Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Me? 5 Reasons Why You May Get Bit More Often

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It’s Not Just in Your Head: Mosquitoes May Prefer Your Blood

Are there scientific reasons why you’re always the one who gets the most mosquito bites when you're enjoying a barbecue with your friends? The answer is yes! Maybe you’ve heard that your diet or the perfume that you wear can either attract or repel mosquitoes. These factors may have a very minimal effect on a mosquito's choice, but 85% of what makes a mosquito choose to bite you instead of the guy next to you comes down to your genes.


Do you get so bitten up that you’re having trouble enjoying time outside, while your friends seem relaxed and bite-free? You may be part of the 20% of the population that attract an above average number of mosquitoes. It feels great to get affirmation that it’s not all in your head! So what exactly are the genetic factors that make mosquitoes want to feast on you? 


Factors That Affect How Often You’re Bit:

Blood Type

In 2004, researchers at the Institute of Pest Control Technology conducted a study on mosquito bite frequency. The results of this study revealed that mosquitoes were not as attracted to types A and B, but showed a marked preference for O-type blood!

Carbon Dioxide Levels

Researchers have noticed that pregnant women seem to experience a high frequency of mosquito bites. This is likely because on average, pregnant women exhale 20% more carbon dioxide than the typical person.

What does carbon dioxide have to do with mosquitoes? If you’ve ever noticed that mosquitoes don’t start to attack until you’ve been outside for a few minutes, this is because they sense human presence by detecting the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. The more carbon dioxide, the more excited they get!

You Skin Chemistry

Some research has demonstrated that mosquitoes prefer certain types of bacteria that are present in people’s skin. All of our bodies are covered in a unique mix of bacteria. Your genes determine whether you carry the type that attracts mosquitoes or not. Sorry, you can’t change that! Scientists have also hypothesized that the reason we tend to get more bites around our feet and ankles is that these are the areas where there are high bacteria concentrations.

Heat and Sweat

Mosquitoes can smell many compounds in your sweat, and some of them are particularly appealing. Mosquitoes are especially attracted to the smell of people who have high levels of lactic acid, uric acid, and ammonia in their sweat. Mosquitoes also find movement and heat irresistible. If those pesky mosquitoes won’t leave you alone, shower immediately after you exercise.

Clothing Color

Mosquitoes can actually see dark colors more easily than light colors. Darker clothing will not only make is easier for mosquitoes to pick you out from the crowd, but dark colors also heat up faster. Remember, mosquitoes are attracted to heat, so the cooler you can keep your body, the less likely they are to attack. Avoid wearing colors such as deep red, navy blue, black and purple. Instead, go for colors such as white, khaki, yellow, or light green.

Prevention is Key

There’s still hope for you. Even if you fit into one or more of the categories that mosquitoes love, there are plenty of things that you can do to keep these annoying pests away from you. Protect your entire property by removing standing water. Store any objects that may collect water under cover, and keep your lawn trimmed and orderly to encourage air flow. Find an effective and safe repellent, and don’t be afraid to use it often! Avoid going outside during dawn or dusk, and wear long, loose layers when you do.

Home Pest Control

Whether you’re a mosquito target or not, you can benefit from professional mosquito control on your property. Paying a professional to monitor your lawn and garden periodically may be your key to a mosquito free summer. 


February 15, 2019

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