May 30, 2024

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What kind of soap is more likely to be bitten by mosquitoes?

What kind of soap is more likely to be bitten by mosquitoes?



 

“Cell” sub-journal: What kind of soap is more likely to be bitten by mosquitoes? Scientists analyze commonly used toiletries and find chemical scents that mosquitoes love and hate

Every summer, we start to worry about the problem of mosquitoes. The people who recruit mosquitoes are really convinced. What is so attractive about me? Mosquitoes love me so much!

 

Recently, iScience , a journal of “Cell” Publishing House , published an interesting study. Scientists analyzed several of the best-selling soaps on the market and found the molecules of chemicals that mosquitoes love and hate the most.

 

It turns out that not only the “human smell” attracts mosquitoes, but the smell of our commonly used toiletries also attracts mosquitoes!

 

What kind of soap is more likely to be bitten by mosquitoes?

 

In real life, human beings emit volatile organic compounds (VOC) all the time, and these smells are the key to mosquitoes identifying us . And the soaps, shower gels, perfumes and even laundry detergents we use, anyway, these fragrant things naturally contain VOCs.

 

Since human VOC attracts mosquitoes, it makes no sense to ignore the VOC mosquitoes of these personal care products!

 

In order to understand whether soap can change mosquitoes’ preferences for humans, scientists selected four commercial products on the market (US market) , namely Dial, Dove, Native and Simple Truth. According to statistics, in 2019, 53% of the people in the United States use the products of these four brands , but unfortunately I only know Dove as Dove.

 

The researchers collected the odors of four volunteers and analyzed the odors after washing with different soaps. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry identified 123 compounds, and the abundance of less than 1% was removed, leaving 85 compounds that could be used for follow-up analysis.

 

As expected, the tastes of the four volunteers were very different, and washing with soap was able to significantly change the smell of humans.

 

What kind of soap is more likely to be bitten by mosquitoes?
VOC distribution is significantly different before and after washing with different soaps

 

The picture above shows that there is a significant difference in VOC before and after soap washing, and what is interesting is that the two brands represented by yellow, Simple Truth and Native, mainly promote natural ingredients, and the VOC left by them is indeed higher than that of Dial and Dove. The difference is that hydrocarbons such as alkanes and alkenes are less abundant.

 

In general, the odor characteristics of human beings are mainly aldehydes and ketones/esters when they are not washed. After the soap is washed, the proportion of terpenes increases significantly, from 2.55% to 65.86% .

However, the change in the ratio does not mean that there are fewer aldehydes and ketones/esters. In terms of absolute numbers, the content of aldehydes has increased by 4.1 times, and the content of ketones/esters has increased by 12.8 times.

 

After washing the fragrance, the number and abundance of VOCs have increased.

 

What kind of soap is more likely to be bitten by mosquitoes?

Changes in different types of chemicals

 

 

So how do mosquitoes feel about these odor changes?

The researchers let the mosquitoes freely choose whether to stay on the volunteer’s clothing to confirm the mosquito’s preference for different odor samples.

First of all, I would like to express my feelings, what kind of volunteer No. 4 is chosen not to recruit mosquitoes, he is invisible to mosquitoes!

 

Dove and Simple Truth obviously have a bit of a talent for attracting mosquitoes, and some volunteers attracted mosquitoes after washing. Native is very powerful. After you wash it, you will get the effect of repelling mosquitoes!

 

What kind of soap is more likely to be bitten by mosquitoes?Mosquito test

 

However, we can also see that with the same soap, the effect achieved by different volunteers is also different. After all, the smell of human beings will not be washed cleanly.

 

So the researchers analyzed the attractiveness of different odor compounds to mosquitoes separately, and the most mosquito-preferred substances included lyral (a synthetic aromatic aldehyde) , α-isomethylionone (naturally present in bacterial fermentations and flowers) ) , allyl heptanoate (naturally found in tropical fruits and used to simulate the aroma of pineapple) , orrisyl (also a common flavoring agent) .

 

Smells that keep mosquitoes away include benzyl benzoate (a floral compound) , gamma-nonanolide (a component of watermelon aroma and one of the key aromas of American bourbon) , benzaldehyde/benzoin aldehyde ( Almond flavor, that’s you!).

 

Mosquitoes clearly have a preference for these scents

 

Now I really want to take out the formula table of the cleaning products and check whether there is any!

 

Looking at the fragrance types of today’s cleaning and care products, I really want to say that it doesn’t matter how people smell, let’s come up with a fragrance type that mosquitoes don’t like, it is really needed!

 

 

References:

[1] https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2023.106667

What kind of soap is more likely to be bitten by mosquitoes?

(source:internet, reference only)


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