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Reasons Why Mosquitoes Bite Some People More Than Others: How To Prevent Them?

Mosquitoes aren't as interested in some people as they are in others. This can be partly explained by differences in body temperature and the strength of volatile scents released from the skin and breath. [1]

It is well-known that one's diet can affect one's body odour, but whether or not certain dietary components might influence a host's attractiveness is a topic that has received little research.

This may explain in some ways why mosquitoes seem to be attracted to some people while they rarely bite others.

Read on to learn why some diets attract mosquitoes more than others.

Things That Attract Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes have very good eyesight, especially in the late afternoon. This could be why they are mainly attracted to people in black, navy blue or red clothes. Another thing is the carbon dioxide emitted by us.

People with faster metabolisms and bigger bodies, as well as pregnant women, make more carbon dioxide. Even though carbon dioxide is the main thing that draws mosquitoes, other smells coming from the skin or breath let them know that it is safe to land.

Different amounts of lactic acid (which is released during physical activities), acetone (which is released during breathing), and estradiol (which is made when oestrogen breaks down) can all attract mosquitoes. [2]

The warmth of our bodies can also make a difference. Mosquitoes might be attracted to pregnant women because their bodies heat up more.

A recent study says that when mosquitoes bite us and spread the Zika or dengue virus, the virus changes the odour of our bodies by releasing a compound called acetophenone that attracts more mosquitoes to the host. Acetophenone is also a metabolised acid commonly used in perfumes and soaps and as a flavouring agent in foods. [3]

Foods That Attract Mosquitoes More

1. Banana

Bananas are a staple food in many parts of the world. There are more than 1,000 different kinds of bananas, such as plantains and other bananas used for cooking.
According to a study, Anopheles stephensi and A. gambiae mosquitoes, which spread malaria, were much more attracted to human hand secretions one hour after eating a banana. [4]

2. Alcohol

Studies show that drinking alcohol may increase the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the body that make mosquitoes want to bite. In a study published in the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, researchers measured biomarkers before and after 13 study participants drank 350 ml of beer with an ethanol concentration of 5.5%. They found that after drinking beer, more mosquitoes landed on the people. [5]

3. Caffeine

A study suggests that the consumption of coffee or caffeine-related beverages can modify the odour signatures in humans, making them such that they attract mosquitoes. This could lead to more bites in caffeine-addicted people than those who drink fewer amounts of caffeine or do not drink at all. [6]

Ways To Prevent Mosquito Bites

  • Use something to keep bugs away. DEET, picaridin, and oil of lemon eucalyptus are all examples of active ingredients one should look for.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants. This can make it harder for mosquitoes to find places to bite.
  • Choose clothes in light colours. Black and other dark colours are attractive to mosquitoes.
  • Avoid peak mosquito time. At dawn and dusk, mosquitoes are most likely to bite. Try not to go outside during these times.
  • Eliminate mosquito habitats. Get rid of any water that is still in places like gutters or buckets. Change the water in birdbaths and wading pools often.
  • Don't let mosquitoes into the house or open doors and windows that don't have screens. Make sure the screens on the windows and doors are in good shape.
Story first published: Wednesday, September 7, 2022, 13:12 [IST]
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