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The Reasons Why Bananas can Attract and Repel Mosquitoes

March 9, 2018 | Mosquitoes

For many years, there have been numerous myths spread around about the connection between bananas and mosquitoes. One myth states that eating bananas will make mosquitoes want to bite you more and another myth suggests that eating bananas will repel them away from you. Scientists have studied these claims and the overall consensus is that they’re both not true. However, there is no 100% guarantee that this scientific conclusion is accurate. There are still plausible arguments to suggest one or the other.

Attract

The reason bananas may draw mosquitoes toward you is that your skin will supposedly emit a specific scent after your body digests the banana that you’ve eaten. This scent is said to attract mosquitoes toward your skin and make them want to bite it. The scent is likely caused by a chemical in bananas called lactic acid. The more of this ingredient you consume, the more that mosquitoes will detect it with their sensing ability and go toward you.

Even if this were true, would you really want to give up bananas? They are a natural fruit which is perfectly healthy to eat. They are filled with potassium and assist in helping the body restore lost electrolytes. However, there are a lot more things that could attract mosquitoes to a person than bananas. Everything from the color of your clothes to the temperature of your body will determine whether they bite you.

If you want to get more scientific, let’s examine what is in someone’s blood after they consume bananas. As you may well know, female mosquitoes do not just bite a person’s skin. They are out to suck their blood too. Your blood will have higher levels of metabolites in it after eating bananas, such as norepinephrine and serotonin.  Mosquitoes crave these metabolites because these are the chemicals that they need to consume for their own survival. They can sense these metabolites in a person and will be tempted to suck their blood for them.

Read also: Are Fruit Flies Harmful If Eaten? See the Shocking Answer!

Repel

Some university research studies have discovered that mosquitoes are drawn away from bananas because of their Vitamin B6 content. This means if you consume bananas, then you will become a repellant to mosquitoes. Other theories suggest that the octanol content in bananas will cause you to repel mosquitoes if you consume it.

On the other hand, it has been proven that octanol creates a scent which attracts mosquitoes rather than repels them. That is why many mosquito traps are made with octanol, so it can bring the mosquitoes to the trap and then kill them. If this is true, then you could simply avoid eating bananas or anything else that has octanol in it, such as cheese and citrus fruits.

Therefore, the only possible thing that would repel mosquitoes from a person who eats bananas is the high level of Vitamin B6 from the fruit. Aside from that, there is no other logical way for bananas to serve as a repellant.

Read also: Top 4 Dangerous Viruses Which Carried By The Mosquitoes

Conclusion

Nobody wants to attract mosquitoes because they bite and suck blood. On top of that, they’ll leave a bite mark on your skin that will be inflamed for a couple of days. If you quit bananas just to prevent this from happening, you may be making a big mistake. There are so many reasons for why a mosquito would bite you if it’s around. You won’t be able to avoid this from happening just because there are low levels of metabolites in your bloodstream. Although you can choose other fruits to eat, it is not worth giving up bananas over a myth that has no concrete scientific evidence to back it up.

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