Mosquitoes get attracted to beer buffs more

London: Beer buffs please take note: You are more likely to be bitten by mosquitoes, as scientists have found that the insects are 15 per cent more likely to fly towards humans after they have consumed a pint or two.
 
A team, led by scientists at the IRD Research Centre in Montpellier, France, found that insects are more attracted to odour and breath changes caused by alcohol.
 
The scientists believe that mosquitoes could have learnt to associate the beer odour with an increased lack of defensiveness against bites from boozy drinkers.
 
The findings, they hope, will be used to help prevent malaria, which is spread by mosquitoes and kills 780,000 people worldwide every year, the Daily Mail reported.
 
The researchers tested their theory on 2,500 Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes in Burkino Faso, west Africa.
 
They recruited 25 volunteers, aged between 20 and 43, and gave them one litre of their local brew, Dolo, before seeing how many mosquitoes would fly upwind towards them.
 
The insects, fed into a downwind box in batches of 50, were given the option of flying towards traps containing either open air or the human odour of the participant.
 
It was found that 47 per cent of mosquitoes were tempted to fly up into either trap after beer consumption -compared to just 35 per cent before beer.
 
And 65 per cent headed for the trap having the human odour after beer, rather than just 50 per cent before it.
 
Writing in the journal Plos One, they said: "To the best of our knowledge, this study provides the first evidence that beer consumption increases human attractiveness to An. gambiae, which is the principal vector of malaria in Africa."