Good Question: Why Do Mosquitoes Prefer Biting Some Over Others?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Kathleen from New Market asks, “Why are mosquitoes attracted to some people and not others?” Good Question.

According to the American Mosquito Control Association, this is a serious area of research because it better helps manufacturers of mosquito repellent. Studies have shown up to 20-percent of the general population are mosquito magnets, mostly due to the scents and compounds they emit.

Carbon dioxide is the biggest factor when it comes to mosquito attraction, says Mike McLean, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District. The bugs are attracted to carbon dioxide people exhale, so the more a person breathes out, the more a mosquito knows a person is there.

Generally, larger people and pregnant women exhale more carbon dioxide. People drinking alcohol might as well.

A study out of Japan found mosquitoes prefer Type O blood the most and Type A the least.

Lactic acid, a compound people produce when they breathe or sweat, also appears to be a factor.

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