Nobody likes mosquito bites. They are highly irritating because the bites are itchy and distract us from the work at hand. Many people assume that having a bath can ward off mosquitoes. They think that if these insects cannot smell a person, they won’t bite them! On the contrary, your soap smell can attract mosquitoes instead of repelling them. In this blog, we’ll learn about the association between floral soap and mosquito behavior.
Mosquitoes and the Allure of Flowery Soap
The choice of soap can make some individuals act like mosquito magnets. For instance, flowery and fruity-smelling soaps can bring mosquitoes closer to you! This means that not using these soaps can help people go scot-free from these annoying insects. In addition to the annoyance factor, mosquito bites can cause harmful diseases.
When mosquitoes are not feeding on blood, they tend to feed on nectar that is present in flowers. This takes us to the question, “Why do they feed on nectar?”
The answer is pretty simple. When mosquitoes are not feeding on blood, they somehow have to supplement their intake of sugar. So, they feed on nectar. Hence, after a person bathes with a flowery-scented soap, the mosquitoes can smell that person and they assume that they are near a flower! Thus, soaps with flowery fragrances attract mosquitoes. Now, you have seen the connection between flowery fragrance and mosquito preference.
Effect of Flower-Scented Soap on Mosquito Attraction
Some brands of soap attract mosquitoes more effectively than others. And, there are also certain kinds of soap that repel these insects.
The impact of flowery soaps on mosquitoes and how they choose people to bite vary from one person to another. This variation occurs because of the interactions between those soaps and an individual’s unique odor profile. To put it in a nutshell, certain chemical interactions take place between the soap chemicals and the natural chemicals present in a person’s body. These interactions decide whether or not a mosquito is attracted to a particular person.
Switching between soap scents can increase/decrease the attraction of mosquitoes to those scents. For example, bathing with coconut-scented soaps generally decreases mosquitoes’ attraction toward a person’s body.
What Attracts Mosquitoes – A Person’s Smell or Their Soap Smell?
There are many people who brood over this question. But the fact is that over 60% of our body’s smell after bathing (with soap) comes from the soap itself. Only the remaining percentage of smell comes from our body (our body’s natural odor). So, the exact cause of our body turning into a mosquito magnet cannot be pinpointed.
How Can You Stop Mosquitoes from Biting You?
Female mosquitoes are usually the ones that feed on blood. They have been genetically structured to do it so that they can fertilize their eggs. However, the ways in which these mosquitoes are attracted/repelled by a person are pretty complex. Flowery-smelling soaps are just one way of attracting these insects. Lots of research and studies need to be done further to understand this phenomenon. Scented soap and its impact on mosquito behavior is by itself a subject that needs deeper digging.
But you can take some measures to stay away from mosquitoes. Try to avoid using soaps with flowery or fruity scents. Also, refrain from using body washes with these scents. You can go for soaps containing the fatty acids of coconut oil. Using soaps with neem oil is also a good alternative. Such soaps actually act as mosquito repellents. You can also use real repellents. But ensure that these mosquito repellents are safe before using them.
There are also certain other factors that contribute to making you a mosquito magnet, according to this study.
We have now come to the end of our discussion of the association between floral soap and mosquito behavior. Staying away from these insects is vital because they can cause discomfort and also lead to diseases like malaria.