Preventing mosquitoes from biting is a battle that we will be fighting from year to year. From spring until the temps start dropping again each year everyone’s outdoor concerns get targeted towards mosquito control and preventing the little buggers from biting them.
Prevention includes spray on repellents, outdoor mosquito traps and misters, and more. But what is it that really attracts mosquitoes to their prey? Mosquitoes are drawn to many physical traits that when combined together will make you the perfect target.
What Attracts Mosquitoes to Biting Their Prey
Some physical traits just can’t be helped while other traits can be avoided. So let’s take a look at the different traits that could cause you to be a magnet for mosquitoes.
Genetics account for 85% of your susceptibility to mosquitoes biting you. Mosquitoes are more attracted to type O blood, negative or positive. Interesting enough mosquitoes can actually decipher our blood type before they have even sucked up any blood. They will feed on the Type A and B blood types as well but are twice as attracted to type O. Obviously this is a trait that cannot be helped, so make sure to protect yourself by using a repellent, like the ThermaCell Personal Appliance.
Co2 output is another attracting trait that we are unable to change as it occurs every time that we exhale. Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide that is produce by all living things. Co2 is the main attractant for most species of mosquitoes and is replicated by mosquito traps to draw mosquitoes in. Mosquitoes can smell their targets from up to 50 yards away. They follow the trail of CO2 that you leave without even realizing it.
Mosquitoes are attracted to areas of the body that give off the most heat. This is because the blood supply is the closest to the surface of your skin in these areas. The forehead, wrists, ankles, elbows, and neck are common mosquito biting areas that give off a good amount of heat. Getting overheated will bring blood closer to the surface throughout your body which sets you up as an ideal feast.
If you exercise outdoors you might as well serve yourself on a platter to the mosquitoes. The movement, increased blood flow, and extra CO2 output that comes along with exercising makes you the easy target that they look for. Exercising also causes you to release other chemicals and vitamins like lactic acid that act as a mosquito attractant. Lactic Acid can be detected by mosquitoes at close ranges.
The more you stink the easier it is for mosquitoes to find you! Mosquitoes are not attracted to fresh sweat instead they are drawn by the chemical change produced by bacteria in your sweat. Sweat itself is odorless until bacteria acts upon it. If you are sporting around some major BO then mosquitoes are going to find you very attractive.
If you are going outdoors during peak mosquito hour make sure that you wear light colors and avoid wearing blacks and dark colors. If you dress in dark colors you will stand out against the horizon making yourself more visible for the mosquitoes. Some mosquito species do search for a blood host based on sight.
Wearing floral scents will increase your chances of being a mosquito magnet. Mosquitoes suck nectar from flowers for energy so they are attracted to floral scents. Certain floral scents will attract the mosquitoes more than others. Certain floral odors are effective enough that researchers are figuring out how to use them to lure mosquitoes with their sweetness.