Mosquitoes are one of the most annoying types of pests and can instantly ruin any outdoor activities you have planned. They can easily get into your home through open doors or windows, leaving behind itchy, red welts as they bite you and your family members. They can also carry a variety of different diseases, which is why contacting our local pest control team at Elevate Pest Control to eliminate them from your property should be a top priority.
Unfortunately, there are some people that mosquitoes just seem to be naturally drawn to. As Utah mosquito control experts, we reveal the top five human scents that attract mosquitoes to you and makes them more likely to bite.
Human Scents That Attract Mosquitoes
There are certain people who report getting bit by mosquitoes more often than others. Regardless of their efforts or the amounts of mosquito repellant they use on their bodies, they are pretty much guaranteed to leave any outdoor event covered in swollen, red, and itchy bumps and bite marks.
If this describes you, it is not ‘all in your head’. Researchers with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have discovered that mosquitoes have receptors that help them detect human smells. It allows them to zero in on potential victims from a significant distance away and to target areas of bare skin. Among the most common scents that appeal to and attract these pests include:
- Carbon Dioxide
CO2 is a chemical gas that humans and animals naturally give off in the course of breathing. It is dispersed into the air around you when you exhale and is known to attract mosquitoes. This is particularly true with female mosquitoes, who have special nerve cells that act specifically as receptors of carbon dioxide.
- Blood Type
When mosquitoes bite, what they are actually doing is feeding on your blood. As it is an important part of their diet, their receptors help them sniff out blood in their prey. Time reports that studies have shown that mosquitoes actually prefer some blood types over others. People with blood type O give off a certain scent that may make mosquitoes more likely to target them rather than someone with blood type A or B.
- Lactic Acid
While perfumes and deodorants help to mask certain body odors, there are still human scents that mosquitoes can detect. Lactic acid is one of these. It is a chemical that is formed when your body breaks down carbohydrates to use as energy. You are likely to produce more lactic acid if you have a high metabolism, are overweight, or if you are engaged in exercise or other physical activities, making you more attractive to mosquitoes.
When you drink a beer or have a glass of wine at an outdoor event, the alcohol it contains is processed through your liver. Once it is broken down, it produces a chemical called acetic acid. Similar to vinegar, it travels throughout your bloodstream and produces your blood alcohol content (BAC) level. Mosquitoes can detect the smell of this chemical in your blood and are more likely to bite you as a result. Even if you enjoy an alcoholic beverage early in the day, the way it is metabolized and the period of time it remains in your blood could make you a more likely target for mosquito bites that evening.
- Smelly Feet
Podiatry issues are no joke. In addition to causing your feet to swell or hurt, improper footwear, old socks, or other issues can leave them with a distinctly unpleasant odor as well. The NIH warns that foot odor is one of the strongest and most distinct human scents. It can attract mosquitoes from distances away and makes them more likely to bile you than other people.
Contact Our Mosquito Control Experts
Smell is just one of the many characteristics that can make you an attractive target for mosquitoes. These pests are sensory creatures and are attracted to bright colors and certain noises as well. You could easily spend significant sums of money on over the counter or do it yourself remedies to prevent mosquito bites. However, the most effective solution is to deal with the problem at its source.
At Elevate Pest Control, our local pest control team can help identify causes of mosquitoes around your home, eliminate infestations, and prevent them from returning in the future. Contact our Utah mosquito control experts and request a free consultation today.