Why Mosquitoes Bite You and Not Your Friends

Suzanne Murray

mosquito bitesI'm going to an end-of-summer barbecue this Labor Day weekend and I just know I'm going to be the one that ends up with a hundred mosquito bites, while my friends don't get any. What is it about me that attracts them? Is it my perfume? My laundry detergent? My lactating breasts? Nope. According to the latest research on mosquitoes, the reason these little blood-suckers are attracted to me is because I'm not stressed-out enough.

Researchers have been sorting through 300 to 400 various body odors (fun job!) to try to figure out just what turns a mosquito on and off. They've narrowed it down to a handful of the body's chemical odors—some of which may be related to stress. Mosquitoes don't like people that give off a stress-induced odor.

The research certainly doesn't hold true with me. I'm pretty sure I'm sufficiently stressed-out enough to ward off hoards of mosquitoes, but all these bites say otherwise.

It's hoped that this kind of research will help scientists develop an effective mosquito repellent.

How about you? Do mosquitoes love you? Are you usually stressed-out or not?

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