Are you one of those people who leaves any outdoor summer event with more itchy welts than you can count? Why does it seem that mosquitoes tend to be attracted to some people and not others? More importantly, why are mosquitoes attracted to YOU? Well, nobody knows all the reasons, but we do know some. And while you can control some of the factors, others are out of your hands.
Mosquitoes can smell carbon dioxide from up to 50 meters away. And when mosquitoes sense carbon dioxide, that’s a clear signal that a human meal is available. People who exhale more, such as larger people, draw the mosquitoes to the party. That also explains why we so often find them buzzing about our face — where we breathe.
Mosquitoes are always buzzing about, looking for their next meal. They use their sight and smell to guide them to humans, one of their favorite delicacies. When you wear dark colors, like navy, black, or even red, you make it much easier for mosquitoes to spot you.
Mosquitoes also see you by your movement. If you’re engaged in sports or something else that has you running around, a mosquito will come near to get a taste of you.
Your Blood Type
Are mosquitoes attracted to your blood type? Female mosquitoes need the protein in our blood to make their eggs. So they’re always on the hunt for blood. Type O has been found to be twice as attractive to mosquitoes than Type A blood. Type B is more attractive than A, but less attractive than O.
As if sweat wasn’t already uncomfortable enough, it also draws mosquitoes your way. This is because lactic acid, ammonia, and uric acid are compounds that are emitted in sweat — and mosquitoes happen to be good at sniffing out those compounds.
Mosquitoes are also attracted to pregnant women. This may be because they exhale more than their non-pregnant counterparts. In addition, pregnant women’s abdomens run hotter, and mosquitoes are also attracted to heat. This is problematic, especially because mosquitoes can carry dangerous diseases that can seriously harm a fetus. Wearing safe insect repellent is a must when pregnant.
If your drink of choice is beer, chances are you’re going to bring more mosquitoes your way. One study found that more mosquitoes landed on people after drinking one 12-ounce can of beer than before drinking.
Your… Ahem… B.O.
Yes, mosquitoes are attracted to strong body odor. Perhaps it’s because it makes it easier to find you. Regardless of the reason, however, smelly armpits will make you more attractive to mosquitoes. In addition, the blood-sucking insects are attracted to the bacteria that grows on human feet. If you haven’t washed your feet in a while, a mosquito may decide to take a nice bite out of your ankle.
What to Do
It’s pretty depressing to think that much of what attracts mosquitoes is out of our control. We can’t really change our blood type, stop breathing, or quit moving. Instead, we have to get smart about how we protect ourselves from mosquito bites. Avoid being outside during dawn and dusk. Avoid marshy areas during those hours, and try not to exercise or work up a sweat in those areas either. Remove standing water from your property, and seal up gaps in your windows and doors. And wear insect repellent when you’re going to be outside.
Deter Insect Repellent is scientifically proven to last 6 hours or more, and is safe for all skin types. Bring it with you on your next outing.