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Why do mosquitoes buzz in our ears but not another part of the body?

6 min read

In a glance

Mosquitoes are considered one of the most annoying insects to humans, as female mosquitoes feed on human blood during deep sleep through their bite, which makes them suffer throughout the day from severe pain, and according to experts, mosquitoes buzz around the ears because of their love for carbon dioxide gas coming out of the nose, and because His love for the smell of sweat in the ears, hair and neck, and it is no wonder that he is one of the insects that loves unpleasant odors, and lays their eggs on stagnant water, as males and females may mate at the human head, and the buzzing sound results from the friction of the two wings strongly, and mosquito damage is not limited to disturbance. In fact, mosquitoes transmit dangerous diseases to humans by transmitting germs to the blood of a healthy person when sucking his blood.

Why do mosquitoes buzz in our ears?

Nothing feels like summer more than an outdoor barbecue gathering, especially after the dreary winter months. But the enemy of summer gatherings remains: the whine of mosquitoes that circles our ears.

So why are these blood-sucking insects hovering around our ears in the first place? And why are they making such an annoying noise?

“Tinnitus is mostly just a side effect of mosquitoes banging on their wings,” said Michael Riel, professor of entomology at the University of Arizona. “The sound doesn’t have a long range, so you notice it more when it’s flying around your ears.”

This is likely the sound you hear from a female mosquito. That’s because male and female mosquitoes live completely different lives. Males usually roam and inhale the nectar of flowers, without much concern for humans. However, females need to find a blood meal after mating in order to have enough energy to produce eggs. In fact, female mosquitoes were equipped with unique tools to shelter their next victim.

“From afar, female mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide we exhale in cone-shaped columns from our bodies,” Riel told Live Science. The carbon dioxide stimulates the female mosquito to begin searching for a host, and to fly back and forth to follow this concentration gradient back to the source.”

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How mosquitoes choose their victims .. Is it blood type?

In other words, mosquitoes are buzzing around our heads because that’s where we expel the most carbon dioxide.

As it approaches, the female mosquito compresses body heat and a column of carbon dioxide falls on the victim. The female mosquito uses the taste sensors on her feet to determine if a human, or any animal carrying blood, is suitable for her next meal. And while some studies suggest blood type O is best, Riel remains skeptical, finding no convincing research on blood type and mosquito needs.

Instead, other factors, such as genes and even a person’s diet, are believed to play a larger role.

Your skin “gives off this unique combination of scents that will be more attractive to some mosquitoes than others,” Riel said. Another study found that female mosquitoes were more attracted to men who had less diverse bacteria on their skin compared to men with more diverse skin bacteria.

When the female flies toward the target, she beats her wings about 500 times per second at a frequency of 450 to 500 hertz. This frequency is transmitted to note A, which, coincidentally, is what the orchestra itself tunes to before the concert.

But, while we may easily see mosquitoes buzzing around our ears, Riel noted that most mosquitoes are not attracted to our heads. Alternatively, these vampires may be more inclined to seek out our feet, which contain bacteria that emit an alluring odor to mosquitoes. However, he said, most people probably won’t notice a mosquito buzzing around their ankles.

A 1996 study published in Trends in Parasitology found that female Anopheles mosquitoes, which are responsible for transmitting the malaria parasite, are attracted to bacteria on human feet. It is these same bacteria, Brevibacterium linens, that give Limburger cheese its distinctive aroma. A 2013 follow-up study in the journal PLOS One confirmed that mosquitoes are actually attracted to Limburger cheese.

As for avoiding mosquitoes, your best bets are to wear long, light-colored clothing, use insect repellent and stay away from mosquito hotspots (wetlands, for example) at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, Live Science previously reported.

The ringing of mosquitoes around the ear is due to many reasons. We will address some of these reasons, which are:

1- Female mosquitoes are known to always spin around anyone’s head because they want to get a large amount of carbon dioxide, in addition to that they are also noticeably attracted to the smell of both sweat and heat as well as to all the pungent smells all, they have powerful sensors that help them In search of a lot of different places that also enables her to be attracted to so that she can access food in an easy and simple way.

2- It is also noticeable that mosquitoes buzz in a noticeable way around the ears of people who are returning from exercising or from the gym in general, because these people have made a great effort and therefore the smell of sweat for them works to attract mosquitoes to them, and this is due to the fact that mosquitoes prefer octenol It is one of the chemicals that are found in the smell of sweat.

3- The buzzing of mosquitoes around the ear is also due to mating between them. It is noticeable that male mosquitoes usually form swarms between them for mating and that is above the body, and they often use the human head for this, and it is usual that this swarm consists of many males Mosquitoes, which number in the thousands, and there are also female mosquitoes around you that become the target of these males.

This is why mosquitoes buzz around one person’s ear and not the other

Experts emphasized that the cause of mosquito buzzing around the human ear is due to a number of reasons, including:
Female mosquitoes spin around people’s heads, wanting to get carbon dioxide, but what makes them attracted to one person without the other, are: the smell of sweat and body temperature, especially because mosquitoes are attracted to strong body odor, as they have their own wide-range sensors It helps her in the process of searching in various places and with it she can reach food more easily.

Mosquitoes are more attracted to people who return from exercising, because these people have made a great effort and therefore their sweat smell is pungent and contains octenol, which is what attracts mosquitoes to them.

Mosquitoes may buzz around people’s ears because they are mating, which is usually done at the human head where there is a swarm of male mosquitoes targeting one female orbiting around the human head.

Other causes of that annoying sound near your ears, and how to avoid it, are as follows:

1- They are attracted to earwax.

Mosquitoes are attracted to areas of the body that smell bad, and when we sleep, we usually cover our bodies with a blanket, leaving our faces uncovered, and ears are one of the dirtiest parts of the body, which may be why mosquitoes want to fly over them.

2- The sound is made of its wings:

Although it sounds like an annoying song, mosquitoes do not sing in your ears, as the sound is produced by the rapid flapping of their wings, which reaches a speed of 250 movements per second, and it has also been found that mosquitoes communicate with each other by making sounds and can Also a “dual mating” configuration.

3- Attracted by your body heat:

Female mosquitoes are looking for food to develop their eggs, so they try to detect human body heat and sweat, which is another reason we can hear them buzzing near our ears.

Here’s how you can ensure a restful sleep:

  1. It is best to wear light-coloured clothes to sleep because mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors.
  2. Take a shower before bed to avoid sweating.
  3. Sleeping under a fast-moving fan.
  4. Put plants like lavender, rosemary, and catnip in your room, as these plants are natural mosquito repellents.

The spread of mosquitoes is frequent throughout the summer, and this makes some people feel uncomfortable and unable to sleep; Because of their buzzing in the ear, why do mosquitoes make this particular noise near the ear?

The buzzing that people hear is often just a side effect of mosquitoes striking their wings in flight, says Michael Riel, a professor of entomology at the University of Arizona. at a frequency of 450 to 500 Hz.

He added that most of the mosquitoes that disturb humans are female, because the lives of males are very different; As they prefer to live near flowers because of the nectar, and therefore do not care about being inside homes or next to humans, unlike the female who is looking for a blood meal after mating to obtain enough energy to produce eggs, according to the American “Live Science” website for science.

He explained that mosquitoes are attracted to humans and fly around their heads due to their attraction to the carbon dioxide that is emitted by the human body, and they head towards the head; It is one of the most common places through which the body expels carbon dioxide.

He stressed that the mosquito, after passing several times at a person’s ear and head, measures his body temperature, and then stands on any exposed part of his skin; To make sure through the sensors in her feet that it is a human being and not an animal, and then start drawing blood after knowing that it is a human; A person’s genes and diet often influence how attractive mosquitoes are to them.

He pointed out that there was a study issued by the “American National Institutes of Health” in 2011, which confirmed that there are certain odors emanating from the skin of some people that cause mosquitoes to be attracted to them.

He said that mosquitoes are strongly attracted to people who have less diverse bacteria on their skin than those who accumulate bacteria, and to people who wear darker colours, especially black.

He stressed that some types of mosquitoes are attracted to bacteria on the feet and not the carbon dioxide released by the body, such as “Anopheles” that transmits malaria parasites, and this explains why mosquitoes are sometimes concentrated around the feet and not the head, and the bites are often concentrated on the feet as well.

And about ways to avoid mosquito bites or its buzz, the professor of entomology advised wearing long and light-colored clothes, and avoiding being in hot places or going to places where there are wetlands.

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