Bug Love – Mosquitoes Sing Duet in Perfect Harmony

In theme with Valentine’s Day, scientists have discovered more behind the annoying buzzing of mosquitoes: there is bug love, or rather, mosquitoes singing in perfect harmony when choosing a mate.

The study was conducted on the mosquito species Aedes Aegypti, which is known to carry mosquito-borne disease like Dengue Fever & Yellow Fever.

Researcher Ronald Hoy from Cornell recorded wing-flapping frequencies in both male and female mosquitoes. Anytime a mosquito buzzes, it generates a fundamental tone based on wing beats per second. But in addition to that dominant “buzz,” that humans hear, harmonics are naturally generated. The study found that tone-matching prevailed in pairs. When a tethered female mosquito was moved past a stationary male, the wing-flapping frequencies changed.

In nearly 70 percent of the pairs, both mosquitoes adjusted their wing-flapping speeds (fundamental frequency) so that their so-called harmonics matched up in a particular way. A harmonic is a multiple of a fundamental frequency. So the second harmonic of 430 Hz would be 860 Hz.

Embedded video from Cornell UniversityTo see an interesting video of this study featuring Ronald Hoy, click here.

If you’re not in love with the thought of mosquitoes taking over your yard this spring & summer, be sure to call Mosquito Squad! We want to help couples enjoy romantic evening outdoors without mosquito bites! Our company, Mosquito Squad of Howard & Montgomery Maryland, offers mosquito and tick control services for both residential and commercial clients in Howard County and portions of Montgomery County, MD.  To find out more information about our barrier spray services and how you can “fight the bite” in your own backyard, please visit our website here.


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