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Mosquitoes: Seven Reasons to Bite You Not Your Neighbor

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Find out what attracts mosquitoes the most and how to avoid them

In every group of summer holidays, there are people who suffer from the constant bites of mosquitoes and there are those who do not know what itching means from the sting of this “demonic” insect.

So what makes a man so irresistible to mosquitoes?

According to Jonathan Day, professor of medical entomology at the University of Florida, two are the most powerful factors that attract mosquitoes: sight and smell. But they are not the only ones. 

Here are the possible reasons why one might be tempted by mosquitoes.


As mentioned above, mosquitoes usually use their eyes to target the next victim as they are particularly “visual” insects, especially in the late afternoon. And those who wear dark (blue, black) and red clothes are more easily targeted.

Blood type

For mosquitoes, it all has to do with blood. Adult mosquitoes survive on nectar for their food, but females rely on human blood protein to produce their eggs. 

It is no surprise, then, some blood types are more attractive than others. Research has found that people with blood type C are twice as attractive to mosquitoes as those with blood type A, while those with blood type B are somewhere in the middle. Also, 85% of people produce a secretion that signals their blood type, with mosquitoes being attracted to them more, regardless of blood type.


Mosquitoes sense carbon dioxide from 48 meters away. Thus, the more one exhales, the more attractive one becomes. Larger people exhale more carbon dioxide. 

Also, because people exhale through the mouth and nose, mosquitoes are more attracted to the head, which is why we hear them buzzing around our ears at night.

Heat and sweat

Mosquitoes seem to smell good for other odors besides carbon dioxide and can detect their “victims” through lactic acid, uric acid, ammonia and other compounds secreted by sweat. 

They also prefer people who are warmer. For example, intense training increases the concentration of lactic acid and heat in the body, while genetic factors “affect the amount of uric acid and other substances that are normally secreted, making some people more vulnerable to detection by mosquitoes,” the experts note.

Living skin

Research has shown that the type and amount of bacteria present in a person’s skin can play a role in attracting mosquitoes. Our skin has its own microbiome, which creates a special aroma. 

In one study, a group of men was divided into those who were most attracted to mosquitoes and those who were less. The former, therefore, had more of some bacteria on their skin but less than the latter. 

The bacterial agent could also explain why some mosquitoes “attack” the ankles and feet, areas that are hotbeds of bacteria.


Pregnant women may belong to the category of people who do not want to be bitten by a mosquito, but the truth is that some species of these insects are particularly attracted to pregnant women. 

A study in Africa found that pregnant women were twice as attractive as malaria-carrying mosquitoes, with scientists believing that this was due to an increase in carbon dioxide. 

In particular, they found that women in the last stages of their pregnancy exhaled 21% more air, but also the abdomen of pregnant women was warmer, adding the element of heat to the mosquito attraction equation.


Mosquitoes have a particular preference for beer. In one study, the researchers found that the mosquitoes that “circled” the participants after drinking beer were much more than before. 

The scientists hypothesized that this was due to the increased sweat content of ethanol and the higher temperature of the skin due to alcohol consumption, but could not find the exact correlation.

Image Credit: Getty

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