We all know that lucky person who can stand in the grass on a summer’s day without being bitten by a single mosquito, and in the meantime, you’re standing right next to them and walk away covered in itchy, swollen bites. Mosquitoes aren’t targeting you at random. There are actually several factors that affect how attractive you are to mosquitoes – some you can control, and some you can’t.
- Carbon Dioxide
Mosquitoes track us by the carbon dioxide we exhale. They can sense carbon dioxide from extremely far away and follow its trail directly to us. If you’re a heavy breather, you might find yourself covered in mosquitoes every time you step outside.
Mosquitoes can also track us via body heat. The more body heat we emit, the easier it is for mosquitoes to find us and bite us. If you’re someone who tends to run hot or who has just exercised, you’ll be more likely to find yourself with some bites.
- Blood Type
Studies have shown that mosquitoes are most attracted to people with “O” blood types. It’s not known exactly why this is, but one theory is that people with this blood type emit more carbon dioxide and heat than other people, which draws mosquitoes to them.
- Body Odor
Mosquitoes are more attracted to people with higher levels of body odor, whether you just don’t tend to shower as often or you’re just a naturally sweaty person.
- Lactic Acid
Lactic acid is produced by our muscles when we exercise, and mosquitoes find it irresistible. Lactic acid production combined with the fact that you sweat, breathe hard and get hot when you exercise means that mosquitoes will likely be most attracted to you right after a hard workout. If you love running or working out outdoors, make sure to bring some repellent with you.
Mosquitoes will be more likely to find and bite you if you’re wearing clothes that stand out from your surroundings. Other insects – like bees and wasps – are also more attracted to people wearing bright colors like yellow, blue, and red. Stay away from bright clothing to avoid getting bitten or stung.
This one is a weird one, and scientists haven’t agreed on exactly why it’s true. All we know is that there’s a high correlation between people with elevated ethanol levels in their blood – brought on by alcohol consumption – and getting bitten by mosquitoes. There’s a particularly high correlation between beer drinking and getting bitten, so maybe lay off the beer during peak mosquito season.
The best way to avoid mosquito bites at home, of course, is to get your yard treated by a professional mosquito control service like Pest Authority’s sister company Mosquito Authority. That way, you can freely enjoy your yard all summer long – even with a beer in hand – without worrying about walking inside to find you’re covered in itchy bites.