Why Mosquitoes Attracted to Our Blood

Why do mosquitoes like to encircle our body and clothes? To find out the answer, an expert in chemical ecology, Walter Lear investigated whether humans produce such a smell that invites mosquitoes. He and his colleagues discovered a substance that they seek, namely nonanal, a substance produces by humans and birds that emits the inviting aroma to Culex mosquitoes.

Mosquito Biting

He initially experimented on himself. "I measured the amount on myself," said Leal. His colleagues put a tool like an injection on his skin, then wrapped with aluminum foil to isolate it. After an hour, the injection tip is removed and put into an apparatus to measure the levels of nonanal on it.

"It turns out that my body produces quite much nonanal," Leal said, "I think my body emits 20 nanograms of (nonanal) per hour. That is high."

Now Leal realizes that this is the reason when he was in Mexico, despite the preventive steps he had taken, he was still hunted by mosquitoes.

"There were so many mosquitoes, I could hardly believe it," he memorized, "I spray Deet (anti mosquito) everywhere, up to my hair. And the next morning I found out that mosquitoes had bitten me even through my socks though they are thick enough. Mosquitoes can even bite through jeans, as long as they know there are blood vessels behind it. They can also detect body heat."

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