Supporters of Charlton Athletic Football Club beware. Likewise followers of Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool. In fact all fans from Accrington to Southampton who parade around in their favourite club’s replica shirts.

For it seems the colour red attracts biting insects like a magnet. Scientists at an American university have discovered mosquitoes will target anyone wearing red for a tasty blood sample.

Wild Things: Everything you need to know about gulls

Boffins at University of Washington, Seattle, say mosquitoes will be deterred by anyone wearing green, purple, white or blue clothes but are attracted by those wearing red, orange or black.

In research published in the journal Nature Communications, they say red is the mosquito's favourite colour because it denotes a food source, like skin.

News Shopper: Wear green or purple to keep them at bayWear green or purple to keep them at bay

This is bad news since we are all likely to become more familiar with mosquitoes soon. If you thought they were confined to hot climates such as Africa you may be surprised to learn 33 species of mosquito have been recorded in Britain. Our climate keeps them under control as they struggle to survive cold winters. But climate change means milder winters. The last seven years have been the hottest on record and January 2022 the sunniest ever recorded in Britain. So more mosquitoes will make it through winter. This includes disease-carrying foreign invaders stowing away in ship's or lorry cargo.

Wild Things: Great news on re-wilding scheme

Gnats and midges are included under the umbrella of mosquitoes which lay eggs almost anywhere from slow-moving streams to ponds, small lakes and even puddles. True mosquitoes are confined to the family Culicidae and Britain’s worst biter is Culiseta Annulata. This large, banded-legged, spotty-winged insect has no English name but winters indoors and can breed in water tanks, troughs and buckets. Its bite causes painful skin blisters and swelling.

News Shopper: The London Underground mosquitoThe London Underground mosquito

The London Underground has its own mozzie species. Culex pipiens form molestus flourished during the Blitz when thousands of Londoners packed tightly in tube stations to shelter from bombing emerged bleary-eyed to discover they were covered in bites. Different tube lines have different mosquito species.

So tube travel in a red shirt would be just asking for trouble. Time to transfer allegiance perhaps to the blue shirts of Millwall or Everton ?