Hate mosquitoes? This scent could help keep pests away.

You will go crazy for this news.

A study published in the journal iScience on Wednesday explored how different soaps repel mosquitoes and concluded that coconut could be the magic scent that keeps pesky bugs away.

“Everyone smells different, even after applying soap; Your physiological state, the way you live, what you eat and the places you go all affect the way you smell,” explained co-author and biologist Chloé Lahondère in a statement.

“And soaps drastically change the way we smell, not just by adding chemicals, but also by causing variations in the emission of compounds we already produce naturally.”

Researchers at Virginia Tech University analyzed the chemical odors emitted by four human participants before and after washing with four brands of soap.

The researchers found that certain odors repel insects, depending on the person.
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They also studied the odor profiles of the soaps, identifying four chemicals linked to mosquito attraction and three chemicals linked to repulsion.

“It is remarkable that the same individual that is extremely attractive to mosquitoes when not washed can be made even more attractive to mosquitoes with one soap and then made repellent or repulsive to mosquitoes with another soap,” said lead author and neuroethologist Clément. Vinauger.

Dial, Dove, Native, and Simple Truth were the four brands of soap used in the experiments.

The participants washed one arm with the soap and left the other intact, covering it with a nylon sleeve. The process was repeated for each soap.

After an hour, the researchers placed the nylon sheath in a mesh-covered cup filled with adult female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, a species known to spread diseases such as yellow fever, Zika and dengue fever.

The researchers only used mosquitoes that had recently mated, as male mosquitoes feed exclusively on plant nectar, while females only feed on blood after mating.

The scientists suggested that scents used for soap that are plant-derived or plant-mimicking could confuse nectar-loving insects.

The coconut was opened with soap and oil on the bottom.
One of the chemicals associated with ickiness is a key coconut-flavored component in American bourbon.
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Washing with Dove and Simple Truth increased the attractiveness of some of the volunteers, the researchers noted, while Native soap tended to repel mosquitoes.

One of the chemicals associated with ickiness is a key coconut-flavored component in American bourbon.

“It confirms what previous studies have found, that mosquitoes don’t like coconut-scented products, so our safest bet right now is to use them,” Vinauger said.

“With these mixtures, we removed all the noise in the signal by including only those chemicals that statistics told us were important for attraction or repulsion,” he continued. “I would choose a coconut-scented soap if I wanted to reduce the attraction of mosquitoes.”

The team plans to test more varieties of soap and more people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends covering up or using Environmental Protection Agency-registered repellents such as DEET and lemon eucalyptus oil to repel mosquitoes.

West Nile virus is the most common mosquito-borne virus in the US and can cause death.

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