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A material isolated from human hands that attracts female mosquitoes

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The residue left on glass surfaces by human hands was found to be attractive to femaleAedes aegypti (L.) andAnopheles quadrimaculatus Say mosquitoes. The material lost half of its activity in 1 hr. A solvent wash technique was developed to recover and concentrate the residuum from handled glass beads. The residuum could be recovered effectively with absolute ethanol and less effectively with several other solvents. More mosquitoes were attracted to heated than to unheated residuum, an indication of its volatility. Also, attraction of the residuum decreased with decreasing concentration or dose. Concentrated residuum collections, stored under refrigeration and tested for longevity, showed no appreciable loss of attractiveness up to 60 days of storage.

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Diptera: Culicidae.

This research was supported partly by the Medical Research and Development Command, Office of the Surgeon General, U.S. Army. Mention of a commercial or proprietary product does not constitute an endorsement by the USDA.

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Schreck, C.E., Smith, N., Carlson, D.A. et al. A material isolated from human hands that attracts female mosquitoes. J Chem Ecol 8, 429–438 (1982).

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