Approximately 20% of people are especially attractive to mosquitoes and therefore get bitten more often than others. Why are some people mosquito magnets, while others rarely get bitten? All mosquitoes feed off plant nectar, but female mosquitoes suck blood in order to get the protein they need to produce their eggs. Studies have found that these momma mosquitoes have preferences about which humans are tastiest.
The main attractor for mosquitoes is your metabolic rate, or how much carbon dioxide (CO2) your body releases. Mosquitoes are drawn to higher levels of CO2, so larger individuals and pregnant women are more likely to be bitten. Drinking beer and exercising also raise your metabolic rate therefore making you more attractive to mosquitoes.
Clothing and Hair Color
Mosquitoes’ first mode of search is through vision. Dark colored clothing is especially attractive to them, but they are more attracted to blonde hair than darker colored hair.
Hormones, Chemicals, and Bacteria
While carbon dioxide is mosquitoes’ primary attractant, other smells lure them to you.
Lactic acid (given off while exercising), acetone (a chemical released in your breath), estradiol (a breakdown product of estrogen), and octenol (produces by sweating), and some types of bacteria on skin draw mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes land on Type O blood types most frequently and Type A least frequently, with Type A blood types being half as likely to be bitten than those with Type O. Type B blood types lie somewhere in the middle. 85% of people excrete a chemical that announces to mosquitoes the type of blood they have. These people are more attractive to mosquitoes than the 15% who do not excrete the chemical—regardless of their blood type.
The more times you get bitten by a particular species of mosquito, the less you will react to that species over time. Unfortunately, more than 3,000 species are found worldwide. While a lot of reasons why mosquitoes are drawn to some people more than others are genetic, you can still take precaution to prevent being bombarded with bites. Apply DEET-based repellents and wear light-colored, protective clothing when outside and reduce mosquitoes around your home or business by calling Mosquito Squad! We provide effective solutions to keep the mosquitoes at bay, helping you to stay itch-free. At Mosquito Squad, our mission is to protect you from the nuisance and dangers of mosquitoes. Call us today to discuss your mosquito control needs.