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Human Stink a Powerful Draw ... For Mosquitoes March 4, 2011
Holding nose
People are particularly smelly because odor is released from nearly every part of the body, while bacteria and other species living on us are simultaneously emitting their own odors as well.
Humans stink more than any other members of the animal kingdom, at least according to mosquitoes.

The discovery was made by researchers trying new approaches to combat mosquito-borne diseases like dengue, malaria and yellow fever at Holland’s Wageningen University.

While humans may think their dogs reek far more than they do, mosquitoes can sniff out human body odor from a great distance due to its strength.

The human olfactory attraction is far greater to the insects than with any other animal.

“The unique composition of human sweat appears to explain its tantalizing effect on anthropophilic (human loving) mosquitos,” wrote researchers Renate Smallegange, Niels Verhulst and Willem Takken of Wageningen University in The Netherlands.

People stink not only because of their own metabolisms, but also because of smells that come from bacteria and other creatures living on and within them.

But the mosquitoes appear to be most attracted to “sweaty” smelling carboxylic acids, which humans emit far more of than any other animal.

Mosquitoes can be driven into a frenzy when exposed to such acids created artificially in the laboratory.

Photo: Kaarsten - Fotolia