Yes, actually. Beer drinkers produce a chemical odor that attracts mosquitoes, at least the variety that carries malaria. The chemical attraction can happen with other mosquitoes, aside from the beer-loving malaria kind, as well. Humans and other mammals give off lactic acid and carbon dioxide gases, which mosquitoes can sense from as far away as 100 feet (36 meters). This fact may have led to the old wive's tale about mosquitoes preferring sweet blood.
More bloodletting facts:
- Only female mosquitoes bite. The males do not have the long proboscis with which to impale victims.
- The females don't suck the blood to feed themselves — mosquitoes actually live off sugary plant nectar; the blood is to feed the female's eggs.
- More than 3,000 species of mosquito inhabit our planet.
- The average mosquito lifespan is two weeks to six months.
- An old wive's tale claiming garlic will work as a repellent may be correct! Recent studies have shown that garlic extract is a very strong larvicide — it killed 100% of five different species in lab testing.