According to a new study by the University of Washington, wearing green, purple, blue, and white can reduce the chance of mosquito bites.
Washington, D.C. (Merxwire) – Since ancient times, mosquitoes have been recognized as vectors of infectious diseases, and every summer is the time for the national anti-mosquito battle. A new study published in the journal Nature Communications found that Aedes aegypti flies to specific colors such as red, orange, black, or cyan after detecting carbon dioxide exhaled by humans, but ignores green, purple, blue, and white.
The study tracked 1.3 million female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in the lab, provided colored dots or a “delicious” human hand, and tested their choice preferences in different visual color environments and with or without the smell of carbon dioxide. The study found that in the absence of carbon dioxide, the mosquitoes showed no interest in the colored dots in the experimental room, regardless of the color. But when carbon dioxide, which mimics human odor, was sprayed into the chamber, the mosquitoes flew to the red, orange, black, or cyan dots, ignoring the green, purple, blue, and white dots.
Female mosquitoes like to suck human blood and rely on tracking the carbon dioxide exhaled by the human body to find their bite targets. Researcher Riffell analyzed that mosquitoes can smell carbon dioxide that humans cannot smell, which stimulates their vision. So when the female mosquito smells the odor of the human body, it will locate the location of the bite by sight. But previous experiments have primarily ignored the color preference part of mosquitoes.
Through experiments, the research team speculated that mosquitoes prefer light with longer wavelengths, such as red, orange, cyan, and black. The color emitted by human skin is just the red light that mosquitoes prefer. Hence, humans are vulnerable to mosquito bites. Short-wavelength light, such as green, blue, violet, and white light, is not favored by mosquitoes. When researchers wear green gloves sprayed with carbon dioxide, mosquitoes ignore and dislike it.
This experiment provides a new perspective on mosquito prevention. When you go to the wild next time, you might as well try physical anti-mosquito techniques and change the clothes and accessories to colors that mosquitoes don’t like to avoid becoming a delicious meal for mosquitoes.