Have you ever said to yourself, “Mosquitos seem to hunt me down!” Believe it or not, there is some truth to this statement.
It’s actually a combination of factors that contribute to these little ankle biters following you around that outdoor barbeque. Let’s look at a few to discover why mosquitoes find you especially delicious.
Why Do Mosquitoes Bite?
The starting point for this discussion is to address why mosquitoes bite in the first place.
Only females bite humans and they do so to derive proteins from our blood to produce their eggs.
Females can lay up to 5-10 broods of more than 100 eggs at a time. FYI – Male mosquitoes feed solely on plant nectar.
Why Are Mosquitoes Attracted To You?
“The two most important reasons a mosquito is attracted to you have to do with sight and smell”, says Jonathan Day, a professor of medical entomology at the University of Florida in Vero Beach. Lab studies suggest that 20% of people are high attractor types. (Source)
Mosquitoes have highly intuitive receptors and vision allowing them to pick up on essential clues like body heat, perspiration, and skin odor to find a potential host. In addition, mosquitoes have large eyes allowing them to see their hosts from about 16-32 feet away. They can also detect motion and see in multiple directions.
Other Reasons Mosquitoes Find You Attractive
Carbon Dioxide. This is the gas we exhale with each breath. Research has shown female mosquitoes are highly attuned to carbon dioxide and are able to track a host from about 150 feet away.
Sweat. You might want to think twice about getting out there on the volleyball court. Mosquitoes are experts at detecting specific compounds in human sweat, including lactic acid, uric acid, and ammonia.
Your feet, ankles, and wrists are very susceptible to mosquito bites because they are exposed to the elements and more likely to collect moisture, which they love!
Blood Type. Our blood type may also be a factor in mosquito attraction. One study in Japan found individuals with Type O blood may be more likely to be bitten by mosquitoes than those with Type A.
Regardless of blood type, the same study found that people who are “secretors” (emit a chemical on their skin that indicates their blood type) are more likely to have mosquitoes bite them.
Clothing And Color. Experts agree mosquitoes seem to be more attracted to dark-colored clothing. Although somewhat debatable, some studies have shown mosquitoes are more attracted to blonde hair, perfume, and bright, floral prints.
Weight. People who are overweight or pregnant typically are greater emitters of carbon dioxide. If this is the case for you, you’re likely to be more attracted to these little buggers.
For those of us who are mosquito magnets, other studies (Twinning Body Odor) have indicated that it ultimately may come down to our genetic makeup.
Mosquitoes have been around for 170 million years. And, with more than 175 known species in the U.S., these annoying – and potentially dangerous – pests clearly aren’t disappearing any time soon.
How to Keep Mosquitoes at Bay
Here are just a few things you can do at home to minimize the effects of mosquitoes:
- Remove areas of standing water in your lawn, as well as in gutters, dog bowls, bird baths and garbage cans, as mosquitoes use these areas for breeding
- Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
- Ensure minimal skin is exposed
Call Larue – We Know Just What To Do
If you are feeling as if you’re spinning your wheels to get rid of mosquitoes, save yourself some time and energy and call us.
As luck would have it, we are offering 50% off the first service of our Monthly Mosquito Reduction Program.
Offer valid when you sign up by 3/31/22, so don’t delay!
Click here to learn more and redeem this coupon for mosquito control for your home!
For advice on all pest and mosquito-related issues, call Larue. We know just what to do. 239-334-0880.