If you wear these colors, you can be a mosquito target.If you wear these colors, you can be a mosquito target.

If you’ve ever felt like a streetlamp on a hot day, surrounded by mosquitos that seem to be fascinated with you, you should reconsider your attire.

After getting a scent of human breath, the pesky bloodsuckers search the periphery for victims by pinpointing particular colors: red, orange, black, and cyan, according to a report published Friday in the journal Nature Communications. Green, purple, blue, and white are probably the best colors to wear.

In a statement, Jeffrey Riffell, a biologist at the University of Washington and senior author of the study, stated, “Imagine you’re on a sidewalk and you smell pie crust and cinnamon.” “That’s most likely a hint that a bakery is close, and you should start looking for it. So, after tasting their version of a bakery, we began to identify what visual aspects mosquitoes are hunting for.”

Riffell and his colleagues studied how mosquitoes react to different tones after being exposed to carbon dioxide, which people exhale. Female Aedes aegypti mosquitos, known to spread dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya, and Zika virus, were first put inside tiny chambers. Females were chosen because, unlike guys, they are the blood-sucking vampires that spoil tropical vacations by eating on our blood.

To begin, the team observed how the confined animals reacted to stimuli such as colorful dots when there were no scents present. In a nutshell, they didn’t. The researchers then repeated the procedure with a CO2 spray. When using synthetic human breath, the mosquitos were drawn to red, orange, black, and cyan colors but ignored green, purple, blue, and white.

However, mosquitos may not be as colorblind as you may think. Scientists aren’t sure if bugs can “see” color in the same way humans can, just as we can’t “smell” CO2 in the same way they do. However, all colors to avoid have one thing in common: longer wavelengths in the visible spectrum.

This leads to some awful news.

Human skin emits long wavelengths that are comparable to those of red-orange colors, independent of pigment. “One of the most often requested questions I get is, ‘How can I keep mosquitoes from biting me?'” Riffell explained. “I used to say that mosquitoes are attracted to three things: your breath, your sweat, and the warmth of your skin. We discovered the fourth clue in our study: the color red, which can be found not just on your clothes but also on everyone’s skin.”

Riffell tested that hypothesis as well, putting a human hand in a CO2-heavy mosquito cage with and without a green glove. But, again, the green glove worked perfectly as camouflage, and the bugs were completely disinterested.

There’s also some disappointing news. If their genetics call for it, female mosquitos can be “colorblind” in the presence of CO2. For example, the researchers claim that a mutant strain of the bugs can’t “see” the tasty, long wavelengths.

Fingers crossed, the next time you wear a bright red lipstick or an all-black-everything appearance, you run across either a mutant threat or one who is entirely unaware of the tempting aroma of your breath.

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