Are you a mosquito magnet and often attacked by them? But there are some lucky souls who are not the mosquito victims. But the question that arise here is Why Some People Don’t Get Bitten By Mosquitoes? Scientists are trying to crack the code behind this mystery. If you can’t sleep outdoor during summers without slapping yourself after every second then you are loved by mosquitoes. Recently, microbial ecologist Rob Knight experimented that the bacteria on our skin produce different chemicals, some of which smell so good that they attract mosquitoes.
Some researchers say that mosquitoes are the deadliest and monstrous creatures ever in the world. They are killing more than a million people every year through malaria, dengue, and many other diseases. Mosquitoes are remarkably good at adapting to new atmospheres. They can make themselves feel at home in every region like traveling the world through water, hidden inside used tyres, ornamental bamboo plants, or traveling in shipping containers. They are excellent warrior too because many of our strategies went fail when it comes of get rid of them.
The trillion microbes that live on our skin are a little ratio of the 100 trillion bacteria that live inside the body, but they play a huge role in body aroma. Without these bacteria, human scent would be odorless. Moreover, these bacteria vary greatly from one person to another. Knight added that with other humans we share 99.9% of DNA, but most of the people only share about 10% of their microbes, this is the reason aroma changes from person to person.
How was Mosquito Mystery Resolved?
To resolve this mosquito mystery, researchers asked 48 adult male volunteers to abstain from garlic, alcohol, spicy food, and bath for two days. The men also wore nylon socks for one day to make up a collection of their unique skin microbes. Researchers then rubbed glass beads against the underside of the men’s feet in order to collect their scent for mosquitoes.
The result was out of the 48 men 9 were especially attractive to mosquitoes, while the aroma of seven lucky volunteers was not considered by the mosquitoes. The poorly attractive group to mosquitoes contains a more diverse microbial colony on their skin as compared to highly attracted ones.
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Dr. Leslie Vosshall explained that, mosquitoes really target some people more than others. Skeptic people usually thought that everyone gets bite from mosquitoes, but people whose immune systems react more intensely to the mosquito’s anticoagulant have more bites. She also found that mosquitoes found some peoples’ body odor four times more appealing as compare to others. She also found in her research that some people really don’t care that they are superbly attracted to mosquitoes or not. For this she also designed a questionnaire. She concluded that mosquitoes attractiveness is a relative thing. There is also a new addition that mosquitoes are attracted to those people that drink bear. Some people also had the hypothesis that before they get pregnant they were loved by the mosquitoes but after that they were simply ignored. She also found that:
They use some of the same strategies that humans use when hunting. They take everything into account.
Each and every detail of our body is noticed by mosquitoes from our scent to our breath. It is noteworthy here that only female mosquitoes sucks blood humans because she needs extra protein to lay eggs. The male mosquito only relay on nectar.
People with high concentrations of steroids or cholesterol on their skin surface attract mosquitoes. -says Butler, PhD, Professor Emeritus at the University of Florida.
It is also reported that these people are more good at processing cholesterol and its by product comes on the skin. He also added that mosquitoes are also attractive to those people who produce large amount of acids like uric acid. These acids activate the mosquito’s sense of smell. Even they are also attracted towards to carbon dioxide. Pregnant women exhale large amount of carbon dioxide as compared to normal women and that is why they are also targeted by them. Scientists researched that our genetics account 85% when it comes off targeting by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are 170 million old species and there are more than 175 species of mosquitoes in USA.
James Logan, a researcher at Rothamsted said that:
Mosquitoes fly through an aerial soup of chemicals, but can home in on those that draw them to humans.
But when the combination of human odors is wrong, he added:
The mosquito fails to recognize this signal as a potential blood meal.
It is also reported that different compounds could also attract mosquitoes like carbon dioxide with lactic acid. This is the most favorite and loved flavor of mosquitoes. Repellents can secure us from mosquitoes bites and from many other diseases that are caused by them. Currently, there are many repellents in the market but the most effective repellents contain DEET. The federal Environmental Protection Agency has announced that DEET is safe has the ability to protect us from bites.