How do mosquitoes find us?

Mosquitoes are reviled because of their penchant for biting.  They detect the carbon dioxide we exhale as well as the heat and other attractants we emit.  While seeking a blood meal, some (but not all) kinds may ‘sing’ in our ears, and often at night when we are seeking quiet and sleep. That aria is the whine produced by the beating wings, and the frequency is dependent upon the kind (species) of mosquito. The song is detectable mainly when the mosquito is flying near a person’s ears. The tone produced by a female mosquito is attractive to the males of the same species, and is likely far less annoying to mosquitoes than to a person or other animal. Although a singing mosquito represents potential risk for a bite, that sound is only a suggestion of what may come next. As with the old adage ‘barking dogs never bite… except when they stop barking’, so too is this true with mosquitoes.  A flying mosquito cannot bite.  She presents more danger when she becomes silent.  

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