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Mosquitoes: Is your shower soap making you more attractive?

Virginia Tech researchers tested four soaps. Three out of four increased mosquitos.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — A new study found the kind of soap you shower with could make you more attractive to biting bugs, like mosquitoes.

Virginia Tech researchers used scented soaps to see if certain smells make you more attractive to mosquitoes. Here's why this was the basis for the study: According to researchers, mosquitoes rely on plant nectar to get some sugars in addition to the blood to produce eggs. Researchers tested Dial, Dove, Native, and Simple Truth soaps.

Three of the four soaps, with a fruity or flowery scent, increased mosquito attractiveness. The soap scented like coconut decreased mosquito attractiveness.

The findings of the Virginia Teach study were published in iScience. The study was funded in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Researchers say there's still more study needed. They need to answer the questions, how long does the soap smell last and could deodorant and laundry detergent play a part too?


"With cases on the rise, it's crucial to protect yourself our testing paints a pretty clear picture - no matter the brand or what kind of repellent you're using products made with 25% to 30% DEET worked the best,” said Catherine Roberts of Consumer Reports.

No matter which repellent you choose, to be effective it has to be applied properly.  Make sure you spray all exposed skin.

You can also spray on top of your clothes,
but don't apply under your clothing, your body can absorb increased levels of DEET if covered up.


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