Attempts to kill a mosquito aren't always met with success -- these annoying bloodsuckers seem preternaturally good at evading hand swats. Surprising new... - From Gizmodo Australia
Surprising new research suggests mosquitoes learn from these near-death experiences, staying clear of a particular odour they have learned to associate with the perpetrator.
In experiments, mosquitoes learned to associate an odour with a jarring vibration meant to simulate the feeling of getting swatted.
"Many insects have been shown to learn and associate odours with appetitive and aversive stimuli, and the idea that this occurs through a dopaminergic pathway is consistent with prior literature," she told Gizmodo.
As for the mosquito's inability to avoid chickens, van Breugel says it's also not surprising.
"By testing both rats and chicks, the authors showed that these mosquitoes preferentially learned odours associated with mammals, but not other organisms." In light of the new findings, van Breugel imagines traps that emit human-like odours, and when a mosquito visits them, a simulated swat (i.e.