For more than half a century, scientists knew that human sweat and lactic acid attracted mosquitoes to humans at an alarming rate. What they didn’t know, was how mosquitoes were able to sense those things so well. Finding the answer could mean finding a solution. And in Greenville, #10 Best Place to Live, our active outdoor lifestyle is a perfect recipe, providing mosquitoes with plentiful sweaty humans.
Greenville has a vested interest in all the best mosquito control solutions so we can continue to enjoy all the things that keep landing us on the Best lists.
The Genetics of Mosquito Sniffers
Scientists studying an Aedes Aegypti mosquito were able to locate special olfactory receptors. This receptor is called Ionotropic Receptor 8a (IR8a) – and it detects sweat and odor.
The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is one of the deadliest to humans, carrying and spreading dengue, yellow fever, and Zika virus.
Intercept the Receptor
Researchers are continuing to dig in deep to the function of the IR8a for two main mosquito control strategies:
- Design a repellent to block the IR8a receptor. Human sweat could no longer be distinguished, and the mosquitoes wouldn’t be quite so attracted.
- Use lactic acid and sweat to lure mosquitoes into a trap.
- And lastly, they want to lure the mosquitoes in and then treat them with a chemical that “tamps down their urge to seek humans” by interrupting their receptor permanently.
Scientists estimate that “removing the function of this receptor” would lower the host-seeking activity of these mosquitoes by about 50%.
50% Less annoying.
50% Less biting.
50% Less itching.
I think we’d all enjoy that! At Mosquito Squad, we eliminate up to 90% of mosquitoes on your property, all season long. But, with the work, scientists are doing with the IR8a receptor, we could all enjoy untreated nature more comfortably; and in Greenville, that is essential! Whether at Falls Park on Reedy, hiking the Swamp Rabbit trail, or hanging out at the zoo, we would all enjoy fewer mosquitoes annoying us.
In the meantime, call Mosquito Squad of Greenville for all your at-home mosquito control needs.