LifestyleMosquitoes love beer: Summer sippers beware

Mosquitoes love beer: Summer sippers beware

What attracts mosquitoes?
What attracts mosquitoes?
Images source: © Adobe Stock | Wirestock

1:26 PM EDT, June 12, 2024

The mosquito season is in full swing, and their numbers will peak at the turn of June and July. Do you feel like they bite you more often than others? It could be due to a beverage we often enjoy in the summer.

Mosquitoes are small insects from the order Diptera. There are as many as 3,500 species worldwide, varying in appearance and size. Males feed on flower nectar, while females feed on the blood of mammals and birds.

What attracts mosquitoes? The insects rely on their sense of smell. They are drawn to the scent of carbon dioxide, lactic acid, sweat, and a common summer beverage.

Avoid this drink. It attracts mosquitoes like a magnet

Recent research published on found that insects love blood-containing alcohol, specifically beer. The experiment involved 12 men aged 20-58, a 24-year-old woman, and a 30-year-old man designated as the "control person".

During the study, factors such as body temperature, sweat secretion, and alcohol in the blood were considered. After the initial analysis, participants were asked to drink a pint of beer with 5.5% ethanol content. It turned out that mosquitoes were more likely to land on people who drank beer than on those who abstained from the drink. The conclusion is clear — if you want to avoid bites, avoid alcohol.

Scientists have no doubts. Mosquitoes prefer women

Female mosquitoes carefully select their victims. During the search, they primarily rely on smell. Some aromas repel them, while others attract them. The insects can accurately detect increased carbon dioxide, sweat, and lactic acid levels. For this reason, they most often attack children, athletes, pregnant women, and those during ovulation.

"The fairer sex is more appreciated by female mosquitoes. Clothing choices also matter: darker clothing heats up faster in the sun, and people dressed this way are detected more quickly by female mosquitoes. Even slight differences in body temperature — something almost undetectable to us — are quickly noticed by mosquitoes," explained Professor Piotr Tryjanowski, a zoologist from the University of Life Sciences in Poznan, in an interview with the Polish Press Agency.

The expert added that blood type significantly influences insect attacks. Female mosquitoes prefer individuals with blood type O and those with a high level of carbon dioxide in the blood, which increases, among other things, during exercise.

Related content