WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 18, 2013, 10:05 PM

Scientists say beer attracts mosquitos

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Warm summer nights like this one can provide a chance to kick back and relax outside.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Warm summer nights like this one can provide a chance to kick back and relax outside.

But before you crack open that ice cold beverage on the deck, listen to this: Scientists have found that mosquitoes are more likely to bite those who have had a beer.

The hot muggy day has turned into a warm and humid night which can bring out the mosquitoes. And those enjoying an ice cold beer outdoors could be making themselves more of a target.

Ken Northwood likes to spend as much time as possible outside in the summer. After all, back home in Winnipeg they can be short. But those pesky mosquitoes are often a nuisance.

Ken Northwood, Winnipeg: "I don't know about here, but it's the state bird up there."

And it turns out cooling down with a beer could make him a more attractive target for the blood-suckers.

This month's issue of Smithsonian Magazine reports that one 12 oz. beer can increase your chance of getting bitten by a mosquito. There are a handful of recent studies that prove this point, showing about a 10 to 20 percent higher chance.

Ben Prather, Cass County Vector Control: "There is research that says that's true, but it's very small.'

Just why mosquitoes are attracted to beer-drinkers is a mystery. Some say its increased ethanol in sweat after drinking. Scientists in France even suggested mosquitoes target beer-drinkers because their reaction time is slower to swat the bugs away. And how much it really makes a difference is up for debate.

Prather: "If you go out running or golfing, your body temperature is going to be up, and your CO2 levels and those are things that are proven to cause increased bites."

Northwood: "If you're going to get bitten you're going to get bitten."

While there is a link there, it doesn't mean you have to take your drink inside.

The most effective way to prevent bites is using bug spray, so whether having a beer or not, make sure to take some of this with you.