Why are mosquitoes more attracted to certain skins than others?

Sport, food… our daily lives can attract mosquitoes to our skin or not (© Adobe Stock)

You have no doubt heard this explanation when a mosquito bite appears “It’s probably because you have a sweet blood. A popular belief that persists and reappears in the summer, a period conducive to the proliferation of these insects.

However, is it scientifically proven? Actu.fr pondered the question.

Odors and heat of the skin…

It’s a fact: some people are more victims of mosquito bites than others. “They show preferences depending on the individual” observes Frédéric Simard, researcher and director of the Research Institute for Development (IRD), contacted by news.fr.

One of the main reasons? The skin odor, especially when you engage in physical activity and sweat. Because it contains certain substances like lactic acid, uric acid or even ammonia, likely to attract mosquitoes.

Another argument: the heat. More precisely carbon dioxide (CO2) secreted by the epidermis in case of heat.

Body temperature is also a factor that attracts mosquitoes. For example pregnant women, who have a higher body temperature, are bitten more.

Frederic SimardDirector of IRD

Also note that the fact of eat fat can also attract these little beasts.

… and germs

The bacteria present on the skin also attract mosquitoes. And from one individual to another, we do not find the same ones.

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According to a study published in 2011 in the journal Plos One, certain communities of bacteria are better able to attract mosquitoes than others. So the mosquito Anopheles gambiae, native to Africa, is essentially directed towards individuals who present a large quantity of bacteria on their skin, but of low diversity.

Where do you find the most mosquitoes?

In France, there are 70 species of mosquitoes present throughout the country. We do not find the same in the north of the country as in the south. Most are located around wetlands, especially marshes or near crops where water stands.

Different feelings from person to person

In addition to the facts, there is also the feeling of the victims of the bites. In effect, some people “tolerate” these inconveniences more than others. “Not to mention those who may suffer from allergies,” notes the researcher.

Still, no, mosquitoes don’t take the flavor of your blood for the new cocktail of the summer. But well the taste of your skin.

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