Like a Moth to a Flame: What Will Attract Mosquitos?

what attracts mosquitoes

‘Do I smell dinner?’ That’s exactly what you imagine a mosquito and his buddies must be saying to each other whenever you’re around. They give the phrase ‘bite to eat’ a very literal meaning. 

So, what makes your blood more appealing than the next person’s? It’s all in the science. Here’s what attracts mosquitos to some people more than others.

Your Blood Type

Your mom may have told you that your blood is just sweeter. She was on the right track. Some people have more of the particular chemicals in their skin. A few of these chemicals, such as lactic acid, attract mosquitoes.

There’s also evidence that blood type O attracts mosquitoes more than others. It’s your genes that determine your blood type and your chemical makeup.

Carbon Dioxide

There’s another critical factor that comes into play when mosquitos are selecting their prey. This is your metabolic rate, or the quantity of carbon dioxide or CO2 that your body releases as it burns energy.

Mosquitoes use CO2 as their fundamental means for identifying people to bite. We all produce carbon dioxide and you may be able to moderate your metabolic rate through diet and exercise.

There’s only so much you can do though. Sometimes some form of pest control in the home may be the only option. 

Mosquitoes can smell their lunch from a distance of up to 50 meters. Pregnant women and those who are overweight or obese are inclined to have higher resting metabolic rates. This may make them more attractive to mosquitoes.

Drinking alcohol and physical exercise will also raise your metabolic rate. If you do both of these, you could significantly increase your chances of a date with our fiendish flying friends. 

Steroids and Cholesterol

People who have high concentrations of steroids or cholesterol on the surface of their skin attract mosquitoes. This doesn’t necessarily mean that if you have an overall higher cholesterol level, you’re more likely to get bitten.

You may just be more efficient at processing cholesterol, the byproducts of which stay on the skin’s surface. Mosquitoes are attracted to people who make excess amounts of certain acids, such as uric acid.

Lighter Colors and Movement

Mosquitos use other cues along with CO2 to ensure you’re not a vehicle or a rotting tree. You may be able to control some of these, along with taking steps to keep mosquitos away from the home in the first place. 

Mosquitos prefer darker clothing over light outfits. The reason for this begins with the fact that mosquitos don’t like the wind. They, therefore, prefer to stay close to the ground.

Here, a mosquito will spot potential hosts by comparing their silhouette to the horizon. Lighter shades will blend in more whilst darker colors stand out.

A lot of motion will also distinguish you from what’s around you. The more you stay still the less likely you may be to get bitten.

Understanding What Attracts Mosquitos

Once you know what attracts mosquitos there may be some precautions you can take to mitigate the chances of you getting bitten. Much though is going to depend on your genetic makeup and blood type.

Continue reading here to find out how to control mosquitos and keep them at a minimum.