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January 22, 2020 Wednesday 01:03:48 PM IST

Why flowers attract mosquitoes

Science Innovations

A new research reveals that mosquitoes are drawn to flowers as much as people. The study finds that without their keen sense of smell, mosquitoes wouldn’t get very far. They rely on this sense to find a host to bite and spots to lay eggs. And without that sense of smell, mosquitoes could not locate their dominant source of food: nectar from flowers.

“Nectar is an important source of food for all mosquitoes,” said Jeffrey Riffell, a professor of biology at the University of Washington. “For male mosquitoes, nectar is their only food source, and female mosquitoes feed on nectar for all but a few days of their lives.”

However scientists know little about the scents that draw mosquitoes toward certain flowers, or repel them from others. This information could help develop less toxic and better repellents, more effective traps and understand how the mosquito brain responds to sensory information.

“Their findings show how environmental cues from flowers can stimulate the mosquito brain as much as a warm-blooded host — and can draw the mosquito toward a target or send it flying the other direction”, said Riffell.


(Read more on: https://www.washington.edu/news/2020/01/21/mosquitoes-flowers/)

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