Is Your Flowery Soap Attracting Mosquitoes?

Although previous studies have found that natural body odor plays a big role in your attractiveness to mosquitoes, the new research suggests that the soap you wash with could also be responsible. If you’re that person who is seemingly the only one in groups to get ravaged by mosquitoes in the summer, a new study may be a beacon of hope.

Washing with certain soap scents may change how mosquitoes are attracted to you, according to the study, which was conducted by Virginia Tech researchers in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and was funded in part by the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The peer-reviewed study published Wednesday in the journal iScience found that using some soaps that alter a person’s odor profile attracts mosquitoes, while other soaps keep them away.  Some volunteers’ scents before washing were more attractive to mosquitoes than others, but soap “significantly” changed the volunteers’ odor profiles.

“Soaps drastically change the way we smell, not only by adding chemicals but also by causing variations in the emission of compounds that we are already naturally producing,” co-author of the study Chloé Lahondère, an assistant professor of biochemistry at Virginia Tech, said in a press release.

Excerpted from USA Today

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