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Mosquitoes seem to be targeting you? Here’s why!

The attraction that mosquitoes seem to have to some individuals rather than others is increasingly well documented, but to date very little has been known about why some people’s body odor is so attractive to these people.

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a A new study published Friday in the journal Current Biology It reveals part of the answer to this question: the components of odors produced by the human body are more likely to attract mosquitoes.

The researchers determined that the latter are particularly fond of carboxylic acids, which are produced by bacteria on the skin, but which seem to us to be odorless, and which are also present in strong-smelling cheese.

For its part, a chemical component called eucalyptol, which is notably present in some plants, seems to repel these insects.

In an interview with CNN, the study’s lead researcher, Dr. Edgar Simulondo, described these associations as interesting and exciting.

It can lead to niches designed to repel these creatures.

“These findings open up a new approach for developing products to attract and repel mosquitoes,” he says. Thus we can control the spread of malaria vectors in areas where they are endemic, in particular.

In order to come to these results, the researchers had six people sleep in individual tents connected by a tube to a large room 20m by 20m where hundreds of mosquitoes were released, the idea being to expose them to different human scents.

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Fortunately the mosquitoes could not reach the tents.

The movement of the mosquitoes was then tracked by infrared cameras to determine who they were attracted to.

The results of the study will not have an immediate effect, because the carboxylic acids cannot be removed by washing with soap, researcher Leslie Voshal, who was also involved in the study, tells CNN.

However, these new discoveries “give us good insights into what mosquitoes are using to chase us, and understanding what is a key step in determining the next steps,” she adds.