8 Surprising Reasons That Make You A Mosquito Magnet

Mosquito day

Mosquitoes are the deadliest species, causing more deaths than any other animal on Earth! An astonishing tally of almost 700 million individuals annually succumbs to mosquito-borne illnesses, leading to a devastating toll of over one million deaths[1]. Mosquitoes are carriers of some of the deadliest diseases around. These include malaria, yellow fever, zika, dengue, and elephantiasis.

World Mosquito Day, observed annually on August 20th, commemorates British physician Sir Ronald Ross who unveiled a groundbreaking revelation in 1987 that female mosquitoes are the carriers responsible for transmitting malaria among humans. He was honored with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1902, marking a milestone as the first British recipient of the Nobel Prize.

With climate change, globalization, and urbanization speeding up the spread of mosquito-borne diseases between different areas, there’s a greater urgency for people to understand the dangers and take decisive steps to protect themselves. World Mosquito Day is a day to raise awareness about the importance of mosquito-borne diseases and the efforts to control and prevent them.

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Confronting reality, mosquitoes play favorites when it comes to their feasting grounds. These pesky insects have a liking for particular blood types[2]. Our world is divided into two categories: those who emerge from outdoor adventures full of mosquito bites and those who seem to glide through the same spaces without getting bitten.

Here are 8 reasons why some people are more prone to bloodsucking bites of mosquitoes:

1. Body odor occurs as an outcome of the symbiotic relationship between the bacteria inhabiting your skin (your skin microbiota) and the compounds in your sweat. As these components undergo metabolism and transform into fragrant byproducts, some are responsible for attracting mosquitoes.

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2. Sweat: Mosquitoes can detect human sweat and get drawn to the compounds that it emits, like lactic acid and ammonia[3]. Consequently, the more your perspiration or sweat, whether due to innate tendency or recent physical activity, the more alluring you might become to these tiny bloodsucking insects.

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3. Carbon dioxide: Mosquitoes take notice of this increase in carbon dioxide and see it as a sign that a potential host is close by. The more you exhale, the more appealing you are to them. Carbon dioxide production also rises when we’re active, like during exercise.

4. Heat: Our bodies naturally generate heat; as a mosquito approaches us, it can sense heat. An intriguing study discovered mosquitoes tend to gravitate toward nearby heat sources that match their preferred temperature[4].

5. Pregnancy: Amidst the multitude of bodily transformations that occur during pregnancy, numerous studies indicate that pregnant women are more attracted to mosquitoes. This phenomenon is thought to arise because pregnant women tend to exhale more carbon dioxide, about 21% more breath volume than those who are not pregnant. Additionally, the rise in body temperature during pregnancy adds another reason for the attraction of mosquitoes[5].

6. Diet: The food you consume can impact the compounds released from your skin, which in turn bacteria metabolize into scented molecules. Your diet also affects metabolism, potentially elevating body temperature and provoking sweating. Your dietary choices influence your appeal to mosquitoes. Also, mosquitoes found individuals who had consumed beer more appealing than those who hadn’t[6].

7. Color of the Clothes: Mosquitoes have tiny eyes that can pick up specific colors and designs, allowing them to notice humans. They are particularly attracted to dark colors like black, blue, deep red, and floral patterns. This effect is strongest during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes see best. To avoid mosquitoes, consider wearing a light-colored, long-sleeve shirt outside in the early morning or evening.

8. Kids: Typically, kids get more mosquito bites than grown-ups because their skin tends to be warmer. Children frequently get mosquito bites due to various factors, including their higher metabolism and increased physical activity, making them sweat more, having blood type O, naturally carrying various types of bacteria on their skin, and often playing in areas where mosquitoes like to hide, like parks.

In light of mosquitoes’ disease-carrying potential, it’s vital to safeguard yourself when venturing into mosquito-prone regions. Employ measures to manage mosquitoes both indoors and outdoors. Install window screens, keep doors shut after sunset, use air conditioning in warmer months, apply mosquito repellents, especially to kids and eradicate stagnant water in pools, buckets, and flower pots.

Stay Safe and mosquito-free!

(The article is written by Dr.Subita Alagh, Senior Executive, and reviewed by Monalisa Deka, Senior Health Content Editor)


1. Available online from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/B9780128123652000032?via%3Dihub
2. Khan SA, Ombugadu A, Ahmad S. Host‐seeking behavior and fecundity of the female Aedes aegypti to human blood types. Pest Manag Sci. 2022;78(1):321-328. Available online: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/ps.6635
3. Raji JI, Melo N, Castillo JS, et al. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes detect acidic volatiles found in human odor using the IR8a pathway. Curr Biol. 2019;29(8):1253-1262.e7. Available from: https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822%2819%2930215-5
4. Paula F. Zermoglio, Eddy Robuchon, et al. What does heat tell a mosquito? Characterization of the orientation behavior of Aedes aegypti towards heat sources. Journal of Insect Physiology.2017; 100(9-14). Available online: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022191016303158

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