Mosquito bites are something that no one of this planet loves. So, you are bothered about too many mosquitoes feasting on your precious blood? If so, you may need to redo your body odor. Scientists say that it is your smell that determines the number of mosquitoes bite you.
Sadly, there isn’t much you can really do to rapidly change your body’s smell because it actually depends on your body chemistry and also on the type of food you eat. So, changing the way you smell may be a long shot. On top of that, scientists actually say that our susceptibility to mosquito bites major comes from our genetic makeup. To be more precise, 85% of the factors that determine the susceptibility actually comes from our genes.
Mosquito Bites and Body Smell
It is an undeniable fact that trillions of microbes call our skin as their permanent home. And, these microbes are the ones that are actually responsible for causing body odor and sweat among many other things. This body odor and sweat acts as red carpet for the feisty pests, who are very much capable of smelling dinner from a distance of 50 meters. That’s quite a distance for a small pest like mosquito.
So, what really attracts the mosquitoes. There are many things but some of the most important ones are uric acid levels, cholesterol, sweat glands and lactic acid. You may be surprised to know that scientists have actually conducted experiments with a type of cheese known as the Limburger cheese. This cheese has a typical smell that resembles the odor of human body. Unfortunately, it was found that mosquitoes are pretty much attracted to the Limburger cheese. So of course, they are also attracted to body odor. On top of that, other factors also pitch in. For example, how much we move, the amount of moisture present on our skin, the temperature of our body etc. are also several factors that play their part in welcoming these unwelcome and filthy pests.
If that’s not enough to surprise you, you should also consider your blood type or better put – blood group. If you happen to be of Group A, you will be least bothered by these pests but if you turn out to be one from the Blood Group O, you are one hell of a mosquito magnet.
American Mosquito Control Association’s, technical advisor, Joe Conlon (Ph.D.) says that numerous researches are being performed to find out the exact causes that attract mosquitoes. Unfortunately, all these researchers have just reached out for the surface and there is much of digging left.
Research on Mosquito Bites
A study was conducted back in 2011. The researchers wanted to attract a specific species of mosquitoes known as Anopheles gambiae. Some interesting results showed up during the study:
- One common skin microbe was found to be double in concentration on the skin of people who attracted more mosquitoes than the people who managed to avoid unnecessary attention.
- The same group of people who attracted more mosquitoes also had thrice the concentration of another skin microbe generally found on all humans.
- People who didn’t attract mosquitoes had a very diverse microbe colony living on their skin.
Another Research on What Smell Attracts Aedes aegypt Mosquito Bites
While the experiment conducted in 2011 was pretty interesting, scientists also conducted a more recent experiment on a mosquito species known as Aedes aegypt. This is the species known for spreading some of the nasty diseases like Zika and dengue.
In this experiment it was found that these mosquitoes find the smell of lactic acid that is not just found in milk and its derivative products but is also produced naturally by human body, very attractive. Especially, the females of Aedes aegypt are more attracted to smell that is produced when the smell of lactic acid mixes with carbon dioxide that we exhale out. Unfortunately, larger people and even pregnant women generate more carbon dioxide and hence, are far more vulnerable to Aedes aegypt mosquito bites.
The question is, ‘will these experiments someday help us invent some special mosquito repellant that can be personalized depending on our body odor?” Perhaps that may happen someday but for now, we will have to live with the bitter reality that mosquito bites cannot be easily avoided. It is very unfortunately that humans, till date, are trying to adjust and share this planet with mosquitoes that have been around for 170 million years and it is very unlikely that they will be driven to extinction any time soon.