Reasons Why Mosquitoes Bite You More Than Others
What Makes You Attractive to Mosquitoes?
Ever wondered why some people seem plagued by mosquitoes, swatting them away and dealing with their itchy bites, while others are relatively unbothered? If you or someone you know has ever said, “Mosquitoes love me,” there are a host of biological reasons these pests may prefer some people. Read on to learn what attracts mosquitoes in the first place so you can defend yourself from these persistent insects.
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How do mosquitoes locate their victims in the first place? Scientists have discovered that mosquitoes find their victims mainly based on the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) they exhale. The female mosquito has nerve cells, called cpA, that enable her to detect carbon dioxide emissions in the air and help her to zero in on her warm-blooded victims.1 Since humans and other creatures naturally exhale CO2 when we breathe, there are other factors at play that determine whom a mosquito chooses.
Does blood type really factor into a mosquito’s preference for one person over another? Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have proved that mosquitoes land much more often (83% of the time) on people with type O blood, by a significant margin over their second choice, people with type A blood (47%).2
When the weather warms, having a cold beer at a backyard barbecue or a refreshing glass of wine while dining alfresco is a common pastime. Unfortunately, mosquitoes enjoy a summertime cocktail too, at least indirectly. According to a study published in the June 2002 edition of the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, scientists discovered that mosquitoes were significantly more attracted to human test subjects after they drank alcohol.3
So what can you do to prevent mosquito bites? Short of the impossible (changing your blood type, holding your breath indefinitely) and the undesirable (staying indoors and forgoing alcohol altogether), the answer is: Plenty! Mosquito repellents, protective clothing and other defensive measures have long been shown to keep mosquitoes at bay. Our full line of proven mosquito-repelling products can help you enjoy your time outdoors without being swarmed by those pesky bugs.
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- “How Mosquitoes Detect People,” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, December 16, 2013, https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/how-mosquitoes-detect-people.
- Yoshikazu Shirai, Hisashi Funada, Taisuke Seki, et al., “Landing Preference of Aedes Albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) on Human Skin Among ABO Blood Groups, Secretors or Nonsecretors, and ABH Antigens,” Journal of Medical Entomology 41, no. 4: 796–9, doi:10.1603/0022-2585-41.4.796.
- Yoshikazu Shirai, Takao Tsuda, Shinya Kitagawa, et al., “Alcohol Ingestion Stimulates Mosquito Attraction,” Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association 18, no. 2: 91–96.