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  • What attracts mosquitoes to people and what can be done to avoid them?
  • Mosquitoes have preferences for colors
  • Mosquitoes use odors to help them find what objects can be bitten
Mosquitoes are attracted to warmth, our breath and skin. Ekamelev/ Pexels

What attracts mosquitoes to people and what can be done to avoid them?

When it comes to warmer months, memories and activities are ruined by bugs that interfere with our calm and relaxing time outside. These pesky mosquitoes, flies, wasps, and other insects can create even more issues with our food outside or trigger allergic reactions and problems with the body or health.

We already know that food, drinks, and warmth attract insects to our homes and bodies, but other features also make them more attracted to us. Even scientists report that certain blood types and the warmth of the body determine how often you get bitten by mosquitoes[1].

We know that some people are more susceptible to bites than others, and science does not often explain this. It seems that bugs just have a preference. Now, experts state that certain colors, scents, and other things attract insects.

"If you feel like mosquitoes always target you, you're probably right," says Jeffrey Riffell, a biology professor at the University of Washington. "Some people just get bitten more than others."

J. Riffell and his team explain that male mosquitoes sip nectar from flowers for sugar, while females drink blood to lay eggs. He describes mosquitoes as "vampires" skilled at seeking out their prey by following scent cues like the chemicals we emit through our skin and the carbon dioxide we breathe out. J. Riffell emphasizes that the research has practical implications and can benefit people worldwide.

People might want to change their shirt colors to avoid mosquitoes. Sara Mazin/ Pexels
People might want to change their shirt colors to avoid mosquitoes. Sara Mazin/ Pexels

Mosquitoes have preferences for colors

Experts revealed that these insects tend to bite certain people, favoring red and black but avoiding white and green. They're clever creatures, notes the biologist, and if they find you appealing, they'll keep coming back for more.

The changing climate is creating new habitats for mosquitoes, including those that carry diseases like West Nile virus. Mosquito-borne illnesses claim many lives each year, with the mosquito being labeled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the "world's deadliest animal."

Mosquitoes are not innocent creatures. In certain parts of the world, they are just more annoying than dangerous, but there are many issues related to these insects and getting bitten by them. Mosquitoes spread diseases such as malaria, dengue, West Nile, Zika, and chikungunya, causing more deaths than any other creature on the planet[2].

Understanding what attracts mosquitoes, with males drawn to flowers and females to humans, can help researchers develop better ways to control these insects. Mosquitoes detect various sources of sugar, with fruit being a significant one. Traps designed to kill or poison mosquitoes could be more effective if they release scents that attract mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes use odors to help them find what objects can be bitten

Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide that we exhale, but these creatures are attracted to more things than we do. Mosquitoes appear to use odors to help them distinguish what is nearby like a host to bite.

J. Riffell, a biology professor at the University of Washington, said, "When they smell specific compounds, like CO2, from our breath, that scent stimulates the eyes to scan for specific colors and other visual patterns, which are associated with a potential host, and head to them."

Research revealed that certain colors attract them to us, so it is better to know what can you do to avoid them at all. Since mosquitoes are drawn to red, orange, cyan, and black colors, you might want to avoid them and rely on the ones they ignore.

These bugs tend to ignore green, purple, blue and white, so your wardrobe for the summer should include more of them when you choose to go outside and participate in certain activities that could make you sweat and attract them even more. This can help you stay under the radar[3].

Of course, there are other disadvantages like human skin that is showing up red or orange to mosquitoes. This is one of the main reasons that they are more attracted to us than other animals that also emit CO2 and radiate warmth. Even though your breath, sweat, and body temperature of skin attract them more, try to avoid getting bitten by dressing differently.