Do you feel like a mosquito magnet? After a day of outdoor fun, you’re covered in itchy bites, but your friends are untouched. You claim, “mosquitoes love me”, but what really causes this one-way attraction?
Unfortunately, it is not an exact science and comes down to various factors. About 20 percent1 of people are “high attractors” for mosquitoes and bitten on a consistent basis. We’ve heard all the theories – blood type, perfume, even smelly feet – but what components actually make you a “high attractor”? Turns out, the usual guesses aren’t far from the truth.
Two big reasons mosquitoes are attracted to people are sight and smell. Darker colors are more inviting to mosquitoes, and wearing darker clothing attracts them. Mosquitoes also zero-in on your scent, with the most important factor being your rate of carbon dioxide exhaled with each breath. People who have higher metabolic rates produce more carbon dioxide, and generally attract mosquitoes more than others. That’s bad news for athletes, pregnant women, and people with active outdoor lifestyles.
Other odors from compounds our bodies give off also attract mosquitoes: lactic acid, uric acid, and ammonia are all secreted through sweat (especially during exercise). Body temperature and overall warmth play a role as well – mosquitoes love body heat.
Genetics are also a major player in what attracts mosquitoes. Scientists estimate that a whopping 85 percent3 of susceptibility to mosquito bites are attributed to underlying genetic factors, like blood type.
Only female mosquitoes bite humans because they need the proteins from our blood to produce eggs. Some mosquito species like to bite on legs and ankles, while others prefer the neck and arms. The good news? The more times you get bitten by a mosquito species, the more likely it is you will become desensitized2 to it over time. The bad news? There are more than 176 different species of mosquitoes found in North America.
Many of the factors that make up a person’s mosquito-attractiveness are out of their control, but there are some steps that can be taken to prevent them. For personal mosquito protection and outdoor prevention tips, check out our blog!
A recent national survey of homeowners conducted by HomeTeam revealed that 58 percent have experienced issues with mosquitoes. You can watch this short video for more information on our mosquito control service, which dramatically reduces the mosquito population on your property.
If you need a trustworthy pest control company, we’re here to help. Request a quote or call 855-855-4873 for one of our pest control professionals to work with you to address your needs.