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Why do some people get bitten by mosquitoes and not others?

Last updated:
14 March, 2024
Reading time: 4 minutes

When summer arrives and mosquitoes make their presence felt, some of us seem to be constant targets for their bites, while others seem to go unnoticed. This disparity in mosquito attraction has intrigued many, and in this article, we will explore the reasons behind this phenomenon. You will discover that there are several factors that influence why mosquitoes bite some people and not others. Read on for answers to your questions!

Factors that determine the attraction of mosquitoes

Let's look at a variety of factors that can stop mosquitoes from biting you at any given time or make a particular person not attract mosquitoes.

Genetic factors:

Have you ever noticed that while mosquitoes seem to attack some people mercilessly, they leave you alone or vice versa? The answer may lie in your genes. Genetic factors play an important role in attracting mosquitoes and why some people are more likely to be bitten than others.

Among the factors that depend on genetics are:

Body odour: Mosquitoes are attracted to people's body odour, which is influenced by genes. Some people produce odours that are more attractive to mosquitoes, while others have less attractive odours. This is due to genetic variations in the chemical composition of our sweat and skin secretions.

Immune response: Our immune system also plays a role in our susceptibility to mosquito bites. Some people have a stronger immune response to the substances that mosquitoes inject into the skin during a bite, which can result in a more intense reaction. Genes can influence how our immune system responds to these substances and determine whether we are likely to have a stronger or weaker response.

Metabolism of chemical compounds: Our metabolism can influence the chemicals we produce and release through our skin. Some people metabolise certain chemicals more quickly or efficiently, which can affect their attraction to mosquitoes. For example, lactic acid, found in our sweat, is an attractant for mosquitoes, and genetic variations can influence the amount and odour of this chemical.

It is important to note that although genetic factors may influence your susceptibility to mosquito bites, they are not the only determining factor.

If you wonder why mosquitoes don't bite you as much as other people, you may have genetic variations that make you less attractive to them. However, this does not mean that you should let your guard down in terms of protection against mosquitoes. Although you are less likely to be bitten, you should still take precautions to avoid possible mosquito-borne diseases and discomfort caused by bites.

Personal factors:

These have more to do with your daily habits and routines.

Carbon dioxide: Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide (CO2) we emit when we exhale and sweat. People who exhale more CO2, such as pregnant women or people who are overweight, may be more prone to mosquito bites.

Body odour: Mosquitoes are sensitive to the odours we emanate, including lactic acid, ammonia and other chemical compounds present in our sweat and skin secretions. These can be reduced and controlled with antiperspirants and proper hygiene.

Clothing and colour: Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colours and may be attracted to certain types of clothing. Wearing light colours and loose-fitting clothing can help reduce the attraction of mosquitoes.

Physical activity: Exercise and physical activity increase heat and sweat production, which can make people more attractive to mosquitoes. In addition, breathing and increased heart rate during exercise can increase CO2 emission, which also attracts mosquitoes.

Food:

There is a popular belief that eating foods rich in vitamin B, such as garlic or bananas, can help keep mosquitoes away. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to support this claim.

Some studies have explored the effect of vitamin B on mosquito attraction, but results have been inconsistent. Some suggest that high doses of vitamin B1 (thiamine) may decrease mosquito attraction, while other studies found no significant relationship.

Environmental factors:

Mosquitoes are most active during certain times of the day, such as dawn and dusk. They are also more attracted to areas with high humidity and where bodies of standing water are present, as they need water to breed.

why some people get bitten by mosquitoes and not others

How to avoid mosquito bites:

At home:

  • Install mosquito nets on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home. You can choose to fixed mosquito nets, roller shutters or even magnetic for convenience.
  • Repair any tears or openings in existing window and door screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering.
  • Use ceiling or standing fans to keep the air moving, as mosquitoes are less likely to fly in draughts.
  • Avoid leaving doors and windows open during peak mosquito activity times, such as dawn and dusk.
  • Use mosquito nets for cots and beds to protect babies and young children while they sleep.
  • Keep your home environment clean and tidy, avoiding water stagnation in containers such as flower pots, buckets or plant saucers.

Away from home:

  • Wear long-sleeved clothing, long trousers and socks when in mosquito-prone areas.
  • Use insect repellents containing ingredients such as DEET, picaridin or oil of eucalyptus, lemon. Be sure to follow the application instructions.
  • Avoid perfumes and products with strong smells, as they can attract mosquitoes.
  • Stay in well-lit areas at night, because mosquitoes are more active in the dark.
  • Use mosquito nets in tents and outdoor sleeping areas to create a mosquito-free space.
  • Avoid contact with areas of standing water, such as puddles, ponds or wetlands, where mosquitoes tend to breed.

In short, the attraction of the mosquitoes is a complex phenomenon influenced by various factors. Genetics, the carbon dioxide we emit when we breathe, body odours, body temperature, the clothes we wear, physical activity and environmental factors all play a role in why mosquitoes bite some people and not others.

While we cannot completely control our attraction to mosquitoes, we can take steps to reduce the risk of mosquito bites. Using insect repellents, wearing protective clothing, avoiding areas with a high concentration of mosquitoes and eliminating mosquito breeding sites in our environment are actions we can take to protect ourselves.

Remember that everyone is unique and may experience different levels of attraction to mosquitoes. If you have specific concerns or need additional guidance on how to protect yourself from mosquito bites, it is always advisable to consult a medical professional for personalised recommendations.

Keep these tips in mind and enjoy a mosquito bite-free summer!

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Written by: Javier Marquez Barneto

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Online Trust is the leading quality seal for the internet in Spain. It is a distinctive seal displayed by companies that guarantee maximum transparency, security, and trust when buying and browsing their websites.
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If you need us to help you choose the product that best suits your needs, or if you have any questions, please contact us.
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Shipping 24/48h
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