Do You Smell Good To A Mosquito? - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Do You Smell Good To A Mosquito?

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By Shannon Royster

Nashville, Tenn. –    They're pesky little insects that strike at dusk and dawn leaving many with those little red bumps that itch.  Mosquitos are out in full force. You may not realize it but they tend to pick and choose who they feast on.

"Their meals are blood, said Dr. William Shaffner of Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  "They're not doing this for their amusement. That's their lunch and dinner."

Dr. Shaffner says the best current theory is that mosquitoes actually smell us and smell some of us better than others. It has to do with the odor of the bacteria on your skin and not the taste of your blood.

"It's also that some of us exercise more," said Dr. Shaffner.  "When we exhale our carbon dioxide, the mosquitoes hone in on that."

It's not just who they bite that differs, so does the reaction to the bite. You could have the same amount of bites as your friend and not know it if your skin reacts differently.

To protect yourself from mosquitoes, doctors say it's important to use a mosquito repellant that contains Deet.  Use an antibacterial soap to reduce the amount of bacteria on your skin that attracts the bugs. 

If you've already been bitten by a mosquito try calamine lotion to ease the itch or an over-the-counter antihistamine. 





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