How Mosquitoes Choose Their Victims

Nothing ruins a beautiful summer evening quite like mosquitoes. They truly have a knack for intrusion and annoyance, especially when you seem to be the only one swatting away bites while others seem unaffected. You may be wondering if you are using the wrong bug repellant. While some studies show mosquitoes can become immune to certain repellants, you may simply be more attractive and worth the bite. The harsh reality is that EVERYONE has potential to be bitten by a mosquito. However there are factors that can increase your chances of becoming a meal. Researchers are still pinpointing what makes the perfect target for mosquito bites, but here are some factors that may influence who is being bitten:

  1. Blood type: Mosquitoes bite us to harvest proteins from our blood. Strangely enough, 85% of people secrete a chemical through their skin that gives off a signal as to what blood type they have. One study found that mosquitoes landed on individuals with Type O blood nearly twice as often as those with Type A blood. Mosquitoes will be drawn to you more if you are a secretor versus a non-secretor.
  2. Carbon Dioxide: This is one of the first signals to a mosquito that a meal is nearby. They can smell the carbon dioxide from our breath through an organ called the maxillary palp. Using this organ they can detect carbon dioxide up to 164 feet away! The more you are breathing the more you attract mosquitoes.
  3. Sweat: In addition to carbon dioxide, mosquitoes are also attracted to lactic acid, uric acid, and ammonia which are found in human sweat. If you are outdoors exercising or are genetically more prone to sweating you could be attracting these bloodsuckers.
  4. Pregnancy: Unfortunately pregnant woman are extremely attractive to mosquitoes for two reasons: They are breathing more (more carbon dioxide exhaling), and their body temperature on average 1.26 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the average person. Pregnant women are also more prone to sweating.

It is important to protect yourself from mosquitoes this summer and not just to avoid an itchy bite. Mosquitoes have the potential to carry harmful diseases such as West Nile Virus, Zika, and heartworms in dogs. Black Diamond offers Preventative Mosquito Service (PMS). These 7 applications decrease mosquito populations so you can get outside and enjoy your space! Call us today to schedule your appointment 877-DEAD-BUG

 

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