Soap can make humans more attractive to mosquitoes, study finds

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Article written by Hannah Devlin, via on 10 May 2023

Lathering up with soap might seem a reasonable mosquito-evasion strategy on the basis that if they can’t smell you, they can’t bite you.
However, a study suggests that rather than helping you go incognito, soapy fragrances could make you a more attractive target, with mosquitoes favouring the scent of volunteers who washed with three out of four popular soap brands tested.
The scientists behind the research said mosquitoes may be attracted to soap because, when they are not feeding on blood, they supplement their sugar intake with plant nectars.
Female mosquitoes – only females feed on blood – were observed landing on the fabric samples to give an indication of their preference.
Washing with Dove, Dial and Simple Truth increased the attractiveness of some, but not all, volunteers, while washing with Native soap tended to repel mosquitoes.

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