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8 Things That Attract Mosquitoes

May 25, 2016, by Ken Jorgustin


Whether out in the woods, camping, hiking, or at home in the backyard, mosquitoes are not equal opportunity biters. Some people seem to be constantly bit by mosquitoes while others not so much.

With the health risks that can result from a mosquito bite, it may help to know the following things that attract mosquitoes:



Avoid these things:
Dark Colors attract mosquitoes. Mosquitoes can see and use their vision to locate targets from a distance. Most of their day-to-day targets will be found in the shade or within foliage, so they are naturally attracted to dark colors. This means that they will be more attracted to people wearing dark clothing than people wearing light clothing.

Fragrances are known to attract mosquitoes. Avoid perfume, cologne, perfumed shampoos, hand creams, soaps, fabric softeners, detergent, etc. Switch to as many unscented products as you can during the summer to avoid the mosquito bite.

Movement will attract mosquitoes. They can see their victims from within 30 feet by locating the changes in waves of light around them, caused by moving objects.

Sweat will attract mosquitoes because they need water to reproduce, and they are naturally attracted to areas with higher humidity levels. This includes people who are sweating. Perspiration will also dilute any mosquito repellents that you might have applied; making you more attractive to mosquitoes.

Carbon Dioxide (from your exhaled breath) will attract mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are attracted by areas that are higher in carbon dioxide (living-breathing animals, humans).

Body Heat from circulating blood in animals and humans will attract mosquitoes which have sophisticated heat sensors. They follow body heat and exhaled gases and fly to their target.

Lactic Acid is produced by our bodies after we exercise or after we eat certain types of food that are high in salt or potassium. Someone who is sitting outside eating pretzels and a banana will attract more mosquitoes than someone who is sitting outside eating watermelon.

Exercising causes your body to do three things that will make it attract mosquitoes. You are breathing harder, meaning you are exhaling more carbon dioxide; you are sweating, which increases the humidity around your body; and you are releasing more lactic acid. You might as well be wearing a neon sign asking all mosquitoes to bite you.

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3M – Ultrathon Insect Repellent w/DEET

Related article: Mosquito Control.

What are your own experiences, advice, or ‘what works’?