If you’re here, chances are, you’re one of us. Or maybe one of your kids belongs to our not-so-exclusive “club” that no one really wants a membership to join. You know what we’re talking about: the mosquito magnet crew.
So, what is it about us that mosquitoes find so attractive? At Bug Bite Thing, we wondered if there was a rhyme or reason to who they select as a host. Here are some of the elements we learned can play a role.
6 Factors that Attract Mosquitoes:
Genetics, including blood type
Some people are just born with it! Blood type can attribute to a person’s tastiness to mosquitoes. Want to know if you’re a chosen one? Check out our blog post on the mosquito-favored blood types to get the scoop.
- Breath and other chemicals the body naturally releases
While some may worry their breath will ward off other humans, it can have the opposite effect on insects. The human body emits chemicals through breath and skin. A person’s metabolic rate is a big piece of this, as it is driven by the amount of carbon dioxide that is released while burning energy. Levels of lactic acid, acetone and potassium can all entice mosquitoes, too. Want to lose the bugs? Consider avoiding salty foods and those high in potassium like bananas, coconut water and dried fruit. Some people are lucky enough to naturally let off chemicals that repel bugs, though we unfortunately do not have any tricks to offer in that department, yet.
- Body heat
Mosquitoes are enticed by body heat, just as they are to warmer weather. If your body temperature runs high, chances are, they’ll be a fan. To add to the attraction, sweat is a sweet treat for them, as they are drawn to spaces with high humidity. This is why many people experience the annoying “ankle biters”—they’re attracted to feet!
- Extra fragrances
Have you ever had someone tell you, “No wonder mosquitoes love you; you’re just so sweet!” This may actually be true, depending on the extra fragrances you choose. If you add to your scent with perfumes, lotions and hair products, you can also expect more bites.
- Clothing colors
Is black your color of choice? Well, bugs, too. Research shows mosquitoes may prefer darker colors to lighter hues. Some researchers believe this is because mosquitoes have poor eyesight and can spot a person’s silhouette easier when decked out in darker clothing.
Some studies have shown that pregnancy can also play a factor. In fact, expectant mothers were shown to attract more than double the mosquitoes than those who were not pregnant. Besides higher body temperatures and more blood circulating, pregnant women tend to breath heavier thus exhaling more carbon dioxide than others, which invites the mosquitoes along.