There’s a romantic purpose for that annoying buzzzzzzz
We’ve all had that horror movie moment. We’re in bed, on the verge of sleep, and somewhere in the dark, a menacing high-pitched whine dives closer to our ears. We jump from the bed, arms flailing, with the realization that a mosquito is not only in the house, but it’s in the room with us.
While most people, fearful of bites and blood, swat the air or dive under the covers, that mosquito buzz is actually a love song of sorts – and we are a romantic dinner.
It’s all in the wings
Both male and female mosquitos make a buzzing sound, but the one people hear is usually from the female. Because she’s looking to feast, it’s her sound that’s closest to our ears as she searches for a place to land and feed. Remember, she needs blood for egg production, while the male prefers sipping on flower nectar.
At one time, it was thought the notorious sound was caused by the rapid flutter of the mosquito’s wings as it flew. In 1902, though, two British entomologists discovered that at the base of each wing an organ scrapes against itself, causing the whining buzz.
Mosquitos buzz for love
Dr. Christopher Johnston, in 1855, first discovered that in the second segment of the insect antenna, there is a collection of sensory cells, now called the Johnston Organ. This allows bugs to “hear” one another.
Fast forward to the World War II years, when an American scientist, Louis M. Roth, made an amazing discovery as he studied the mosquitos that spread Yellow Fever. When female mosquitos were resting, the male mosquitoes wanted nothing to do with them.
That all changed, though, when the females – larger in size and with a slower wing speed – were in flight. The males were able to distinguish the females’ pitch, a beckoning for the males to mate with them.
The mosquito buzz song is a duet
Researchers recently discovered that as males and females fly close to one another, they change the pitch of their buzz to match one another. The closer the pitch of the buzzes, the more likely the mosquitos are to mate with one another.
Scientists are hoping to use this knowledge in their work to create a better genetically-modified mosquito. Ultimately, they hope to create sterile males that are better at matching the buzz of females, so they will choose to mate with them rather than the fertile males.
Putting a damper on mosquito romance
Far be it for Platinum Mosquito Protection to interrupt romance, but when it comes to mosquitos and your comfort and health, there really isn’t a choice. Our automatic misting system can help lower mosquito populations on your residential, commercial, and agricultural properties – and that means less chance of mosquito mating and having one sneak into your house to buzz by you while you’re sleeping.
For a free onsite consultation, contact us today.