Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Some People More Than Others?

Table of Contents (click to expand)

Some people are more likely to get bitten by mosquitoes because they release more carbon dioxide, lactic acid, and heat. People with type O blood are also more likely to get bitten.

After playing football through a long afternoon, I return home tired and want to do nothing but rest. However, when I reach home, I end up playing tennis, not with anyone else, but with a swarm of mosquitoes. Literally, it’s like Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal in my house – it’s a marathon. I keep swinging my mosquito swatter at the mosquitoes, but they keep coming for me. My family loves watching this intense battle, just watching in amazement, as I am the only one being attacked by the mosquitoes. They are apparently invisible.

Why in the world are these tiny beasts after my blood, but are leaving my parents alone?kycuN

Well, as it turns out, this unfair attention is not just a figment of my imagination. Mosquitoes love the blood of some unlucky souls, while they seem totally uninterested in others.

Recommended Video for you:

If you wish to buy/license this video, please write to us at admin@scienceabc.com.

Let’s see how do mosquitoes hunt their prey.

Carbon Dioxide Emission

Mosquitoes use an organ called a maxillary palp, which contains highly sensitive chemical receptors that mosquitoes use to hunt their prey. Mosquitoes attack people who release more carbon dioxide from their body. Using their maxillary palp, mosquitoes are able to spot people who emit more carbon dioxide – even from a distance of 100 meters! Larger people tend to emit more carbon dioxide, which is the reason why pregnant women have a much greater chance of being bitten by mosquitoes.

Also Read: How Do Mosquito Repellents Work? How Do They Keep Mosquitoes From Biting Us?

Body Movement, Lactic Acid, And Heat Release

When we exercise, work out, or do any rigorous physical task, we emit lactic acid, along with a lot of heat, and mosquitoes are able to sense this lactic acid. Physical activities make our blood pump harder, which results in a lot of sweat and heat making our blood all the more delicious to mosquitoes!

mosquitoes_suck_fat_decoration-red46e967d93946f7ace62a47f655c4d9_x7s2y_8byvr_324In effect, a person who releases more heat from his or her body is at a higher risk of getting bitten by mosquitoes. This again puts pregnant women at greater risk, as they release more heat from their body as compared to others.

Also Read: Why Do Mosquitoes Circle Over Your Head When It’s Gelled?

Blood Type

Studies have shown that mosquitoes have a preference for a particular blood type. People with type O blood are more prone to mosquito bites, as compared to type B, while the least favored blood by mosquitoes is type A. It turns out that people aren’t the only ones who love universal donors’  blood (Type O) – mosquitoes do too.


Beer Intake

Studies have shown that just 12 ounces of beer makes your blood more appealing to mosquitoes. In other words, for all you drinkers out there, mosquitoes would love to have a drink with you (or rather, from you).

Color Of Your Clothes

As absurd as it sounds, it seems that mosquitoes have something resembling a fashion sense. Mosquitoes love dark colors, so if you’re wearing dark-colored clothes, mosquitoes are much more likely to land on your skin!

Some people attract friends, some seem to have animals drawn to them, but there are also those unlucky people who seem to be mosquito magnets.

What kind of person are you?

How well do you understand the article above!

Can you answer a few questions based on the article you just read?

References (click to expand)
  1. Are You a Mosquito Magnet? - WebMD. WebMD
  2. Chiggers - News Release - web.extension.illinois.edu
  3. I'm a Mosquito Magnet – Am I Normal?. The University of Utah
  4. Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Some People More Than Others?. Smithsonian
Share This Article

Suggested Reading

Was this article helpful?
Help us make this article better
Scientific discovery can be unexpected and full of chance surprises. Take your own here and learn something new and perhaps surprising!

Follow ScienceABC on Social Media:

About the Author

Ashwin Vinod has a B.Tech in Electronics and Communications from APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, Trivandrum (India). He likes to watch movies, reading fiction novels and surf the internet.