Here's why mosquitoes always want to bite you!
Don't scratch your bites!
There are two kinds of people in the world; those smug ones who ‘never get bitten by mozzies’ and those who get attacked within seconds of being outside.
When it comes down to what makes you appealing or not to mozzies, there are multiple factors at play.
Mozzies are attracted to plenty of different things
Dr Cameron Webb, clinical lecturer at the University of Sydney and Principal Hospital Scientist with the Department of Medical Entomology at NSW Health Pathology, believes you need to understand different that mozzies are attracted to different things.
He explained that it’s only the female ones that bite because they need the nutritional hit to help develop eggs.
But why they go buzzing your way starts with the carbon dioxide everyone exhales.
“As a long-range attractant, mosquitoes can smell the carbon dioxide we breathe out, and if you think about it, that’s the one common denominator between warm-blooded animals — whether it’s a bird, a cow or a kangaroo,” he told ABC news.
They love your sweat
When a mozzie gets close they will respond to the smell of the person’s skin and sweat is a big factor in the appeal.
“Research of lactic acid in sweat shows it’s a key mosquito attractant, particularly for a human-biting species,” Dr Webb explained.
Having a shower won’t magically make you less attractive to mozzies because even the bacteria on your skin can make you smell different.
There’s nothing you can do to change your smell
Unfortunately, you can’t do much about it and if the mozzies love to bite you, having a good repellent is the best thing you can do.
We’ve all heard the old wives tales about what will stop you getting eaten by mozzies, but Dr Webb said there’s no evidence this kind of thing works.
“No, not even eating garlic, or swallowing vitamin B supplements,” he said.
Top tips for beating mozzies
- Clear any pooled water around the backyard
- Keep your bins empty and clean
- Have adequate insect control that is suitable for the whole family
- Wear loose clothing.
If you’re enjoying the warmer nights and eating dinner outside, it’s worth having something a bit stronger than just a citronella candle burning in the background.
Insect sprays, especially wall-mounted, automatic systems, are one of the easiest and most effective options for combatting flies and mosquitoes.