The mosquitoes they are perfect trackers. The females, which are the ones that bite us, can detect the carbon dioxide we exhale and the heat we emit to find us even at great distances. But, in reality, it has been proven that there are some factors that make us even more attractive to them, such as drinking alcohol or using floral perfume. The latter makes a lot of sense, since they feed on the nectar of flowers. However, it is something that had not been studied in depth. At least not until now, as a team of scientists from Virginia Tech has carried out an experiment aimed precisely at seeing which soaps can attract or repel these insects. And yes, consciously choose our soap It can be the best repellent for mosquitoes.
They focused on soap because it doesn’t just add a scent to the body, like perfumes. When we wash, we remove chemicals from our skin and we replace them with others. For this reason, we can unknowingly create an attractive or repellent cocktail for mosquitoes.
Various scents were tested and found that most floral and fruity scents are actually appealing. But there was a soap that turned out to be a good repellent for mosquitoes: the one from coconut.
From soap to mosquito repellent
To carry out this study, its authors took scent extracts of several people through a nylon sleeve placed on his arm. First the extract was taken directly from their skin without washing and then after washing with four different floral or fruit soaps.
Subsequently, these extracts were placed in a mesh cage with mosquitoes inside. In each experiment, two containers with extract from the same person were placed, one unwashed and the other with a type of soap.
It was found that with three of the soaps the mosquitoes clearly preferred the aroma of the washed guy. Except in one case. When they had washed with coconut soap, insects preferred unwashed skin. That indicates that this scent could serve as a mosquito repellent.
In fact, the results of this study square with those of previous investigations, in which it was seen that some coconut fatty acids They could be a good mosquito repellent.
For this reason, the next step for these scientists will be to check if the coconut aroma has the same effect in other formats, beyond soap. Perhaps it would also be useful deodorants or even the air fresheners that scent entire rooms.
We will have to continue investigating. While they’re at it, you know, if you want to keep mosquitoes away this summer, try washing with coconut soap. Of course, do not use it as an excuse to get fed up with piña coladas. Remember that alcohol does attract them a lot.