Some people seem to be magically attracted to mosquitoes, while others are mistreated by insects. What could be the reason for this – and is there anything to the legend of “sweet blood”? FITBOOK TALK TO A MOSQUITO EXPERT.
First of all: “This sweet blood is a legend and nothing more.” This confirms Doreen Werner, a qualified biologist and mosquito expert at the Leibniz Agricultural Landscape Research Center in Mönchberg (Brandenburg). But there are actually factors that can lead to mosquito bites more than others.
Who are the mosquitoes that are especially careful and who depend less on the composition of the air we exhale. “All blood-sucking mosquitoes basically fly on exhaled air,” Werner says. It is true that everyone should exhale. But the way we breathe is different. So mosquitoes have their own personal preferences when it comes to the concentration of carbon dioxide in their breath. By the way, this is also affected by our activities. So carbon production is different from z. B. Depending on whether we are currently inactive or exercising.
Combination of breath and “smell tank” on the skin
In addition to exhaled gases, the development of smell on our skin is also interesting to mosquitoes — and it can ensure that some people are bitten more than once. Doreen Werner describes her as a “smelly tank” character. This is the overall result of the different components that sweat contains (such as ketones, phenols and alcohols that produce different odors). The individual bacteria present on our skin also contribute to the formation of odors.
Speaking of alcohol: according to Werner, it also happens that people who have taken the cup are increasingly bitten. In the end, it’s all related to the physical exhalation.
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Hormones and body odor
Hormones play a very important role in the formation of unpleasant odors. As a result, pregnant women, for example, are particularly attractive to mosquitoes, as are women who are going through puberty or menopause or when taking birth control pills. But athletically active men are often popular with vampires. According to Werner, a variety of factors have an effect on sweating and thus on smell production.
According to Werner, whether or not we can smell someone else’s scent, that is, find their scent pleasant, gives no indication of how mosquitoes find their scent cocktail. This means the individual combination of skin scent and exhalation. What comes out of it is difficult to influence.
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What can you do to be less attractive to mosquitoes?
“Ultimately, we are constantly doing things to cover up our personal odor,” mosquito specialist Doreen Werner tells FITBOOK. Scented shower gels, body lotions, and scented water – these are all things that can be more or less attractive to mosquitoes.
“Some swear by garlic, others lavender oil,” Werner says, “Again, some use direct insect repellent sprays like Autan or Anti-Brumm.” try that.