Stop Bugging Me: Why are you a target for mosquito bites?

Are you a magnet for mosquitoes? Well, it turns out you’re the lucky 1 out of 5 people that mosquitoes find irresistible.  Jonathan Day, a professor of medical entomology, calls this group the “high attractor types.”  Sight and smell are the two most compelling factors when it comes to mosquito attraction.  Although most are out of our control, scientists believe that the following factors likely explain why you are getting eaten alive.

Blood Type

Mosquitoes favorite foods? Nectar and blood.  Nectar gives the necessary nourishment to adult mosquitoes, while females rely on the protein in our blood for the production of eggs. Research has found that people with Type O blood are twice as attractive to mosquitoes than those with Type A blood — those with Type B fall in the middle. On top of that, 85% of people produce a secretion that signals what blood type they are.  So, if you are Type O and a secretor? Mosquitoes probably think you’re pretty cute (and tasty).

Carbon Dioxide

Mosquitoes tend to like people who emit more carbon dioxide when they breathe.  This is why adults are more likely to get bitten than children.  Since humans exhale carbon dioxide through their nose and mouth, mosquitoes migrate towards our heads.  This explains mosquitoes buzzing in our ears.

Sweat

Who would have thought there would be actual scientific evidence that supports sitting on the couch over-exercising?  Well, this is one thing we can thank mosquitoes for.  Mosquitoes can smell the lactic acid, uric acid, ammonia and other compounds emitted in sweat.  Basically, if you work out and produce sweat, mosquitoes are drawn to you.  Couch potatoes, rejoice!

Apparel

As stated before, mosquitoes use their eyesight to find their victims.  Colors such as navy, black, and red make you an easier target for mosquitoes.  Lighter colors make it harder for mosquitoes to see you.  This is especially important to remember during the later part of the afternoon when mosquitoes are highly visual.

Bacteria

We all have different bacteria on our skin that creates a distinct fragrance that mosquitoes can pick up on.  People that have a large number of certain microbes on their skin are more attractive.  Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about this, but it does explain why your ankles and feet are getting bit more than the rest of your body.  Ankles and feet are where some of the mosquitoes favorite bacteria’s live.

Beer

In a particular study, researchers found that mosquitoes land on beer drinkers significantly more than their non-beer drinking counterparts.  Mosquito Joe wants you to have a good time—that’s why we kill the buzz so you can enjoy yours.

Pregnancy

In a recent study, mosquitoes are attracted to pregnant women twice as much as non-pregnant women.  This is mostly because pregnant women have a higher body temperature and emit more carbon dioxide.  In light of Zika’s link to birth defects, this finding is particularly concerning. Mosquito Joe barrier treatments allow for an added layer of defense against vector-borne illnesses.

Life is short, stop scratching.  Give your local Mosquito Joe a call to schedule your treatment so you can stay itch-free and protect yourself from mosquito-related illnesses.

 

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