Why do mosquitoes always buzz around the ears first?

People sit on the couch, there is a mosquito flying around and before stinging it will fly 9 out of 10 around your head, preferably at the height of the ears. Why? Why not just land and stab?

Ditto when one is sleeping, a mosquito buzzes around the head first.

Asker: Philip, 39 years old


Dear Philip,

Your assumption that mosquitoes fly around the ears before they sting is wrong. You do get that impression, because you only notice them when they pass by your ears. Normally they first go to the feet but when they are covered, to other places that emit a lot of infrared, including the head.

Answered by

Dr Rudy Jocque

Arachnology Zoology Biodiversity

Royal Museum for Central Africa
Leuvensesteenweg 13 3080Tervuren


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