Why do mosquitoes bite some people and not others?

Jun 19, 2022 | Articles, Health, Medicine

Science has found out that there 175 known species of mosquitoes in the United States of America only. Go through the world, and that number multiples. And it is not like mosquitoes are going anywhere, they have been on Earth almost as long as humans, with records showing they have been around for more than 170 million years. So, with mosquitoes all around you, the question is how you can get away from these pesky summer pests.

The question is there something that you do that attracts mosquitoes? The short answer is yes, and they actually prefer some people over others. You’ve probably noticed that some of your friends are completely mosquito-free, while you are healing your wounds from bites.

The statistics show that one in ten people is attractive to mosquitoes, so pray that you are not the one. There hasn’t been a clear research that precisely pinpoints the reason why mosquitoes consider someone an ideal candidate for trying his flesh. One thing is certain, genetics plays a role in 85% of the cases, and there are other factors such as metabolism, shirt color, blood type, exercise, and even drinking beer that can increase your risk for a mosquito bite. Let’s take a look through all the factors that can make you more attractive, and see how you can prevent yourself.

Blood Type

As mentioned, genetics play a huge role in attracting mosquitoes. And our blood type is just as important, especially if you factor in the fact that the primary reason mosquitoes bite us is to harvest protein. Some blood types are just more appetizing than others due to the fact they have more protein. Just for info, type O blood type is considered the meaty blood type. And you know that meat = protein. Scientists have managed to isolate this factor, and found out that people that are O blood type are twice more susceptible to mosquito bites than people with blood type A. In the middle of it all are people with blood type B.

Another factor is that our genes secret chemical signals that attract mosquitos. Those people produce the secrete through their skin. The other 15%, do not produce this particular secrete. That being said, those 15% are happy to be mosquito-free. There is nothing you can do to change or prevent this factor, unless you decide to eat less meat and protein, which is bad for your health.

Carbon Dioxide

Think this for a second: mosquitoes can sense carbon dioxide when they are more than 160 feet away from their target. Using carbon dioxide, mosquitoes locate and track their targets. Who does exhale more carbon dioxide? Usually people that are larger and heavier, as they exhale more of the gas due to heavy breathing. This factor actually helps children, as they are less likely to be bitten by a mosquito, than an adult for example.

Let’s clarify the “mosquitoes buzzing around your head” mystery. As you know, we exhale carbon dioxide through our nose and our mouth, and that is why mosquitoes gather around our face.


We have to exercise to keep ourselves fit and physically and mentally healthy. But the downside of exercising is that we are making ourselves more attractive and appealing to mosquitoes. And not in that “he/she is hot” kind a way. When we exercise, we produce lactic acid, ammonia, and uric acid through our sweat. All these substances are appealing to mosquitoes.

That being said, the one thing you can do prevent mosquito bites is to schedule your exercise and workout regimes on the open during the day. If you are working out during the night, you are asking for trouble. The smallest sign of light will attract mosquitoes to your place, and then your sweat will make you a delight.

Skin Bacteria

This is another factor that you cannot influence or prevent. Simply put, some people have more bacteria living on their skin, while others do not. And it is not just about the quantity of bacteria, it is also about the quality. As in, not all bacteria types are appealing to mosquitoes. Some are, and some are not. A study in 2011 also found out that if bacteria on our skin are more diverse, as in different types, mosquitoes are less likely to bite us.

This might also be the explanation why our feet and ankles are more appealing to mosquitoes. Feet and ankles are great breeding grounds for bacteria, and they naturally have more bacteria colonies.


You might think it is absurd, but the color of the clothes you wear affect whether mosquitoes will bite you or not. Mosquitoes, same as humans, are visual creatures. They use their vision, as much as they use their scent to locate and target humans. That being said, dark colors like black, red and dark blue easily stand out and they are easier to spot by mosquitoes. On the other side, wearing white colors is also not good, as mosquitoes are attracted by light, and white shirts looks like light to them.


There are multiple reasons why pregnant women should not be out for long periods of time. Mosquitoes are one of those reasons. Several studies have shown that pregnant women are twice as likely to attract mosquitoes compared to non-pregnant women. There is a simple explanation, and that is that pregnant women are warmer than others, and they exhale more carbon dioxide, as in 21% more. Combine those two factors, and pregnant women are extremely easy to locate for mosquitoes.


There are two factors that are connected with drinking beer and mosquitoes. Those are body temperature and the amount of ethanol excreted in sweat. Drinking beer increases both these risk factors. However, no study has shown that there is a precise reason why beer drinkers are more appealing to mosquitoes. Just try to avoid drinking beer in the summer.

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Thomas B.