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Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Some People and Not Others

Isn’t it aggravating?  You’re outside and the mosquitoes just won’t leave you alone.  But no one else seems to be having any issues with the mosquitoes.  The guy beside you isn’t having any problems and is thoroughly enjoying his time outside.  What in the world is going on?  Did you use the wrong perfume or something?

Even though some people scoff at the idea, it’s a well-known fact that mosquitoes do target specific people and will leave others alone.

Why do mosquitoes bite?

If you get bitten, know that it was a female mosquito.  The males don’t bite people – they actually get their sustenance from flowers and pollen.  The female mosquito sucks the blood in order to get additional protein that helps her lay her eggs.

When a mosquito is attracted to someone, they not only smell, but they also taste.  A mosquito may be attracted to you from smell, but once they land, they actually taste you through their back legs before biting. If they don’t like how you taste, they could fly off searching for someone better.  This is why some people can have mosquitoes land on them and never seem to get bit.

What is the current research?

Research is ongoing and there are no clear-cut answers yet.  However, you can be assured that your perfume or choice of deodorant is probably not the cause.  The studies so far seem to show that genetics and body composition is a major factor.

What we’re finding is that mosquitoes seem to be attracted to carbon dioxide, heat, moisture and acidity that the human body naturally emits.  For example, if you emit higher levels of lactic acid than others, mosquitoes will be more attracted to you.  In fact, studies so far have identified more than 247 human components that mosquitoes like.  So, the more of the 247 identified components your body emits, the more mosquitoes will find you tasty.

Specific things that attract mosquitoes include:

*Having type O blood.

*Breathing heavily – they like the extra carbon dioxin output.

*Higher heat and sweat levels – they are more attracted to those who engage in strenuous exercise.

*Beer.  Or more specifically, the compounds the human body excretes after someone drinks beer.

*Darker color clothing such as black, dark blue or red may make you visually easier to find.

On the plus side, scientists have also identified five components that mosquitoes find extremely unattractive and will take pains to avoid.  Although not commercially available at this time, they could become the basis for a newer type of mosquito repellent.

24 Jul

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