Raid

WHAT ATTRACTS MOSQUITOES & HOW THEY FIND YOU

Find out how mosquitoes find you, why they bite, what factors can make you an appetizing meal and how to help protect yourself and your loved ones from mosquitoes.

A young woman scratching her arm outside from a mosquito bite.

If it seems like mosquitoes munch on you more than others, there may be scientific reasons for that. You can help protect your family from those itchy bites and mosquito-borne diseases by learning what makes you a tasty snack and finding easy tips to help keep mosquitoes away.

Tip icon
HOW MOSQUITOES FIND YOU

Mosquitoes pick up on a variety of cues to find their victims—from the carbon dioxide you emit when you breathe to the odors you release in your sweat. They use their receptors and vision to zero in on these cues and can spot their next meal from 50 meters (approximately 164 feet) away.2

HOW MUCH YOU BREATHE

Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide that humans and animals emit with each and every breath. You can’t hold your breath to avoid getting bitten, but it’s important to note that you emit more carbon dioxide while exercising. So, if you want to avoid those itchy bites, it may help to move your workout indoors at dawn, dusk and in the early evening when mosquitoes are most active.

WHERE YOU HANG OUT

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water and like to rest in shady spots and areas with low air flow, like in bushes and tall grasses. So, if you’re spending a lot of time in areas where mosquitoes like to hang out, you might get more than your share of bites.

Tip icon
WHY DO MOSQUITOES BITE?

Only female mosquitoes bite because they need blood in order to develop and nourish their eggs.

WHAT BLOOD TYPE YOU HAVE

Since these tiny pests feast on blood, it makes sense that researchers would want to find out what blood type mosquitoes like or if they have a preference at all. One small study of 64 subjects conducted by the Institute of Pest Control Technology found that Aedes albopictus mosquitoes landed on people with type O blood almost twice as often as those with type A.2 While your blood type may play a small role in mosquito biting preference, according to this study, you can’t change your blood type to avoid these pests. So, it’s best to learn easy tips and tricks to help How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes keep mosquitoes away from your family and home in the first place.

HOW MUCH YOU MOVE

Movement makes you stand out from your surroundings and may make it easier for mosquitoes to identify you. In addition, physical exertion makes your body release more carbon dioxide—making you more attractive to these tiny vampires.

WHAT YOU DRINK

Multiple studies have demonstrated that beer consumption can make humans more attractive to mosquitoes. One small study of 43 volunteers funded by the French National Research Agency showed that mosquitoes landed on people significantly more after drinking a beer. So, you might want to think twice before chugging a cold one if you want to avoid getting bit.3,4

HOW MUCH YOU SWEAT

Mosquitoes are attracted to the smell of lactic acid, uric acid, ammonia and other substances your body releases when you sweat—all of which affect your body odor and can make you a more appetizing snack for mosquitoes.5

WHAT YOU WEAR

Mosquitoes use visual cues to find potential meals. That’s why they may be more likely to bite people wearing contrasting colors that are easier for them to see. Showing lots of exposed skin can also make it easier for these blood suckers to find their next snack. To help make yourself less attractive to mosquitoes, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and closed-toed shoes. Also, it’s best to wear loose-fitting clothes because mosquitoes can bite through tight-fitting fabrics.

GET MORE MOSQUITO PROTECTION TIPS

Now that you know what attracts mosquitoes, it’s time to learn how to protect your family from these annoying pests. First, find out how to help get rid of mosquitoes in and around your home. Then, get simple tips for how to treat mosquito bites.