Mosquito bites: Professor gives tips to help repel the insects
When the temperature is just right and you’re holding your favourite chilled drink, there are not many things that can ruin a summer’s evening.
However, mosquitoes can quickly turn this idyllic scene into an itchy nightmare.
While some people seem to be mosquito magnets who get covered in sore bites, others escape unharmed.
The tiny insects are drawn to a variety of factors, ranging from the colour you wear to your smell.
Mosquitoes can pick up your body odour from 350 feet away, settling on you as the target for the evening.
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According to a new study, published in the journal Current Biology, smelly armpits may make you more prone to mosquito landings.
However, another research, published in the journal Nature, offers a simple solution – deodorant.
Drawing on previous studies that have shown that skin emanations are important host-finding cues for mosquitoes, this study collected samples from armpits, hands and feet.
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The research team then analysed these samples for their attractiveness to malaria mosquito Anopheles coluzzii.
Interestingly, the emanations taken from armpits were less attractive to the bloodsuckers, compared to hands and feet.
According to the research team, the difference may have been caused by deodorant residues, which were found in the armpit samples.
In a following experiment, the study volunteers were asked to avoid using skincare products for five days, which resulted in no differences in the attractiveness of the body parts to the annoying insects.
Furthermore, the team managed to pinpoint the exact compound in deodorants – isopropyl tetradecanoate – that inhibited mosquito landings.
In fact, there was a 56 percent decrease in the number of landings when this compound was used.
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