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Science behind the biting preference of mosquitoes

Oct, 2022

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Researchers have found out that the fatty acids emanating through our body are responsible to attract mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes are often a reason of nuisance, with the sound they make near ears and their pinching bites which is enough to disrupt one’s sleep. There are many theories about how actually a mosquito gets attracted towards a human being. The most popular theory is that mosquitoes have a great sense towards CO2 exhalations by the human body, which helps them to find their prey. They also identify human body odour and sense body heat. But sometimes there are situations where some people are loved more by mosquitoes and they get more share of bites as compared to others.

There are many speculations made on why some persons are preferred more by mosquitoes than the rest. Some say that people who eat garlic or banana are more likely to be preferred by mosquitoes while some other theories suggest that this preference is dependent upon blood type and blood sugar level. Some theories state that women or children usually get more mosquito bites than other male adults. But none of these theories succeeds in registering the actual science behind the preference of mosquitoes.

Leslie Vosshall, head of Rockefeller University’s Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior, and Maria Elena De Obaldia, a former doctor, conducted a study to find out the behaviour of mosquito with respect to the human body odour. The study included eight participants who were examined for nearly three years. They found out that fatty acids emerging from the skin of human body produce a peculiar perfume which is loved by mosquitoes. So thus they have established a direct relation between having a large quantity of fatty acids on skin and being a mosquito target. 

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