Last Updated on 2023-06-04 , 10:26 am
Isn’t it irritating when mosquitoes buzz around your ear, especially when you’re trying to sleep?
Their buzzing isn’t just annoying; it’s also a precursor to a potential blood meal for them and a potential malaria or dengue risk for you.
But do you know why mosquitoes buzz in people’s ears?
The Sound Behind the Mosquito’s Buzz
Let’s begin with the fact that only female mosquitoes are responsible for the vexing buzz we often hear.
Contrary to common belief, male mosquitoes don’t suck blood, and therefore, don’t buzz around your ears.
Females, however, can make this buzzing sound as they beat their wings rapidly, up to an astonishing 250 times per second!
Why the Annoying Buzz?
Do mosquitoes purposely buzz around our ears to give us a heads-up about an impending bite?
Jokingly you might think so, but scientific research provides a more practical explanation, although it’s not entirely foolproof.
We could not get a mosquito to comment on this for us (they’re surprisingly uncooperative interviewees), but here’s what science has to say.
The Intriguing Connection Between Mosquitoes and Ear Wax
One primary theory suggests that mosquitoes are attracted to the smell emitted by our ears.
It might be surprising to learn that our ears, especially the inner parts, are some of the dirtiest areas of our bodies.
When not cleaned regularly, they produce ear wax, which releases a smell that mosquitoes find irresistible, leading them towards our ears.
Carbon Dioxide: A Mosquito Attractant
An alternative theory posits that mosquitoes buzz around our ears due to the carbon dioxide we exhale, which they are attracted to.
Where do we emit carbon dioxide? Not the ears, but the nose and mouth, which are in close proximity to the ears.
Another theory is that the buzzing sound is a mating call where female mosquitoes buzz to lure in male mosquitoes. However, no conclusive research supports this hypothesis yet.
Practical Solutions to the Mosquito Buzzing Issue
Understanding the potential link between our ear wax and the mosquito buzzing problem, we can take preventive measures.
Regular cleaning of the ears using cotton buds to eliminate excess ear wax can help, along with traditional mosquito prevention techniques like using a mosquito coil or fan, maintaining a cool environment and performing the 5-step mozzie wipe-out (familiar to us Singaporeans).
For more insights on why mosquitoes might prefer certain people’s blood, check out this informative video:
Featured Image: Witsawat.S / Shutterstock.co
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