Smelly Socks May Hold the Secret to Why Mosquitoes Prefer Some People over Others

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Many people who live in or visit areas with lots of mosquitoes get annoyed when they find themselves being mosquito magnets. They attract these insects, no matter where they go, while the mosquitoes refuse to bother other members of their party. It can feel like these insects are singling you out as you keep getting bitten over and above anyone else you’re with.

Well, the truth is that the mosquitoes may really be singling you out. But this isn’t because they dislike you. It could be because of your socks!

Over the years, many experts have been unable to answer the question of why some people are continually bitten by these insects while they leave others alone. But it now appears that smelly socks could be one of the reasons why this happens.

Researching the Effects of Odor

Researchers are now looking more deeply into the effects of sock odors on insects in a bid to determine whether they have any effects. They also want to work out whether the sock smell actually repels or attracts mosquitoes. This could uncover one of the reasons why mosquitoes bite some people and avoid others.

To do this, researchers have carried out studies with used socks from 200 sets of twins. They placed the socks into a wind tunnel with mosquitoes to see what happened. The twins used as part of the study were both identical and non-identical. This is because previous research suggested that these insects were actually more attracted to identical twins.

The research is still ongoing. But experts believe that conclusive results could help them to develop a way of changing body odor. They hope to change it enough to repel mosquitoes rather than attracting them. Scientists believe that based on the results of the smelly socks study, they could develop a pill or medication that could impact body odor to keep these insects at bay. For those that are constantly suffering from mosquito bites, this could be a huge relief. But it may still be a while off.

Other Options That Can Help

While this may still be a long way off, there are other ways that those who are constantly battling mosquitoes can help themselves. Using insect repellent is essential. Experts suggest that you also wear long-sleeved tops and long trousers or skirts. You should also try to keep cool.

Other things can attract mosquitoes, such as the excess production of uric acid. These insects also seem to have a liking for pregnant women. 

Mosquitoes use their sense of smell to identify their prey and can smell them from up to 164 ft. (50 m) away. If it turns out that smelly socks are a contributing factor, you’ll need to make sure you pack plenty of fresh socks for your next holiday.

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