Are You a Target for Mosquitoes?
There are reasons why some people get bitten by mosquitoes more than others around them and why you might get more mosquito bites on some days than on others.
Though there are some factors that we can control to reduce our attractiveness to mosquitoes, many are factors that we cannot control. This blog will take a look at what attracts mosquitoes to people.
Please note that making changes to the factors you can control will not completely eliminate your chances of getting bitten.
There are several possible reasons as to why mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors such as black, navy blue, dark grey, and brown.
One of the reasons is that mosquitoes are attracted to dark and shady areas since direct sunlight can be harmful to them. This is why many mosquitoes don’t come out to feed until the evening.
Another potential reason why mosquitoes are attracted to dark clothing is that dark colors are easier for mosquitoes to find than light colors. Light colors such as white, yellow, beige, and tan reflect light and don’t offer as much contrast as their darker counterparts.
This makes it harder for mosquitoes to identify the shape and outline of your body – which is a similar effect as someone wearing camouflage in the woods or zebras blending together when in a herd.
The last reason why mosquitoes might be attracted to dark clothing is that dark clothing – especially during the hot months when mosquitoes are prevalent – often leads to warmer body temperature, which attracts mosquitoes.
As mentioned earlier, lighter colors reflect light rays making them a cooler option to wear in the summer. Dark colors, having the opposite effect, absorb light rays and the heat that they carry. This is why we’re often advised not to wear dark-colored clothing in the sun and in hot weather because it’s much hotter wearing dark colors than it is wearing light colors.
Human Emissions: Body Heat, Sweat, and Carbon Dioxide
There are a few emissions our bodies give off that mosquitoes use to find us, and body heat is one of them. Studies have shown that mosquitoes are not attracted to cold-blooded animals because they don’t give off the body heat mosquitoes need to find them.
Since mosquitoes are attracted to body heat, actions that make us warmer, such as exercise or wearing dark clothing, make us more of a target for mosquitoes. People who have a natural body temperature that is warmer than others also tend to draw more mosquitoes than the people around them.
Another emission humans give off that mosquitoes are drawn to is sweat. The sweat (eccrine sweat) we produce when hot or exercising gives off odors that mosquitoes can smell from a distance away. Compounds found in our sweat, such as ammonia and lactic acid, are what draws in the mosquitoes. We can’t smell them, but mosquitoes certainly can.
The last mosquito-attracting emission humans give off is carbon dioxide. Mosquitoes LOVE carbon dioxide because it is a sign of life and a sure-fire way of finding a source of blood.
We all breathe when we’re living, and when we exhale, we breathe out carbon dioxide – which is a strong scent for mosquitoes to follow. Just like the compounds in our sweat, we can’t smell carbon dioxide, but mosquitoes can!
Unfortunately, pregnant people are more likely to attract mosquitoes than those who are not pregnant. This is alarming because mosquitoes often carry diseases such as Zika, yellow-fever, and chikungunya that can be transmitted to the fetus – leading to detrimental effects.
A study conducted in Gambia showed that pregnant women were twice as attractive to mosquitoes than non-pregnant women.
The researchers in the study concluded that this is because those who are in later stages of pregnancy exhale at 21% greater volume than those who are not pregnant. As we know, exhaling attracts mosquitoes because they are drawn to carbon dioxide.
Blood Type 0
A few studies have been conducted to determine whether mosquitoes are drawn to certain blood types. They have concluded that mosquitoes are attracted to type O blood over other types of blood when given the different options. Unfortunately, there are not many guesses as to why mosquitoes prefer type O blood.
The indirect effects of drinking alcohol attract mosquitoes. A common effect of drinking is an increase in body temperature, and for some people, drinking alcohol can even lead to sweating. As we explained earlier, mosquitoes are attracted to both body heat and sweat!
Another reason mosquitoes are drawn to people who are drinking alcohol is that ethanol, the main compound in alcohol, is attractive to mosquitoes. Unfortunately, ethanol comes out when people sweat, which makes it doubly attractive for mosquitoes!
This means that if you enjoy drinking alcoholic beverages with friends and family in your yard, on your porch, or on your deck; then you’re most likely a prime target for mosquitoes!
About Simply Green’s Mosquito Control Service
We offer different outdoor mosquito control treatments to help rid your yard of these pests and keep them from coming back. Our backyard mosquito control products are safe for use around pets and children, and they work quickly to get rid of mosquitoes.
To control adult mosquitoes, our product is a synthetic version of the Pyrethrum extract found in Chrysanthemum flowers. In areas of standing water in your yard, we use Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti). Bti is a naturally occurring bacterium found in soils that specifically targets and only affects mosquito larvae. Bti interrupts the mosquito lifecycle by eliminating larvae before they mature into adults. It does not affect other insects, including honeybees. All of our EPA registered products are safe for kids and pets and do not pose a risk to your family.
If you’re looking for an easy way to keep mosquitoes out of your yard, our outdoor mosquito control treatments are a great option. Contact us today to learn more about our products and how we can help you get rid of mosquitoes for good!
About Simply Green Lawn Care
Simply Green aims to provide the highest quality lawn care, mosquito control, and lawn pest control services to Georgia residents.
We are locally owned and operated which allows us to be accessible, attentive, and responsive for customers in Georgia.
Our well-trained team is easy to work with and determined to exceed expectations.
All our plant health care specialists are Georgia Department of Agriculture Certified and maintain their Category 24 applicators license.
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