Why Do Mosquitoes Love Me?!

Why Do These Mosquitoes Love Me So Much?!

What is about humans that make us so attractive to mosquitoes? In this blog we are going to explore this question by looking at some scientific studies recently conducted on this subject.

Are you the type of person who gets attacked by mosquitoes the second you walk out the door while the people you are with seem to have no problem at all? Why is this? Maybe you’re the lucky one who is with the person getting attacked while you experience little or no bites at all, why are you so lucky?

Is it luck, or is there something deeper happening here? Let’s look at some data from a few scientific studies on mosquito attractants in humans.


So yeah there really are scientific studies on this where volunteers allow mosquitoes to feed on them (sign me up!). The point of these studies is to narrow down the exact reason why mosquitoes feast on some people and leave others alone, hoping it will help researchers design the perfect mosquito trap. Chemical and behavioral studies have led to identifying some of the smells that attract several mosquito species. Most recently, molecular researchers have begun identifying the receptors that pick up these odors and translate them into neural signals.

The Data

Microbial communities on the skin play relevant roles in the production of human body odor, the composition of the skin microbiota affects varying degrees of attractiveness to humans. In testing of 48 men instructed not to wash their feet for 7 days and then samples of microbes were taken from the feet and placed in a solution and introduced to the mosquitoes. Nine of them where highly attractive, seven were not attractive, and thirty-two had moderate attraction. This showed that varying levels of odor excretion brought varying levels of attractiveness. The nine most attractive where from samples collected with a higher odor emission.

Another study took 2 females and 2 males, the females were unfed virgins and were more strongly attracted than the males, although the males also showed attraction. This suggests that some individuals are more attractive than others. Breath and body heat were also tested and again the females were more attractive

Yet another study focused on Ades Aegypti and lactic acid presence using human and animal hosts. In this study rubbings from the hands of different humans and skin rubbings from different mammals were collected. Some of the humans were consistently more attractive to mosquitoes than others and adding lactic acid to the less attractive humans increased the degree of attractiveness. There was virtually no response to animal odor samples since lactic acid is virtually absent from the animal samples. When skin rubbings from animals were combined with lactic acid, however, the mosquitoes responded to odor samples the same as to human odors. This data demonstrates that host preference of the mosquito Ades Aegypti is to a large extent due to differences in the amount of lactic acid in the odor samples.

Let’s Wrap It Up

These studies show there is preference for mosquito hosts, different levels of body odor, breath, body heat, pheromones, lactic acid, and other variables are considered when a mosquito selects a host. This is important research being done since most of the mosquitoes being tested are vectors of some major diseases. With further studies researchers can narrow in on exact ways to attract pathogen carrying mosquitoes in order to trap and eliminate them.

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