Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mosquitoes and Mosquito Repellents: A Clinician's Guide

So, I continued my research on attractiveness with respect to mosquitoes and humans. I may have found the reason why I do not get as frequently bitten as others. From reading a clinical guide, which seemed to be heavily studied, concludes that there is a total of 300 to 400 compounds which are released as a by-products of metabolic processes. Around 100 of these compounds are volatile and can be detected within a human’s breath. But only a few of these chemicals have been isolated and concluded to attract mosquitoes. Carbon dioxide and lactic acid are the two strongest attractants for the mosquitoes.

These chemicals can be detected from up to 36 meters away. Mosquitoes have chemical receptors which are stimulated by such chemicals. But, there are also factors besides these chemicals. It has been cited that body temperature and moisture serves as an attractant. Also, floral fragrances from perfumes, soaps, lotions, and hair-care products may also contribute to the attractiveness to mosquitoes. Lastly, mosquitoes are more attracted to males and least attracted to children.

Overall, I find this clinical guide very informative. I can definitely see why I rarely am bitten by mosquitoes now. It does not seem that I am excreting some magical chemical, it is probably the opposite. I am excreting a small amount of other chemicals. Also, I am not personally a very sweaty person and usually stay on the cool side of things, which overall decreases that probability of being bitten.

I believe that next week I will research species that may be specifically attracted to certain humans. I find it extremely interesting if certain humans may be mentally pointed out.

1 comment:

  1. Either you don't sweat much or you smell crappy since you don't use any of those products mentioned above ;)