Study: rain no problem for mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are able fly through a downpour and survive

ATLANTA | June 6, 2012


Mosquitoes, those ubiquitous summer pests, are hard to deter and even a summer rainstorm can't stop the blood-sucking insects, U.S. researchers say.

Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology said the insects are able fly through a downpour and survive collision with raindrops that can weigh 50 times as much as the insect.

Mosquitoes receive low impact forces from raindrops because the low mass of the insect causes raindrops to lose little momentum in the collision, they reported in a release Tuesday.

"The collision force must equal the resistance applied by the insect," researcher David Hu said. "Mosquitoes don't resist at all, but simply go with the flow."

"If you were to scale up the impact to human size, we would not survive. It would be like standing in the road and getting hit by a car."

Upon impact, the mosquito is adhered to the front of the drop for up to 20 body lengths.

"To survive, the mosquito must eventually separate from the front of the drop," Hu said. "The mosquito accomplishes this by using its long legs and wings, whose drag forces act to rotate the mosquito off the point of contact.

"This is necessary, otherwise the mosquito will be thrown into the ground at the speed of a falling raindrop."

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved


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