Certain people seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more often for no specific reason other than the fact that they attract these insects more. This confuses people and they desire to get greater insight in the matter. If you are one of the unlucky few, read on and find out all you need to know about what attracts mosquitoes to people.
Mosquitoes and Humans
Mosquitoes are insects which inflict painful bites to humans and other warmblooded animals. This way, they are capable of transferring numerous diseases, including dengue, malaria and others. Subsequently, people do their best to avoid being bitten by a mosquito by guarding themselves well, both against the diseases and against the insects. Nevertheless, mosquitoes find it easy to reach their pray no matter how well we hide.
What Attracts Mosquitoes?
Basically, only female mosquitoes bite us and take our blood. This happens for a reason, since they need blood in order to lay eggs. However, mosquitoes find us by following scents that we emit from our bodies. In fact, more than 340 different scents from our skin are capable of attracting these little pests.
Additionally, mosquitoes are attracted by carbon dioxide, following its presence while they are seeking their prey. Along with carbon dioxide, during our exhalation process we, among other chemical scents, release a specific chemical called lactic acid attracting mosquitoes who follow this lead. We release this acid during physical activity or when we consume foods rich in potassium or salt.
Again connected to us breathing out, together with carbon dioxide we release octenol, which is a type of alcohol sensed by mosquitoes who are up to a hundred feet away.
Nevertheless, heat and moisture play a part in this unwanted attraction. Our sweat and body temperature are both signals for mosquitoes to follow in order to find us. Additionally, these insects can track the changes in light as we move around, locating us with more ease. Moreover, there are theories that you are likely to attract mosquitoes more if you are wearing something black.
Finally, some studies say that people who have high levels of steroids or cholesterol appearing on their surface are much more prone to mosquito bites. Also, the more perfume you wear, the more likely you are to get tracked and bitten. Finally, beer lovers – beware, since these insects get attracted to your beverage of choice as well.
All in all, many aspects of our existence attract mosquitoes. Now that you know most of these factors, perhaps you can keep yourself safer, avoiding getting bitten by avoiding getting noticed by mosquitoes in the first place.