Recently, there has been a lot of talk about mosquitoes due to the current situation in Yoyogi Park in Tokyo. How much do you know about one of the most annoying pests that appear during the summer? Read on and test your knowledge of the mosquito.
A common mistake that students make when it comes to mosquitoes is saying that the mosquito stings – like a bee – when it actually bites. But not all mosquitoes bite; in fact, only female mosquitoes bite. The male mosquitoes only collect nectar from flowers and leave the females to do the attacking on humans. However, not all female mosquitoes choose to bite humans. Some choose to prey on animals and birds instead, so whether you become a target for a mosquito or not depends on that particular mosquito’s tastes.
Mosquitoes are attracted to 3 very important elements that humans just happen to contain: the carbon dioxide from our breath, the lactic acid in our sweat, and our body heat. So, if you consider how we tend to breathe and sweat more heavily in the scorching humidity of the summer, we make it incredibly easy for mosquitoes to track us down. If you see a mosquito and try to move away from it, keep in mind that it has the ability to detect carbon dioxide from a distance of around 35+ meters.
Have you ever wondered why mosquito bites are itchy? If you get bitten by a dog or cat, you usually feel pain, not an overwhelming urge to scratch your skin off. The reason why mosquito bites are so itchy is because when the female mosquito bites you, she injects you with some of her saliva. In response to that saliva, your immune system begins to do its job to get rid of the saliva, which then results in a sort of allergic reaction. While the bite may itch and swell, there’s nothing you can really do but wait it out because scratching will make it worse.
The best way to prevent mosquito bites is to wear long sleeves and pants, and try to stay away from parks and places with trees and bushes.
Carbon dioxide 二酸化炭素
Lactic acid 乳酸
Immune system 免疫