Posts Tagged ‘insects and bad breath’

Insects Detect Bad Breath to Prevent Being Eaten

Monday, June 13th, 2011

You might think you have a sensitive nose, but aphids are in a realm all their own! Aphids are those pesky insects that are tiny and green and wreak havoc on many farmers’ crops. According to a recent study, perhaps we aren’t giving these creatures enough credit – they have some interesting survival skills.

The study was published in the journal of Current Biology and found that pea aphids are able to avoid being eaten mistakenly by animals that are munching on the plants where aphids reside. Pea aphids have an acute sensitivity to the humidity of mammalian breath.

Researchers at the University of Haifa conducted a rather elaborate and careful study. In order to find out of bad breath signals the aphids of predators, the team had a goat eat alfalfa plants that were full of aphids. The researchers wore snorkels to assure that their own breath wouldn’t tamper the experiment’s conclusions. They also controlled air humidity, movement and shadows. The results were that breath itself is what tells the aphids to leave the plant. It was initially posed that carbon dioxide is the trigger for these bugs, but it turns out it is actually the humidity and heat of breath that sounds the aphid alarm.

Halitosis can also warn humans of possible disease. Bad breath can be an indicator of gingivitis or gum disease, tooth decay, sinusitis, lung diseases or surplus bacteria in the mouth. If you have chronic or extremely foul breath, consider checking in with your doctor to make sure other illness aren’t resulting in bad breath. You may also want to try TheraBreath PLUS – our most potent breath freshening products.

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