Carbon Dioxide: Mosquitoes are primarily attracted by the carbon dioxide we exhale with every breath. Mosquitoes can detect CO2 from 150 feet away and use their receptors when close by to pick up on heat, sweat, and body odor to distinguish their preferred target.
Although both humans and animals emit CO2, many mosquitoes (including the Aedes aegypti, which carry diseases like Zika, dengue and yellow fever and found in much of the US) strongly prefer human odor over animals.
Levels of CO2 also fluctuate per person and cause some people to get bitten more than others;
- Pregnant: The combination of higher body temperatures and exhaling more CO2 makes pregnant women more attractive to mosquitoes. Seriously, as if pregnant women didn’t have enough to deal with already!
- Children vs Adults: Luckily for our wee-ones, adults emit more CO2 then children and thus are often more preferred
- Exercising: Heavier breathing from exercise produces more CO2 and combined with higher body temperatures and sweat makes people exercising a disproportionate target.
Lactic Acid: Our body naturally makes lactic acid when you exercise and secretes this via your skin. Mosquitoes are attracted to this smell on our skin. Eating salty foods just exacerbates this. Showering with soap and water after exercise will help break this down. However, be mindful and check your labels as lactic acid is also found in many skin creams and cleansers.
Perfume and Scents: Trying to disguise body odor we know mosquitoes love? Scents from perfumes and soaps attract mosquitoes, especially fruit and flower scents. Try using unscented soaps during the summer months.
Alcohol: The science isn’t exactly out on why, but the increase in ethanol in your breath and an increase in body temperature when drinking is likely why mosquitoes prefer you when you are more buzzed.
Wearing Dark Colors (Green, Black, Red, Navy): This again is likely due to the simple science that dark colors retain more heat than lighter sun reflecting colors.
Grass clippings: Tall grass provides shelter from wind, shade and retains more dampness allowing mosquitoes to thrive. However, just mowing isn’t enough. It’s important to remove grass clippings (or any piles of leaves and debris for that matter) that could attract mosquitoes and create a breeding ground.
No matter what attracts mosquitoes, there are a myriad of ways to repel them. Millions of customers already rely on Thermacell’s zone repellent technology to repel mosquitoes and eliminate the need for messy lotions or sprays, so you and your family are free to enjoy the outdoors, without worrying about mosquitoes or the harm they may cause.
Unless of course you want to leave it all up to nature! Browse Thermacell Repellers
Categories: Questions & Answers