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Why are mosquitos more attracted to some people?


Read on - epaper ⋅ Ausgabe 9/2021 vom 31.08.2021

SCIENCE • NATURE

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1 YOU SPENT a lovely evening in the garden feasting on delicious salads and BBQ only to find out the next day you were the feast … for the mosquitos. Not only that, you were the main course: the other people there weren’t bitten as badly as you. Why?

2 Scientists aren’t totally sure why mosquitos seem to like certain people, but a lot of research has given them some pretty good theories.

3 It could be the way you smell. Mosquitos like sweat. If you’re sweaty, which most of us are when it’s warm enough outside for an evening BBQ, you’ll attract mosquitos. It also seems they are drawn to the genetic body odour of some people.

4 A 2015 study found that mosquitos were highly attracted to odours from the hands of some sets of identical twins. And if you’re related to someone who is often bitten by mosquitos, you are likely to be bitten often, too. You may not be able to do anything about your genetic body odour, but you can do something about the perfume or cologne you wear.

5 Female mosquitos need to produce eggs. To create eggs, they need protein, which they get from the blood of animals (us!). But all adult mosquitos feed on the nectar of flowers or honeydew of plants to get sugar for energy. So, if you’re wearing a flowery scent, it could make you more attractive to mosquitos.

6 Another genetic factor that may make you attract mosquitos is your blood type. Although the research done so far may not be that helpful to know which one: a 1980 study said it was type A, a more recent study says it’s type O.

7 What you’re wearing could make you attractive to mosquitos. Mosquitos are attracted to black and dark colours. Those colours are easier for mosquitos to see in the daylight.

8 And what you’re drinking could make a difference, too. Researchers found that people who had consumed beer were more attractive to mosquitos than people who had not.

9 And last but not least – breathing! We all have to breathe and we release carbon dioxide when we exhale. Carbon dioxide tells a mosquito that a tasty meal is nearby and it will then move toward that area.

0 – 1 TO BE ATTRACTED to s.o. “´"trœktId‘ sich von jdm. angezogen fühlen — science “"saI´ns‘ Wissenschaft — research “rI"s‰…tS‘ Forschung — scientist Wissenschaftler(in) — certain bestimmte(r, s) — to feast on s.th. “"fi…st‘ sich an etw. gütlich tun — BBQ = Barbecue “"bA…bIkju…‘ Grillfest — feast Festmahl — main course “"meInkO…s‘ Hauptspeise — to be bitten gebissen ­ ; h.: gestochen werden

2 – 4 to seem scheinen — pretty ziemlich— theory “"TI´ri‘ — sweat “swet‘ Schweiß — genetic “dZ´"netIk‘ genetisch bedingt — body odour “"´Ud´‘ Körpergeruch — study Studie — set Satz; h.: Paar — identical twins “aI"dentIk´l‘ eineiige Zwilinge — to be related to s.o. mit jdm. verwandt sein — likely “"laIkli‘ wahrscheinlich — perfume “"p‰…fju…m‘ Parfüm — cologne “k´"l´Un‘ Rasierwasser

5 – 7 to produce “pr´"dju…s‘ produzieren — to create “kri"eIt‘ erzeugen — protein “"pr´Uti…n‘ Eiweiß — to feed on s.th. “"fi…d‘ sich von etw. ernähren — honeydew “"hønidju…‘ Blatthonig — energy “"en´dZi‘ — flowery scent “ÆflaU´ri"sent‘ Parfüm mit blumigem Duft — blood type Blutgruppe — more recent “"ri…s´nt‘ neuere(r, s)

8 – 9 to make a difference “"dIf´r´ns‘ einen Unterschied machen — researcher Wissenschaftler(in) — to consume “k´n"sju…m‘ konsumieren — last but not least zu guter Letzt — breathe “"bri…D‘ atmen — to release “rI"li…s‘ freisetzen — carbon dioxide “ÆkA…b´ndaI"ÅksaId‘ Kohlendioxid — to exhale “eks"heIl‘ ausatmen — tasty “"teIsti‘ schmackhaft — to move toward s.th. “"t´U´d‘ sich auf etw. zubewegen

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