TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What Makes Certain People More Attractive to Mosquitos?

Summer is around the corner, and along with it, the threat of mosquito bites.

What makes certain people more attractive to mosquitos?


According to several Internet sources, mosquitos are attracted to larger people because of their greater relative heat or carbon dioxide. For example, researchers found mosquitos may prefer men over women, in general, adults over children and pregnant women over non-pregnant women.


Researchers also found that lactic and uric acids attract more mosquitos. So, if someone is exercising outdoors, there body is producing more lactic acid and heat, and they are exhaling more, thereby expelling more carbon dioxide.


People with high concentrations of steroids or cholesterol on their skin surface attract mosquitoes, one doctor says. That doesn’t necessarily mean that mosquitoes prey on people with higher overall levels of cholesterol, he explains. These people simply may be more efficient at processing cholesterol, the byproducts of which remain on the skin’s surface.


Scientists have found that genetics account for 85% of our susceptibility to mosquito bites. And, mosquitos can smell the body chemicals that attract them from up to 50 meters, by one account.
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