Why do mosquitoes always bite me?

Posted on: October 29, 2019, in Blog

Mosquitoes have been around since the Jurassic period making them a whopping 210 million years old!

These tiny flying critters can be found in almost every part of the world except for Antarctica, Iceland and a handful of French Polynesian micro-islands. 

There are approximately 3,500 species of mosquitoes, but only a couple of hundred feast on human blood. They might be small in stature, but they are actually the world’s deadliest killer. They carry harmful diseases such as Malaria, Zika and Dengue that causes around 1 million deaths per year! 

Mosquitos are quite thirsty feeders, being able to drink 3 times their own body weight in blood. Did you know that it is only female mosquitoes that bite and only when they need a super boost protein meal to produce eggs? Male mosquitoes live off nectar and when not laying eggs, the females also stick to this vegetarian diet.

Phew…that is good to know, but these terrors of the sky still need to feast sometime and the age old question has been…Why do some mosquitoes bite some people more than others?

Mosquitos track their victims by making use of chemical, visual and heat sensors. Have a look at the contributing factors below that make mosquitoes tend to zoom in more on some, than others.

Carbon dioxide

Mosquitoes can sense carbon dioxide from almost 50 meters away! Larger humans also produce more carbon dioxide. It then comes as no surprise that pregnant women exhale 21% more carbon dioxide than non-pregnant women.

Your blood type

Strange but true, research has found that people with Type O blood are found to be twice as attractive to mosquitoes than those with Type A blood – Type B people rank second on the mozzie menu.

Some like it hot

Mosquitoes not only have the ability to smell carbon dioxide, but also lactic acid, uric acid, ammonia and other compounds emitted in sweat. They are also attracted to humans that run higher temperatures, so couch potatoes…beware!

Bacteria on your skin

The fragrance created by microscopic organisms living on your skin can create a distinct smell that mosquitoes find irresistible. That explains why your ankles and feet, a rich source of bacteria, get targeted so often.

Colour of your clothing

Mosquitoes do not only track down their victims through smell, they also use their eyes to spot their next victim, especially in the early evening. It was found that dark colours and reds make you stand out most, especially if you are not moving around.

Your favourite brew

It is not known exactly why, but a recent study showed that mosquitoes landed more on participants that consumed beer beforehand. It might be due to the increased ethanol in your sweat or your elevated skin temperature. Maybe change to G&Ts…quinine, that gives tonic it’s distinct bitter taste, is an ingredient they use in medication that treats malaria!

There are various preventative measures you can take to avoid being bitten by a mosquito, but if you have an infestation that you cannot get under control, it is best to contact a professional to eradicate the problem.

Contact Service Master today to discuss the best solution for your mosquito problem.

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