What Attracts Mosquitoes?

Published: 26th September 2011
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In essence, mosquitoes are attracted to each other, water, food and blood: every other in order to reproduce, water for laying eggs, food for obvious reasons and blood so that the female can lay fertile eggs. Unfortunately, it is this latter reason that most worries us and other animals.

Mosquitoes probably detect one another by pheromones and it has been proven that a mosquito's eyesight is not a lot of good, so they probably detect, food, water and blood by smell. The manufacturers of mosquito repellents have known this for a long time. For instance, DEET, the best repellent in the world ever, does not ward off mosquitoes at all.

No, it masks the human being so that the mosquito does not know that we are there, even though it may be only inches away, which proves just how bad the mosquito's eyesight is. We must be the size of an apartment block to a mosquito, yet it cannot see us from a few inches, if we are wearing repellent!

So, if all that is true, is there anything that some of us do to promote our presence to these half-blind nuisances? After all,. there has to be, because some individuals are bitten much more than others. Well, it seems that there are some do's and don'ts.

Firstly, there are over 3,500 types of mosquitoes. Some bite humans more readily than others and some have different characteristics and behavioural patterns, but in general, mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide. Great! I hear you saying, so I merely have to stop breathing or wear a gas mask!

No, it is likely that CO2 carries and enhances some other smells to the mosquito's receptors. It has long been thought that perfume and deodorant are some of these smells and that would make sense, because some expensive perfumes contain animal sweat and pheromones. However, it seems that extensive studies have shown that smelly feet are a magnet for mosquitoes too.

In order to test this theory, scientists baited traps with CO2 and with used socks (and with a cheese that smells like old socks) and the traps smelling of feet (and cheese) won out. The smell of perspiration is a bizarre thing.

Fresh perspiration does not have a robust smell unless you have been eating something strong-smelling and most individuals find the smell and sight of fresh sweat on a body quite sexy. OK, mosquitoes may be different, but no one likes the smell of 'old' sweat. That is the one that smells bad. It is also the one that is in used socks.

And the likely reason for it smelling badly, it that microflora and bacteria have started to decompose it. It is likely that mosquitoes pick up the smell of our old sweat being broke down by microscopic bugs and flowers.

Would an extra shower help? It cannot hurt.

Owen Jones, the writer of this article writes on more than a few subjects, but is presently involved with finding a stop mosquito bite itch. If you

want to know more, please go to our {website|web

site} at Getting Rid of Mosquito Bites.

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