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By Chris Macias on August 16, 2019

Those blood-sucking mosquitos can be quite a buzzkill when it comes to outdoor activities. So, what’s the best way to encourage those scourges of camping trips and soccer practices to go away?

Aim for their feet.

According to recent research, mosquitos don’t sense taste through their elongated mouths. Rather, they taste through their feet.

Walter Leal, a UC Davis entomologist, describes the work as “an exciting result and an elegant study.”

That helps explain why DEET works so effectively with mosquitos. This chemical used in popular commercial repellents can repel them from a distance via smell. If they land on skin applied with DEET, the mosquitos get a taste from their feet and quickly want to fly away.

For more about this itchy-oriented research and a link to Leal’s laboratory click here.