There are two types of people: Those who rarely get bitten by mosquitoes and those who get hounded by them. It’s true that some people have it worse than others when it comes to fending off itchy mosquito bites, but what makes a person a mosquito magnet?
Learn more about what it is about you that may be attracting these blood-sucking pests in the infographic below:
Much of what attracts or repels mosquitoes has to do with how a person smells. Before you grab the soap and scrub yourself down three times a day, we’re talking about the kind of smell that is out of our control. Our genes determine the compounds in our body, including your own body odour and bodily secretions – the right combination is what could make you a lucky target for mosquitoes.
Like little thermograph machines, mosquitoes are able to detect the heat that our bodies produce, thereby making it easier for them to find areas where blood is closer to the surface. In addition, mosquitoes are also sensitive to the bacteria and scents produced when we sweat. So, if you generally run a little on the hot side, you may be attracting mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes follow our carbon dioxide output to lock onto their human targets. The more carbon dioxide you breathe out, the easier it is for mosquitoes to find you. So, if you have a higher metabolic rate, you’re overweight or pregnant, you may attract more mosquitoes.
Apart from the smell that your body naturally produces, mosquitoes can also be attracted to other chemical scents found in perfumes, lotions or colognes – especially the ones that contain alpha-hydroxy acids, which are a form of lactic acid which is one of the chemicals found in our sweat.
The more mosquitoes that are able to breed in your backyard, the higher your chances of being a target. Any source of standing or still water can serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. This includes ponds, bird baths, leaky hoses, rain gutters, open trash bins, buckets and barrels. Removing these sources of standing water can go a long way toward keeping mosquitoes at bay.