What Attracts Mosquitoes to Some People Over Others?
March 9, 2019
Mosquito Hunters Chicago
If you’re wondering why you always get bitten by mosquitoes while your friends are itch-free, you’re not alone. Research suggests that an estimated 20% of people are especially attractive to mosquitoes for various reasons. Although there is still much to learn about this, scientists have come up with a few possible ideas for why some people are more prone to mosquito bites than others.
Your Carbon Dioxide Production
Mosquitoes use their sense of smell to find their targets and one of the main attractors is how much carbon dioxide you exhale. Individuals with higher metabolic rates, as well as those who are pregnant or larger, produce more carbon dioxide. Mosquitoes use an organ called their maxillary palp to smell the carbon dioxide and can do this from as far as 164 feet away. Pretty impressive, mosquitoes!
Although mosquitoes use carbon dioxide as their primary attractant, other odors such as lactic acid, ammonia, and uric acid can also make mosquitoes flock to you. Strenuous exercise can increase the buildup of heat and lactic acid in your body, which can make you very appetizing to these irritating insects. In addition, genetic factors influence how much uric acid and other substances are emitted from your body, which automatically makes some people more attractive to mosquitoes than others.
Your Blood Type
Female mosquitoes rely on the protein in our blood to produce their eggs, so it makes sense that our blood type would affect how attractive we are to mosquitoes. Studies have found that individuals with Type O blood are found to be twice as attractive to mosquitoes than those with Type A blood. 85% of people produce a secretion that indicates what blood type they are, and mosquitoes are more attracted to those people than the non-secretors.
Bacteria on Your Skin
According to one study, the amount and types of bacteria on your skin also play a role in how alluring you are to mosquitoes. Our skin is naturally full of microscopic life that creates a distinct scent. In the study, male participants were split into two groups based on how attractive they were to mosquitoes. The ones more targeted by mosquitoes had more microbes on their skin, but fewer types. So it seems that mosquitoes are attracted to larger, but less diverse communities of bacteria.
The Color of Your Clothes
Sounds kind of crazy, but mosquitoes also use their vision to locate the humans of their choice and wearing colors that stand out may make you easier to find. Wearing black, dark blue, or red may make you an easier prey for mosquitoes.
Have you ever noticed that you get more mosquito bites after you drink alcohol? Probably not, but according to one study, drinking alcohol can increase your susceptibility to being bitten. The study found that the percentage of mosquito landings on the participants increased significantly after drinking one 12-ounce beer. Some researchers suspect that this has to do with the fact that drinking increases the amount of ethanol excreted in sweat and increases body temperature, but nobody knows for sure.
Professional Mosquito Control in Chicago
Overall, it’s estimated that 85% of our susceptibility to mosquito bites stems from our genetic makeup. You can’t do anything to change your genes, but you can take precautions to eliminate mosquitoes from your yard altogether. Mosquito Hunters Chicago specializes in effective mosquito control and one barrier treatment can protect you and your family for up to 21 days. For more information on our mosquito control services, call us today at (847) 915-3434.Back