Why Are Mosquitoes Attracted to Me?
Last updated: 8/19/2021
Estimated read time: 2 minutes
Are you a magnet for mosquitoes? If you feel like mosquitoes bite you more often than other people, you may be onto something! Mosquitoes are attracted to certain characteristics, such as your body odor, blood type, and body temperature.
Nectar and blood are mosquitoes’ favorite food, meaning mosquitoes are automatically attracted to humans. Nectar nourishes adult mosquitoes, while females rely on the protein in our blood to produce eggs. Research has shown that people with blood Type O are more appealing to mosquitoes than those with other blood types.
Mosquitoes also tend to favor people who emit more carbon dioxide when they breathe—this is why adults are more likely to be bitten than children. Since humans exhale carbon dioxide through their noses and mouth, mosquitoes tend to migrate toward our heads.
If you’re expecting, mosquitoes may be more attracted to you as pregnant women exhale about 21% more carbon dioxide. According to studies, women in the late stages of pregnancy are more likely to be bitten by mosquitoes than non-pregnant women.
Mosquitoes are also attracted to sweat on human bodies. Besides carbon dioxide, mosquitoes can smell the lactic acid, uric acid, ammonia, and other compounds emitted in sweat. Mosquitoes also prefer warm bodies. Because of this, physical activity increases mosquito bites by up to 50%. Conversely, it’s also why it’s so easy to get bitten by mosquitoes when sitting outside on a hot, humid summer day.
People who have a large number of certain bacteria on their skin are more appealing to mosquitoes. This may explain why mosquitoes are drawn to our ankles and feet, which are areas that typically harbor highly active bacteria.
Mosquitoes use their eyesight to find their victims, so colors such as navy, black, and red make you an easier target for mosquitoes. Lighter colors will make it more difficult for mosquitoes to spot you.
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