The United States is home to around 200 species of mosquitoes, all of which seem to head straight for a certain portion of the population during the warm summer months when people tend to want to spend as much time as possible outside. There are some theories as to why mosquitoes bite some people more than others.
Female mosquitoes are the ones that need human blood in order to successfully produce their eggs.
Bacteria Attracts Mosquitoes
Certain microbes that occur on the human skin are common among people. The remainder of the one trillion microbes are different from person to person. Certain groupings of those microbes are more appealing to a mosquito than others, causing the people with that grouping to be the ones to get bitten by mosquitoes more often.
Heat and Chemical Compounds Draw in the Insects as Well
There are certain chemical compounds that draw in mosquitoes as well; those include almost 227 varieties of compounds that were found to attract mosquitoes during a study completed in 2000. Lactic acid, ammonia and octenol, which is present in human sweat and breath, were all on the list of attractions for mosquitoes.
Likewise, heat is a big draw and so is movement for mosquitoes. Those who happen to be exercising outside and lose their breath will be even more desirable to the female mosquito, so be warned if you are an avid runner or bicyclist.
Sweat is Not a Draw, the Chemical Changes from Sweat Are
Scientists have studied the apparent draw of a sweaty human for a mosquito and found that older sweat is what draws in the mosquito, as it contains bacteria that has multiplied and shifted from acidic to alkaline. Foot odor is also a big draw for mosquitoes carrying malaria. They may even attack dirty socks if left somewhere after being worn for a few days in a row.
There is good news, however, and that is that certain compounds the body excretes actually can make you invisible to mosquitoes. Those include 1-methylpiperzine, which is something scientists are attempting to replicate in order to use them for insect sprays.
Avoid DEET at all costs when it comes to attempting to avoid mosquitoes. DEET is dangerous to young children, as it can cause neurological changes like memory loss, impaired brain function, tremors, headaches, seizures and more.
For those not aware, permethrin is also a chemical found in insect sprays that should be avoided. This chemical is a known neurotoxin as well. It is also considered carcinogenic and has been linked to issues with the immune system and behavior issues in children who had the product used on them. This particular chemical is also not friendly to the environment, presenting a danger to bees, cats and aquatic life. It also is known to be used in dogs-only flea medication, as it can be helpful to topically treat against fleas. For this reason, avoid those flea treatments as well and never use something recommended only for dogs on your feline.