My husband’s feet stink. I utter grievances when he removes his stink-bomb shoes and enter his vile, sans-socks feet into the house. As it turns out, stinky feet may be socially offensive to your loved ones, but other critters find them quite attractive. Namely, mosquitoes. (Could be why my hubby ran in the house last night claiming that the mosquitoes were ferocious.)
According to a new study, researchers are luring malaria-causing mosquitoes into traps with natural and artificial foot odor. The stinky foot smell is apparently so attractive that it draws about four times more of the insects than the smell of a human does. They have found that bacteria living on the human foot produce 10 specific odors that are attractive to mosquitoes, and five of these odors block the mosquitoes’ response to CO2 (what you normally expel just from breathing), diverting the bug’s attention to foot odors instead.
This doesn’t mean we have to put away those cute little sandals and flip flops for the summer. Just make sure your feet are clean. And if you find people moving their mats away from you in yoga or suggesting that you keep your shoes on when you enter their house, you’ll know it’s time for a little soap or clean non-holey socks or even some deodorant on your tootsies. When all else fails, try dousing them in vodka. Really!