Study: Mosquitoes Prefer the Blood of Beer Drinkers

photo mosquito blood beer
tanakawho via Flickr.

Barley and hops means more bumps and itching, according to a recent study that says mosquitoes prefer to bite beer drinkers. As if we needed more reasons to kill mosquitoes.

The bugs already spread malaria and West Nile virus. But what's the best way to control these buggers? We don't need more chemicals sprayed into the air or on our bodies. Have you ever looked at the warning labels of stuff like Malathion or Anvil used for mosquito control in the United States? On the other hand, less mosquitoes means less disease being spread. What's the balance between control, health and nuisance? It probably depends on what part of the world you're in. Read on. Right now, it's raining in places like Michigan, and mosquitoes are getting ready to emerge and buzz on over to campsites, backyards and parks. If it weren't for mosquito control programs, their numbers would be much worse, right? The Michigan Mosquito Control Association calls mosquitoes "by far the most dangerous animals on earth."

Back to the study, researchers exposed mosquitoes to body odors from water drinkers and beer drinkers. The bugs preferred the "breath and skin emanations" of beer drinkers. (Insert joke here about attractiveness of beer-drinking men to single ladies).

According to an abstract, the study was done "to ascertain the effect of beer consumption on human attractiveness to malaria mosquitoes in semi field conditions in Burkina Faso" in West Africa.

Researchers concluded that "beer consumption is a risk factor for malaria and needs to be integrated into public health policies for the design of control measures."

The study (full text) was supported by the French National Research Agency.

Should there be another warning label on beer? "May expose you to disease-carrying mosquitoes"?

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