Why Do Mosquitoes Bite?

Are you the type of person that always​seems​ to get bit by mosquitoes while outdoors? Have you ever wondered why these obnoxious pests bite in the first place? We’ve got some answers for you! For one thing, not all mosquitoes bite—only the females do. Female mosquitoes feast on unsuspecting victims because human blood contains a protein that helps mosquitoes produce eggs.

Beyond that, Mosquitoes seem to prefer certain types of blood over others. According to a study,​ mosquitoes tend to bite those with Type O blood more than those with Type A blood.

But wait… There’s more! Read on to learn more about causes of Mosquito bites:

The Ideal Mosquito Cocktail

Mosquitoes have a peculiar way of selecting their bite victims. These annoying little creatures prefer a cocktail of carbon dioxide (the air that you exhale) and sweat. Mosquitoes can detect carbon dioxide from up to 164 feet away! People with high metabolic rates produce more carbon dioxide and give off more body heat, which may also factor into the causes of mosquito bites. 

Body Heat

You might have noticed that mosquitoes are more attracted to you when you sweat. The human body produces lactic acid and heat as byproducts of energy expenditure. Studies have found that mosquitoes are attracted to these byproducts, so when you exercise, or engage in outdoor activity, such as trail-walking or hiking, each of these byproducts most likely contribute to mosquito bites. 

Beer Drinkers Beware

Mosquitoes have a strange affinity for beer drinkers. You don’t have to drink a lot to become attractive to mosquitoes. Just a 12-ounce bottle of beer is enough to send these pests into a frenzied feeding mode. This has to do with the increase in body temperature and the amount of ethanol found in your sweat after consuming alcoholic beverages. 

The Colors You Wear 

Mosquitoes are highly visual, and they use their sense of sight as their primary method of targeting bite victims. If you like wearing dark colors, then you are more likely to stand out to mosquitoes. So if you’re planning to spend some time outdoors, we suggest you wear light colored clothing to reduce mosquito attraction.

The Bacteria in Your Skin

Would you have guessed that mosquitoes are attracted to humans for more​​than just blood? Beyond the aforementioned factors, bacteria seems to also serve a role in causing mosquito bites, at least for one type of mosquito, Anopheles​.​ 

Certain species of Anopheles​​ mosquitoes are known for carrying and transmitting Plasmodium falciparum,​ the parasite that causes​malaria​. Studies show that Anopheles mosquitoes​ are particularly drawn to a combination of human sweat and bacteria. Apparently, some of the bacteria that can be found on human skin are able to produce airborne chemicals that are attractive to mosquitoes. For example, people experiencing a Staph infection, which is treatable but highly contagious and caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus,​ are​ more likely to get bitten by mosquitoes. If you have a Staph infection, we suggest you see a medical professional for treatment and stay away from areas where mosquitoes are typically found so that you can avoid getting bit. An itchy mosquito bite could lead to scratching that tears open the skin and leads to secondary infections.

Mosquitoes in Your Backyard

Mosquitoes usually come out at dusk, but they could be found during the day as well. Certain factors play into the possibility of mosquitoes populating your backyard, but there are things you can do to safeguard your home against these pests.

Mosquitoes are attracted to stagnant water! Drain standing water from gutters, fountains, and birdbaths around your home. Clean out recycling bins, and spare tires that might have collected rain water. Don’t leave your pets’ water bowls outside to sit. Keep areas clean, clutter free, and as dry as possible.

If your property has a mosquito problem that seems to be getting out of control, Signature Pest can help you control the population of mosquitoes in your area. Our highly trained professionals will inspect your home area for mosquito activity, and pinpoint the factors that may be contributing to your property’s mosquito infestation. We treat your property to exterminate current mosquito populations, and setup a treatment plant to prevent mosquitoes from re-infesting your property.