It only makes sense to want to do everything you can to avoid a mosquito bite if you are one of those persons who seem to attract mosquitoes. While many things can affect how appealing you are to mosquitoes (such as what you wear and whether you walk outside during mosquito peak hours), recent research raises the possibility that the kind of soap you use may also have an impact.
Four participants were enlisted for the study, which was published in the journal iScience. Each individual was invited to lather up with four different soap brands—Dial, Dove, Native, and Simple Truth—after having their distinctive scents determined.
How Mosquitoes Are Attracted To Scents?
Results suggested that mosquitoes may be drawn to floral scents because they associate them with flowers, which give forth the nectar that they need to survive. Since mosquitoes require sugar as a source of energy, flowers are attractive to them. Because we apply perfume with floral undertones to our bodies, mosquitoes may first be drawn to that.
“Soaps drastically change the way we smell, not only by adding chemicals but also by causing variations in the emission of compounds that we are already naturally producing,” co-author of the study Chloé Lahondère, an assistant professor of biochemistry at Virginia Tech, said in a press release.
“Soaps drastically change the way we smell, not only by adding chemicals but also by causing variations in the emission of compounds that we naturally produce.” She added.
“Remarkably, the same individual can become more attractive to mosquitoes with one soap while becoming repellent to mosquitoes with another,” says senior author and neuroethologist Clément Vinauger.
Which Scents Don’t Attract Mosquitoes?
Coconut had a fragrance that made people less attractive.
“That was very interesting for us because there is other evidence in the literature that elevating certain fatty acids, such as those found in coconut oil derivatives, could serve as a repellant for mosquitoes and other insects,” Vinauger said.
By conducting tests on cloth that had absorbed the subjects’ odors, the trials also took into account the effects of exhaled carbon dioxide (CO2), a vital cue for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes can recognize the CO2 that people and other animals breathe. Female mosquitoes become more active in the presence of CO2, which encourages them to investigate their surroundings for a host.
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