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  #1  
Old 01-26-2004, 02:08 PM
MaryWebGirl MaryWebGirl is offline
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Why do mosquitoes buzz in your ear?

I've always been driven insane by mosquitoes buzzing in my ears at night. It's happened a few times recently, and it made me wonder why the little suckers go for your ears. I had heard a long time ago that they are attracted to the smell of blood from your neck, but I'm hardly ever bitten on the neck, so I don't buy that.

My only theory would be that they just fly all around you at night, so at some point they are going to get close to your ear. Does anyone have a more solid answer?
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  #2  
Old 01-26-2004, 02:28 PM
mobo85 mobo85 is offline
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I'd answer this question, but I imagine I'm not going to get the 1976 Caldecott Medal in return.
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Old 01-26-2004, 02:56 PM
Philster Philster is offline
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They are attracted by Co2 (carbon dioxide) in amounts that mammals breathe out.

They buzz around your head because that's where the Co2 is coming from.
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Old 01-26-2004, 06:29 PM
bbeaty bbeaty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryWebGirl
I've always been driven insane by mosquitoes buzzing in my ears at night. It's happened a few times recently, and it made me wonder why the little suckers go for your ears. I had heard a long time ago that they are attracted to the smell of blood from your neck, but I'm hardly ever bitten on the neck, so I don't buy that.
I wonder if they can see the infrared glow? If you view a human head with an IR thermal scanner, the eyes, mouth, and ear canals are glowing brightly. Nostrils arent' though; nostrils are cooled by incoming air. If mosquitos see IR, they should fly into your eyes as well as into your ears.

They do follow carbon dioxide plumes (and you can buy propane burners which are mosquito lures for outdoor parties, the mosquito equivalent of a bug-zapper.)
But how do they find your skin in the dark once they've found your location? Perhaps radiant heat?
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Old 01-26-2004, 08:03 PM
Matchka Matchka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobo85
I'd answer this question, but I imagine I'm not going to get the 1976 Caldecott Medal in return.
he he he I got it

Why are the smilies anemic?

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  #6  
Old 01-26-2004, 09:37 PM
kniz kniz is offline
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It is the males that buzz and the females that bite. Therefore if you hear a buzz in your ear, don't worry because it is a male. If you don't hear a buzz, well that could very well mean a female is nearby.
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Old 01-26-2004, 09:42 PM
USCDiver USCDiver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kniz
It is the males that buzz and the females that bite. Therefore if you hear a buzz in your ear, don't worry because it is a male. If you don't hear a buzz, well that could very well mean a female is nearby.
Cite?
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Old 01-26-2004, 10:12 PM
peasea peasea is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USCDiver
Quote:
Originally Posted by kniz
It is the males that buzz and the females that bite. Therefore if you hear a buzz in your ear, don't worry because it is a male. If you don't hear a buzz, well that could very well mean a female is nearby.
Cite?
One of the most amusing facts I learned from working in a mosquito research lab is that only the females are blood-suckers (One cite. Many others if you take a quick look). The males, on the other hand, hatch, have sex, and wait around to die. As for only males buzzing, huh? Both sexes have wings, and both fly, so both buzz. Granted, the males may never get close enough to hear them, since they're not looking for your blood. Which brings me to the ears. Does anyone have a cite for the claim that we expire more through our ears than throught the rest of our skin? My belief is mosquitoes don't just go for the ears, but you only hear them when they do. Believe it or not, mosquitoes can sometimes bite without you even feeling them. So, since you hear them when they get near your ears, and don't always feel them when they're elsewhere, it may seem like they're going specifically for those fleshy things on the side of your head.
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  #9  
Old 01-26-2004, 11:06 PM
Ale Ale is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peasea
The males, on the other hand, hatch, have sex, and wait around to die.
I want to be a mosquito. WHAA!!!
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  #10  
Old 01-27-2004, 09:45 AM
freewill39 freewill39 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbeaty
I wonder if they can see the infrared glow? If you view a human head with an IR thermal scanner, the eyes, mouth, and ear canals are glowing brightly. Nostrils arent' though; nostrils are cooled by incoming air. If mosquitos see IR, they should fly into your eyes as well as into your ears.

I don't know about mosquitos, but I've had bugs fly into my eyes many times. I'll be sitting outside, minding my own business, having a coversation, eating, what have you, and they love to just fly into my eyes. Due to reflex, I shut my eye tightly, crush the little bugger as best I can using my eyelid , and carefully try to get a hold of the little shit with the tips of my thumb and index finger. Then, I slowly open my eye and get the intruder out of there.

Come now...I can't be the only person who has had this happen to them. It's occurred more than once in my life, I can say that.
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  #11  
Old 01-28-2004, 08:54 PM
bbeaty bbeaty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbeaty
I wonder if they can see the infrared glow?

Here's the infrared glow:

http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/i...portraits.html





Try wearing dark ear-glasses to fool the ear-seeking mosquitos?


PS Ever wondered how there can be gazillion mosquitos out on seashore marshes with no animals to provide blood? Mosquitos normally suck plant juices.
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beaty, chem.washington.edu _ Seattle, WA USA
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