What Attracts Mosquitoes To Humans
We’re coming up to the summer months now, and while that means more time in the sun and more family get-togethers, it also means the mosquitoes are coming back to say hello for an extended visit. Why is it that mosquitoes feel the need to bother us? Here are a few reasons why you’re so tempting to the little blood-suckers.
First, it all boils down to sweat. When you sweat, the mosquitoes know that you’re just a meal waiting to happen, mostly because it fans your scent in such a way as to make it rather alluring. Sweating also contributes to a number of other factors that mosquitoes just can’t get enough of, such as body heat (since you sweat when you’re hot), moisture, and lactic acid. All three of those are things mosquitoes look for normally, and you just happen to have those qualities all lined up in one place. Working out is sure to make you sweat out trace amounts of lactic acid along with making you moist and appetizing, so deciding to go for a jog during the summer months may just turn into a run through the mosquito gauntlet.
But it doesn’t stop there. Mosquitoes are also keen to pick up movement extremely well, meaning that all you have to do is exist in an active way and they’ll be ready to dive upon you. This goes hand-in-hand with exercising, which just goes to show that exercising outside may be best reserved for times when it’s rather cold as mosquitoes can’t stand cold temperatures.
When you’ve got your barbecue going, you’ll tend to talk a lot more, meaning you’ll be expelling more CO2 than normal, something that, no surprise, mosquitoes love to death. The more you talk the more you attract the nasty bugs to spend time around you, hoping to get a chance at a meal. That CO2 just acts as a target, pointing them in the right direction, something that campfires do as well, hence why mosquitoes turn up when the s’mores come out.
That whole breathing thing also creates something called octenol to form from the air you exhale and your saliva. This chemical is one that mosquitoes can detect up to 100 feet away and really love. It seems as if mosquitoes can’t get enough of humans interacting with other humans in any way.
Even stranger, mosquitoes are drawn to dark colors. You’d think they’d be in discriminate with their tastes, but nope. Wearing dark clothes paints a bull’s-eye on your body, drawing in mosquitoes left and right to see what this dark and delicious form could be.
None of these things alone will result in a mosquito’s attraction to you, but combine two, three, or even all of these together and you’ve got a surefire way to ensure you’ve got bites to scratch for days.
The release and strength of scents differ from one person to another. This causes some people to have higher chances of being bitten by mosquitoes. Also, using strong perfumes, consumption of beer, or presence of high levels of steroids or cholesterol on the skin attract these pests towards them. Based on these findings, mosquito traps are often manufactured using carbon-dioxide in the baits
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