9

I've heard it several times as "common wisdom" that killing mosquitoes that bite you releases some chemicals that could be sensed by their kin from great distance.

Thus, slapping mosquitoes would attract more mosquitoes.

Is this true?

11

As btilly noted, none of the references on how to not attract/repel mosquitos ever mentions "not slapping them" or any chemicals released from swatting one as attractant.


The mosquito myth might be a mutation of an actual true fact - slapping at bees does, in fact, raise the risk of being attacked by the rest of the hive:

Does swatting/killing a bee cause the hive to attack?


An unrelated small but apparently non-zero risk about slapping at a mosquito is a possibility of infection (this conclusion seems to be somewhat disputed as per BBC article but the original article was published in New England Journal of Medicine so it is legit):

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3906079.stm

But they concluded that the woman, who died in 2002, probably developed the infection after smearing the insect into a bite.

The case has prompted doctors at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York to warn against swatting mosquitoes against the skin.

"I think if a mosquito was in mid-bite, it would be wiser to flick the mosquito off rather than squashing it," said Christina Coyle, one of the authors of the article.

1

Glancing at http://www.allmosquitos.com/what-attracts-mosquitos/what-attracts-mosquitoes.html I can find no evidence that anything released by a mosquito would attract others.

However some people are substantially more attractive to mosquitoes than others. They would be more likely to want to slap mosquitoes (because they are being attacked) and will then continue to be attacked. That could lead to the observations behind your common wisdom.

Incidentally I personally am careful about slapping mosquitoes that have already started feeding because I'm afraid that I'll push more of their saliva

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