs on the Welch-Dickey trail. Photo:  (Getty)

I have always understood that other animals and insects are sporting smaller brains than humans, yet it blew my mind that the majority of them couldn’t comprehend that a swing or swat was a great indicator to stay away if they wanted to continue to have a pulse.

Well, it turns out at least one insect totally gets it. And it’s not just the ones in Georgia that are damn near the size of pterodactyls.

A recent study revealed mosquitoes remember not only the taste and smell of human blood, but also those individuals who have taken a swat or two at them in an effort to remain scratch-free for the evening. While mosquitoes prefer blood that is “sweeter,” they will abstain from sucking said sweetness down if the owner of such sweet blood takes defensive measures to make it harder on them.

“Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing exactly what attracts a mosquito to a particular human — individuals are made up of unique molecular cocktails that include combinations of more than 400 chemicals,” researcher Chloé Lahondère said. “However, we now know that mosquitoes are able to learn odors emitted by their host and avoid those that were more defensive.”

We could go on and on about the dopamine in a mosquito’s brain that researchers at Virginia Tech said had an effect on their ability to determine who to suck and who to take a raincheck on, but the point of this post is a rather simple one: If you see a mosquito, swat the shit out of that thing.



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