Why Are Mosquitoes Attracted to Some People More Than Others?

Mosquito on skin

Mosquito bites can be quite bothersome, especially during summer picnics. However, have you ever wondered why some people seem to be more prone to mosquito bites than others? It turns out that mosquitoes do have their preferences when it comes to blood types and skin bacteria. Yuck! Let’s explore the factors that make certain individuals more attractive to these pesky bloodsuckers and what you can do to protect yourself from their itchy bites.

What Makes You Attractive to Mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes swarm to specific individuals for various reasons, such as

  • Carbon Dioxide: Mosquitoes have a knack for detecting the carbon dioxide you exhale. The more you produce, the tastier you become. 
  • Body Heat: Mosquitoes have a unique ability to detect their targets by sensing body heat and infrared radiation. If you happen to radiate more body heat, you may become a prime destination for these persistent pests.
  • Blood Type: It seems mosquitoes have a refined palate, as studies hint they may prefer certain blood types. People with type O are like an all-you-can-eat buffet for these insatiable insects.
  • Skin Bacteria: Your skin is a bustling metropolis of bacteria, each producing its unique fragrance. Some odors can either attract or repel mosquitoes. You might dodge their unwelcome advances if your skin boasts the right mix of Staphylococcus bacteria.
  • Sweat and Lactic Acid: Mosquitoes have a knack for sniffing out the scent of sweat and lactic acid. Sweating releases these chemicals, drawing mosquitoes in like moths to a flame. 
  • Genetics: Hidden within your genes lies the secret of mosquito allure. Some lucky individuals possess a genetic trait that repels or beckons these buzzing pests. It is like having a secret language that determines your insect appeal.

Reliable Mosquito Control

There are several ways to reduce your chances of getting mosquito bites, including:

  • Apply insect repellent. Follow instructions and reapply.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants. Treat clothes with permethrin to repel insects.
  • Stay indoors or amp up protection.
  • Eliminate stagnant water sources like buckets, birdbaths, and flower pots. Cover or clean regularly.
  • Keep mosquitoes out with screens on doors and windows, or use nets over beds. 
  • The best way to prevent mosquitoes is with professional mosquito extermination services.

How to Treat Mosquito Bites

Here are some tips for treating the bite and relieving the itch:

  • Wash the bite area with water and soap.
  • Apply an ice pack for several minutes to reduce swelling and itching.
  • Apply baking soda and water or an over-the-counter anti-itch cream to the bite area.
  • Avoid scratching the bite, as it can cause infection or scarring.
  • See a doctor if you have signs of an allergic reaction or a mosquito-borne disease.

Contact Springer Today

Mosquito bites are equally annoying and dangerous. That is why you need Springer’s Professional Mosquito Control Services. Springer is a trusted pest control company serving Des Moines, IA, and surrounding areas since 1989. They have the experience and expertise to eliminate mosquitoes from your property using safe and effective methods.

Springer will inspect your property for signs of mosquito activity and apply treatments targeting mosquitoes at every stage of their life cycle. They will also provide tips on how to prevent future mosquito infestations and keep your property mosquito-free.

Do not let mosquitoes ruin your summer. Contact Springer Professional Home Services today for a free estimate and schedule your mosquito control service.

The Importance of Mosquito Control

Bites, itching, and annoyance are the least of our concerns. Particularly in the summer months when you enjoy the outdoors, protect yourself from harmful pests. Mosquito control is one of the important ways to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your entire community in the spring and summer. Read on to learn why.

Disease Protection

While mosquito bites are certainly annoying, their real danger lies in their ability to transmit dangerous diseases. Around the world, mosquitos provide a vector for diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, Chikungunya,

and dengue fever. In the US, they can pose a risk of encephalitis as well as West Nile and Zika virus transmission. Mosquito control can help you avoid serious health complications from illnesses such as these.

Outdoor Enjoyment

Mosquito bites can take a lot of the fun out of outdoor activities, but the annoyance and itching can do much more than spoil summer fun. Mosquito activity can also reduce productivity when laboring outdoors, threaten wild animal populations, and even hinder property values. When you practice mosquito control on your property, you’re helping not only your family but your entire community get more enjoyment from local outdoor spaces.

Pet Health

Mosquito bites can also expose your pets to heartworms and other dangerous parasites as well as potentially severe allergic reactions and infections. Dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits, birds, and other domesticated animals can become seriously ill after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

If you need help protecting family and pets from mosquitos in the Des Moines area, Springer can help. We offer assistance with controlling a range of pests including mosquitos. Springer is certified through QualityPro, a leading trade organization administered by the Foundation for Professional Pest Management. Enjoy more time in your yard this summer with the help of Springer. Contact us for more information about mosquito control.

What’s the Best Way to Treat a Mosquito Bite?

The best way to avoid the discomfort of mosquito bites is to prevent them in the first place. Unfortunately, however, you can’t always avoid this itchy annoyance. If you happen to get one—or several— mosquito bites, here are a few ways to treat them.

Don’t Scratch

When a mosquito bites you, it injects some of its salivae into your skin. The saliva contains anticoagulants and proteins, which your body recognizes as foreign substances. As a result, your immune system releases histamine and sends white blood cells to the affected area. This process is what causes a mosquito bite to itch and swell. Even though mosquito bites can be incredibly itchy, it’s important to resist the urge to scratch them. Further irritating the skin will prolong the healing process and increase the risk of infection.

Apply Anti-Itch Cream

There are plenty of over-the-counter anti-itch creams that you can use to help lessen the effects of your reaction to the mosquito bites. The most effective products will contain corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone cream. You can also take an oral anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen to help reduce your reaction while your body heals itself.

Cool It Down

Use a cold compress or an ice pack to reduce topical inflammation around the bite. The cold temperature will also temporarily numb the skin and provide short-term relief from itching. When icing the mosquito bite, don’t apply the cold source directly to your skin. Use a paper towel or rag as a buffer, and monitor how long you use the ice. Prolonged exposure to the cold temperature can damage the skin or further irritate the area around the bite.

Related Article: What to Do If a Bee Stings You

Take an Antihistamine

To counteract the effects of your body’s reaction to the mosquito bite, you can also take an over-the-counter oral antihistamine. This will minimize your reaction to the bite and help reduce the itching and swelling. If your reaction to mosquito bites is severe, you may want to take a dose of an antihistamine before you enter an area where you’re likely to be exposed to mosquitoes.

Try a Home Remedy

There are many at-home remedies that can help you cope with your body’s reaction to a mosquito bite. Try any of the following as a topical treatment:

  • Baking soda and water paste
  • Calamine lotion
  • Aloe vera
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Witch hazel

How to Prevent Mosquito Bites

While you can’t completely eliminate your chances of being bitten by mosquitoes, you can take steps to reduce your risk of exposure. Here are a few steps you can take to prevent mosquito bites:

  • Use insect repellent, particularly one including DEET or another EPA-registered active ingredient
  • Avoid peak exposure times, including the evenings in the late spring, summer, and early fall
  • Wear proper protective attire
  • Minimize standing water on your property
  • Have your property treated by a pest control professional

Don’t let mosquitoes discourage your summer plans. Take action with the help of the experts at Springer. Our team of pest control professionals can treat your property for mosquitoes and other pests. Set up your free inspection to get started!

Answers to FAQs About Mosquitoes

It’s that time of year again. Frequent flyers are out and about, and we’re not talking about your well-traveled neighbor. With summer just around the corner, you’re likely already noticing the increase in outdoor pest activity, including mosquitoes. Check out the answers to frequently asked questions about mosquitoes and prepare yourself for the busy—and buzzy—season ahead.

Can mosquitoes bite through clothes?

In many cases, yes, mosquitoes can bite through your clothes. Because mosquitoes are so small and use a tiny blood-sucking proboscis to extract their dinner, they’re often able to penetrate through the weave of textile clothing. This shouldn’t deter you from wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants where mosquitos are active, however, as these can inhibit the mosquitos and provide more time for you to swat or smack them away.

Why do mosquito bites itch?

When a female mosquito bites you, she simultaneously injects your skin with some of her own salivae. The saliva contains an anticoagulant that prevents your blood from clotting while she feeds. Your body’s immune system identifies this substance as a foreign invader and immediately goes to work. The itching and swelling often caused by a mosquito bite are a result of the histamine in your body sending white blood cells to combat the invading substance.

Does bug repellent spray expire?

If you use repellents with the active ingredient DEET, your product will never expire. DEET lasts indefinitely inside of a bottle, and it won’t lose potency over time. If you use a product containing IR3535 or other active ingredients, you will have to be cognizant of its expiration date. Products using IR3535 typically have a shelf life of three years or less.

Are mosquito bites dangerous?

In terms of the bite itself, no, it isn’t dangerous to your health—only a nuisance. What’s problematic about mosquitoes is that they can carry a number of harmful diseases, such as the Zika and West Nile viruses and the parasite that causes malaria. When you are bitten by an infected mosquito, it deposits the pathogen directly into your bloodstream, which can then cause you to become extremely ill. Mosquito-related illnesses are relatively rare in North America compared to many other places in the world, but the most effective way to prevent the possibility of contracting a mosquito-transmitted disease is through effective pest control and the use of insect repellent.

Will mosquitoes bite my pets?

Unfortunately, mosquitoes aren’t picky. They’re happy to feed on just about any mammal, including your dogs, cats, and livestock. Your furry friends are also susceptible to harmful diseases and infections transmitted by mosquitoes including heartworms and, in the case of horses, viruses that cause encephalitis. To protect your pets and other domesticated animals from mosquitoes, try to keep them inside during peak hours of exposure, such as summer nights and mornings.

Related Article: The Importance of Pet-Friendly Pest Control

Can I be bitten by mosquitoes during the day?

While mosquitoes are primarily active during twilight hours, it’s possible for you to be bitten during the day. Some species of mosquitoes are actually more active during the day, and if you live in a heavily wooded or shady area, mosquitoes are more likely to be present and active regardless of the time. Be aware of your surroundings, and use insect repellent whenever you could be exposed.

How can I reduce the number of mosquitoes in my yard?

Mosquitoes nest and thrive in damp areas. Because of this, one of the best ways to reduce the mosquito population in your lawn is to reduce or remove all standing water. By doing so, you’ll eliminate the conditions that attract mosquitoes to your yard in the first place. You can also use insect repellent products throughout your property or have your home professionally treated by a local pest control company.

Don’t let mosquitoes inhibit your outdoor plans; trust the professionals at Springer! Our team of pest control professionals can assess your property, identify any problem spots, and treat the area for unwanted pests. With the help of Springer, you can enjoy your yard no matter what season it happens to be. Contact us to begin tackling your mosquito problem.