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I’ve heard that if I drink beer I am more likely to be bitten by mosquitoes. Is that true?
Yes, but that’s not the half of it. As it turns out, all alcohol consumption will make you more susceptible to getting bitten, not just beer.
The idea that beer is more likely to get you bitten — as opposed to other forms of alcohol — is all based on one Japanese study that used beer as the alcohol delivery system for all of its test subjects. Coverage of the study tended to focus on the fact that beer was served even though, in reality, the scientists were examining the effects of all alcohol consumption, and just happened to choose to serve beer as opposed to wine or spirits.
In the study, Japanese researchers had one group of people drink beer, while the control group drank water. What they uncovered was that ethanol ingestion upped sweat production and raised skin temperature, making subjects more attractive to mosquitoes. The scientists wrote: “Our study demonstrated that percent mosquito landing on volunteers significantly increased after beer ingestion compared with before ingestion, showing clearly that drinking alcohol stimulates mosquito attraction.” Whether you’re drinking beer, cocktails, wine, or straight spirits, make sure you have good bug spray or cover up in mosquito season.