Back in TIME With Those Effing Mosquitos… The Psychology of the Buggahs

I just found this interesting 1945 TIME magazine report on Mosquitos.

Everyone knows how much I hate these effing bugs.

What do mosquitoes think about? Principally, sex and food… (Sounds like us guys ;) )

The Army’s Peeping Toms confirmed the theory (TIME, April 16, 1945) that the girl mosquito’s hum is sexual advertising. With tuning forks of the proper frequency, they posed as susceptible females, got chased by mosquito males…

…More practical was the study of biting habits (female only). The Army learned that skin color makes little difference. A victim’s hand bathed in green light was bitten as readily as the same hand bathed in red. Mosquitoes, probably, can see only large masses in black-&-white. They are repelled somewhat by a black or a white shirt, prefer intermediate shades. A female mosquito with eyes removed can find a victim; but with antennae removed, she goes hungry. (Ruthless Military testing)

Smell is probably more important than sight as a food-finder. Mosquitoes were attracted by air which had blown past a human being. They could also feel warmth at considerable distance. A human forearm cooled a few degrees did not interest them. If heated slightly it attracted them quickly. Moisture was important too. But on very damp days, a sweaty forearm was not as attractive as on dry days.

Army researchers (still continuing) had yet to produce the hoped-for result: a repellent based on mosquito psychology. But they had confirmed one popular theory: mosquitoes like some people better than others. The reason was still a mystery, except for the observation that mosquitoes dislike tough, hairy skins…

More Here

So maybe that’s why I’m getting bit so much.  I’m not that hairy!

One Response

  1. hey Damon,
    I just got an email that says if you spray Listerine around you the mosquitoes will stay away. I haven’t tried it yet ’cause they don’t like me, anyway.

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