Does Alcohol Repel Mosquitoes? Proof Tested Answer Disclosed

On a warm sunny day, you might wish to enjoy a walk in the park or forest, as my family loves to do, or spend time in your backyard. Yet, there is a small buzzing problem that you’ll have to protect yourself from – mosquito bites. They are quite unpleasant, and in some regions, they can be dangerous. There are several repellents that might help. Does alcohol repel mosquitoes? Let’s discuss if such a repellent could help you solve the problem.

Does Alcohol Repel Mosquitoes Or How Not To Get Bitten?

Alcohol Against Mosquitos:
  1. Alcohol does not repel mosquitoes, except in the composition of sprays with aromatic oils, yet applying or rubbing alcohol makes you more vulnerable to mosquito bites.
  2. The factor increasing the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes is body odor and body temperature.
  3. Weak alcohol can be used as bait for mosquito traps, moreover, strong spirits can relieve itching after a bite.

whiskey glass

Does Alcohol Repel Mosquitoes And Why?

You have probably had a negative experience with mosquito bites, unless you live high in the mountains, in the Arctic Circle or in Antarctica. Whether alcohol repels mosquitoes and why is a question at issue. Let’s first look at what attracts them.

With summer onset, blood-sucking insects attack hikers and outdoor enthusiasts with incredible force. However, some people notice that some of them are bitten much less often than others. What are the main factors that influence whether you will be attacked by mosquitoes more than others?

  • The factor for mosquitoes is body odor and body temperature. As it became known recently, some people produce kairomones, while others produce allomones. These odorous substances attract or repel representatives of the animal world. So, kairomones attract mosquitoes, and allomones repel. The first type of substances is most often excreted by the body of overweight people so mosquitoes “love” them more. Bloodsuckers also react to other odors. For example, perfumes or essential oils scented with vanilla, clove, anise, lavender, frankincense, and eucalyptus repel mosquitoes. The smell of smoke is also unpleasant to them.
  • More often than others, people with blood types 1 and 2 are attacked by a buzzing squadron, and types 3 and 4 are not so appealing to them.
  • Mosquitoes prefer people with thin skin which is easier to bite through. It affects children and the youth while the elderly are bitten less often. As for gender, there is no correlation. Mosquitoes are also strongly attracted by the smell of sweat, more precisely the aromas of lactic and uric acid, ammonia and other substances contained in sweat secretions. Mosquitoes find their prey by the smell of exhaled carbon dioxide: the higher the concentration, the more attractive a person is. This category includes people of large build, obese and pregnant women.
  • Mosquitoes prefer people who eat a lot of sweets. Sugar makes the skin “taste sweeter” and enriches the blood with lactic acid which is formed during the breakdown of glucose. For the same reason, mosquitoes love to bite diabetic patients. They’re attracted by not only their sweet blood but also by the air they exhale with the smell of estradiol and acetone.

mosquito on a leaf, close-up

Is Alcohol Good At Repelling Mosquitoes?

Alcohol itself does not repel mosquitoes, but rather the opposite. Although, it has a strong pungent odor. The story that rubbing alcohol kills mosquitoes is also fake.

Now let’s talk a little about the reasons. As mentioned, kairomones attract mosquitoes. Using alcohol stimulates the production of these substances and makes us vulnerable to mosquito and other insect bites. It causes the expansion of blood vessels and capillaries which results in the increase of the body temperature, sweating, and the release of carbon dioxide. All this makes skin more vulnerable. In addition, alcohol increases blood sugar levels which also attracts mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes are not indifferent to the smell of malt drinks, so the risk of becoming a victim of a swarm of mosquitoes after drinking beer and kvass is much greater. The likelihood of being bitten by mosquitoes also increases when drinking vodka or other spirits. This is due to the fact that alcohol enhances the work of the heart, speeds up blood circulation and, as a result, increases body temperature.

How To Use Alcohol To Repel Mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes and alcohol are rather friends, not enemies. Weak alcohol can be used as bait for mosquito traps if placed into or near the trap. Some repellent aerosols contain alcohol, but in such cases it’s used as a spray base and stabilizer. You can make such a spray at home: take one of the essential oils that repel mosquitoes, or make a mix and add alcohol in a ratio of 1 to 2, respectively.

Does rubbing alcohol keep mosquitoes away? No, alcohol, even a strong one, does not repel mosquitoes. As I wrote above, it rather serves as a bait, activating physiological processes, thanks to which we become “more visible” to mosquitoes.

Does rubbing alcohol repel mosquitoes? This is quite a common question. No, it doesn’t work as a repellent. However, strong alcohol helps to relieve itching and irritation if you anoint the bite with it.

mosquito biting human

FAQ

What smells do mosquitoes hate?

A solution of vanillin or clove oil, essential oils of eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, cedarwood, tea tree and basil work well. They are sold in pharmacies.

Does drinking alcohol make mosquito bites worse?

Mosquitoes bite people who drink alcohol more often and the reaction to the bite is not associated with alcohol consumption.

Do mosquitoes like drunks?

Mosquitoes do bite drunk people more often than sober ones. However, this is due exclusively to the physiological processes described above. Mosquitoes are resistant to alcohol and do not get drunk.

Can Alcohol Be Used As A Repellant?

How much alcohol will help you repel mosquitoes? The answer is: None at all. Alcohol relieves itching from a mosquito bite as an ingredient in oil repellent spray, but it does not protect from insects. It improves blood circulation and, on the contrary, increases the likelihood of a bite.

Share your experience with us. Have you tried using alcohol as a repellant? How do you protect yourself from mosquitoes?

Also read:

Why You Should Trust Pest Control Hacks?

We know that pests are nasty neighbors, and it can take months to eliminate them without the right approach. Our experts use their own experience to compile articles and guides that are introductory and informative. Our authors’ opinions are independent and based on the results of practical testing of pest control tools. We do not notify manufacturers of testing of their products and do not receive payment from them for posting their items. Also, our texts are never submitted to company representatives for proofreading before placement. On the site, you will find exclusively objective ratings and reviews.

Nicholas Martin

Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years. More about Nick

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