January 11, 2019

Why Mosquitoes Bite Some People More Than Others

With more than 3,000 types of mosquito in the world, we humans are lucky they don’t all like to bite us and drink our delicious protein-filled blood. Most mosquitoes feed on nectar and whatever is available, but of the types that bite people, there are two nasties, Anopheles gambiae and Aedes aegypti. These both pass on deadly diseases to people.

The species Ae. aegypti is associated with the Zika virus and Dengue, and An. gambiae can pass on a parasite that causes Malaria in people. However, you might be one of the lucky people who mosquitoes find repellent. Yes, they are selective about the people from whom they draw blood. But why do the pesky and dangerous little critters bite you and not the person sitting right next to you at the cricket or a family barbecue? Scientists still search for the reasons.

Mosquitoes can pass on many diseases to people and animals through their bites.

In Victoria, these are Barmah Forest Virus, Ross River Virus, and MVEV or Murray Valley Encephalitis Virus.

Acacia Pest Control pest manager are expert professionals near you and they’re the ones to call for removal and control of your mosquito infestation.

Old Wives Tales About Mosquitoes

There’s an awful lot of conflicting information on the Internet about why mosquitoes prefer some people over others to bite. Some mosquito articles suggest that the pesky blood-suckers (or ‘mozzies’ as we call them in Australia) will find you attractive if you have a certain metabolism or blood type (some say O, some say A – my blood type is O and I rarely get bitten). Others say if you’ve been exercising, sweating, or if you’re wearing a certain colour, mosquitoes will bite you. Some even believe that eating foods containing apple cider vinegar or garlic can make you either repellent or attractive to mosquitoes. Some also say mosquitoes are attracted to you if you’re drinking beer.

However, most of these are old wives’ tales and are not proven by reputable science(1). Still, you often hear people say ‘mozzies just love me’, and others say they rarely get a bite, and they’re right because there’s something about certain people that mosquitoes love. The science to date estimate that 20 percent(2) of people are attractive to mosquitoes. The latest science suggests it could be the microbiota on our skin that mozzies can’t resist. In fact, scientists have discovered a gene in mosquitoes that leads the insect to find some people repellant and others not, but they’re yet to determine the reasons for these preferences(2).

Mosquitoes Bite

Our Microbiota Emits an Odour Mosquitoes Love

Ovulating female mosquitoes are the ones that bite, and they do that not for a ‘meal’ (they eat nectars and such) but to provide proteins for their eggs. The science says the mosquitoes home in on the carbon dioxide we exhale, and it’s thought the lactic acid and other chemicals play a part. Then the mosquitoes seem to find some people repellent or attractive according to the microbiota on the skin. All people have an abundance of non-pathogenic bacteria and fungi (microbiota) living on their skin, in hair follicles and pores, and it emits an odour that is critical in letting a mosquito know how they taste. Having skin microbiota is part of being human, and the kind we have on our skins mainly depends on what we consume and the location and environment in which we live. We are constantly causing more microbes to take up residence on our bodies, depending on what we do and what we eat.

One thing is for sure – if you have a mosquito plague or you’re tired of the bites and welts and want to protect your family’s health, call Acacia Pest Control Services for information, treatment and removal of the problem.

Acacia Pest Control can improve your quality of life. We Guarantee it!

We deal with the control, removal and management of infestations of mosquitoes,  spiders, ants, rats, and mice, in fact, we can get rid of all the different creepy crawlies and vermin around your house or business premises.

Is It People’s Genes and Odour That Mosquitoes Like?

Medical entomologist and advisor to the American Mosquito Control Association(3) Joseph Conlon says science has not really even begun to find out what causes a mosquito to find some people repellant and some not. And with over 350 compounds isolated from odours that emanate from people’s skin, it’s no wonder. Conlon suggests that even though science might conclude that it is simply about human genetics and smell, studies of twins show the reasons mosquitoes find some people repellent and others delicious are a lot more complicated. He says the latest schools of thought in science circles are that it mightn’t be about what attracts mosquitoes to a person, but what the mosquitoes find repellant. Some people could be producing chemicals on their skin that mosquitoes shy away from, and the chemicals could be covering up odours that the mosquitoes like.  The search continues as will the old wives’ tales and science.

Acacia Pest Control services near you can provide professional advice, removal, control and management of mosquito pests.  

Our professional pest manager give you peace of mind, allowing you to relax inside your house or outdoor areas without the constant threat of mosquito bites and pestilential mosquito infestations.

Mosquitoes Bite Human

Fun Facts and Myths About Mosquito Bites

Here are some more interesting facts, myths and old wives’ tales about mosquitoes and their bites:

  • Doses of Vitamin B12 won’t repel mosquitoes
  • Consuming bananas will not make you attractive to mosquitoes
  • Some mosquito types bite legs and ankles because they probably like the smelly microbiota on your feet and legs
  • Other mosquito types bite the head and neck, arms and shoulders, probably because they cue in to the carbon dioxide from your breath
  • The size of the welt left by a mosquito bite is not related to the amount of blood they draw. It is about the way your immune system reacts to the saliva left on your skin by the mosquito

To keep houses and companies mosquito-free and healthy for families, businesses and workers across a wide area,  Acacia Pest Control provides the service of professional mosquito control pest manager near you who are happy to take over the management of your problem. We cover the Bellarine Peninsula, the Geelong Area, Western District, Surfcoast, Golden Plains, and Greater Melbourne. Call us today for a quote on 1300 257 774, fax 03 5243 7199 or email info@acaciapestcontrol.com.au


  1. https://theconversation.com/why-mosquitoes-bite-some-people-more-than-others-101353
  2. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-23/queensland-scientists-why-some-people-always-bitten-by-mosquitos/10544844
  3. https://www.nbcnews.com/healthmain/why-some-people-are-mosquito-magnets-1C6437380
  4. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-do-mosquitoes-bite-some-people-more-than-others-10255934/

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