With prime breeding conditions for mosquitoes on Long Island, encountering these pests is an inevitable part of summer life for residents. While it’s hard to miss mosquitoes flying around, especially at night, the truth is not everyone seems to be affected by their presence. Learn what attracts mosquitoes most so you can help prevent getting eaten alive if you step into your backyard at night.
Mosquitoes are generally pretty opportunistic creatures, but several studies through the years have led to the conclusion that mosquitoes sometimes do prefer biting some people over others. If you feel like you’re a mosquito magnet, you’re probably right.
What Blood Type Are Mosquitoes Attracted To?
Blood is a vital nutrient for mosquitoes, as its proteins are essential for mosquito reproduction and metabolic energy. Several studies suggest mosquitoes may actually prefer certain blood types when they’re having a snack.
One study, as reported by Smithsonian Magazine, found mosquitoes landed on people with Type O blood almost twice as often as people with Type A blood. People with Type B blood fell somewhere in between the two. The study also found that about 85% of people secrete a chemical signal through their skin which indicates their blood type, and that mosquitoes tend to gravitate toward that group of people, regardless of blood type.
Do you have Type O blood and feel like mosquitoes like you a little too much? Well, not only are you a universal donor, but your blood may also be a factor in why you attract mosquitoes!
What Smells Do Mosquitoes Like?
There are certain chemical compounds present on human skin and in sweat that produce the body odor which attracts mosquitoes. In particular, mosquitoes tend to be drawn to lactic acid and ammonia.
Your body odor is determined by your genetics, so if you’re related to someone who is a mosquito magnet, you may be more susceptible to their bites, too. Researchers continue to look into the causes of the variations in body odor that make certain individuals more attractive to mosquitoes.
What Sort of Bacteria on Your Skin Draws in Mosquitoes?
Some research suggests that the particular types and volume of bacteria living on human skin affect how interested mosquitoes are in pursuing us. This may be why mosquitoes are drawn to ankles and feet, since those areas tend to have more bacteria colonies present.
What’s the Connection Between Mosquitoes and Carbon Dioxide?
The exhalation of carbon dioxide is an open invitation as far as mosquitoes are concerned. When mosquitoes smell carbon dioxide being emitted (which they can do from over 150 feet away), that’s when they know to attack. People who exhale more, generally larger individuals, have been shown to attract more mosquitoes than others. Some even suggest this is why adults may be bitten slightly more than children.
What’s the Deal With Mosquitoes and Pregnant Women?
There have been several studies which have found pregnant women attract roughly twice as many mosquito bites as non-pregnant people, likely due to the fact that pregnant women may emit more carbon dioxide.
What Colors Are Mosquitoes Attracted To?
Mosquitoes are very visual creatures, especially later in the afternoon, and their vision is their first tool in searching for humans. According to one study by medical entomology professor Jonathan Day, mosquitoes tend to gravitate toward people dressed in dark colors, like black, navy blue, and red.
Mosquitoes are known to cause a number of serious diseases in both humans and pets, and regardless of the preference mosquitoes may have, everyone is at risk for mosquito bites and the viruses these pests transmit. Common mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile virus, Zika virus, yellow fever, dengue fever, encephalitis, and malaria, are just a handful of the common, serious issues mosquitoes can transmit to humans.
How to Keep Mosquitoes Away
While mosquito repellant is never a bad idea, truly preventing mosquitoes starts with eliminating the water sources they need to survive and reproduce. Start by clearing your gutters, storm drains, downspouts, and water wells. Check for other areas which can contain standing water that often go unnoticed, such as inside children’s toys in the yard, tires, and plant pots. Keep your grass and bushes short to prevent water from collecting.
Why You Need a Professional for Mosquito Control
To best protect your family from mosquitoes, sign up for Suburban Exterminating’s Mosquito Protection Summer Package. Our mosquito control service starts with an inspection of your property to pinpoint mosquito breeding grounds. Next, our licensed technicians will treat your property for mosquitoes every two weeks with our environmentally-friendly mosquito spray that’s safe around people and pets. Our mosquito service is even backed by our Pest-Free Guarantee!
For a limited time, save $35+ off 4 mosquito treatments! Call (631) 864-6900 to schedule your free inspection and estimate.