A new study analyzes the interaction between the smell of soap, the body’s unique olfactory profile and the attraction of mosquitoes. According to researchers, coconut-scented soaps are among the most effective mosquito repellants. Researchers would like to further investigate why mosquitoes are attracted to certain chemicals in soap.
Experts point out that no soap can be as effective as a good mosquito repellent.
Summer promises longer days, warmer temperatures and time spent outdoors. The season is also the same with the mosquito. If you feel that mosquitoes are targeting you more than others, it may be because of the soap you use, as well as your body chemistry. Researchers from the Polytechnic Institute and Virginia State University conducted a study of people’s unique smell profile, as well as different soaps, to find out which odors attract mosquitoes and, conversely, those that repel them.
The results of this study have been published in the journal iScience.
While there is no magic bullet to prevent mosquito bites, experts say this data is a good reason to change the soap you can use.
What attracts mosquitoes?
According to researchers, a number of variables can make people more or less attracted to mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are attracted to humans based on various cross-cues including carbon dioxide in our breath, olfactory cues such as changes in our metabolism or skin microbiota, visual cues such as the clothes we wear, and many more. The difference in attraction between different people is explained by the differences in these cues, often there is an odor profile.
While many of these factors are out of control, one factor in particular can be changed: the scent of the soap one chooses. While other studies have determined which chemicals produced in our body odor attract mosquitoes, the effect of the odors we often add to our odors has not been determined.
The researchers think that because mosquitoes use the things that plants emit to find young, adding odors to it, especially when most of the odors are plants or flowers, will have a positive effect. interesting if a person likes mosquitoes. Research has shown that scented soaps have an effect, but not a one-size-fits-all approach. The added scents are incorporated into a person’s unique scent profile, so different people will get different results, even when using the same scents.
What soap to use to repel mosquitoes?
Research shows that certain chemicals commonly found in soap help to attract or repel mosquitoes. Coconut-scented soaps seem to be some of the most repellent to mosquitoes, although the surest way to deal with pests is to use an appropriate insecticide.
Many publications show that the chemicals extracted from the coconut have an effect against blood-feeding insects. So, if you tend to be bitten by mosquitoes, this could be the right solution. That said, if you live or travel to areas where smoke-borne diseases are common, you should definitely use traditional mosquito repellants, as commercial soap formulas are not a substitute for effective effectiveness, and the amount of effects will remain to be determined.
Besides, there are a number of options to make yourself less attractive to mosquitoes. Like picaridin. If mosquitoes are really bothering you, you can take steps to reduce this attraction. For example, mosquitoes are more attracted to dark clothing than light clothing.
The data from the study added to the body of knowledge on mosquito attraction. They have also raised new questions and opened up new avenues of research.
One of the problems lies in the fact that all the soaps contain limonene, known for its insecticidal effect on mosquitoes, as a strong odor. Despite this, three of the four soaps tested actually increased mosquito attraction. The results show that more than the absolute amount of a given chemical, what matters to mosquitoes are the relative amounts of the chemicals in the mixtures.
In this study, researchers provide evidence that soaps interact with our body odor, but they are currently seeking funding to add more volunteers and more soaps to our panel to better understand the chemical processes at play.