Researchers and scientists offer the right ways to protect against mosquitoes

WASHINGTON, May 22. – The specific combination of smells and colors that a person possesses is a decisive factor in the level of attraction of mosquitoes to people, a scientific study published in the journal Nature Communications warns.

Experts helped identify the various body-smelling chemicals that attract these insects by building a test site the size of an ice rink and imagining the smells of many people.

Mosquitoes belong to the family of flies and feed on nectar most of the time. However, females preparing to lay eggs need an additional protein food: blood.

Mosquito bites are often fatal due to the parasites and viruses they transmit, and one of the most dangerous diseases is malaria, which kills about 600,000 people worldwide every year, mostly among children under 5 years of age.

Postdoctoral researchers affiliated with scientists at the Macha Research Trust in Zambia explain that mosquitoes have an olfactory preference and can track scents up to 20 meters away, especially between 10 pm and 2 am.

They warn that these pesky insects are more attracted to carboxylic acids in the air, including butyric acid, a compound found in cheese and other dairy products. These carboxylic acids are produced by bacteria on human skin and are usually not perceived by us. In addition, mosquitoes are usually repelled by chemicals from the eucalyptus family present in plants.

Leslie Vosshall, a neuroscientist and scientist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, recalls that even washing with soap or perfume does not eliminate natural odors that attract mosquitoes.

The journal Nature Communications tracked the behavior of more than 1.3 million mosquito trajectories and concluded that the colors these insects are most sensitive to are black, orange, blue and above all red because they have one of the highest wavelengths.

Scientists offer a good and simple solution to avoid mosquito bites: coconut soap. They also warn that certain floral perfumes can make us even more attractive insect prey.

Source: Juventud Rebelde


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