There are some people who can enjoy the great outdoors all day and not fall victim to any mosquito bites. And then there are some people who can be outside for 30 minutes covered in repellent and still end up with itchy, red bites. This can make us ask why do mosquitoes bite? Or, what attracts mosquitoes to me? Keep reading to find out.

girl itching mosquito bites

Why do mosquitoes bite?

Only female mosquitoes are capable of biting. The reason behind this is that female mosquitoes require blood to reproduce. When a female mosquito bites, it feeds on the blood because the protein in the blood helps produce and develop eggs. This blood meal is essential for the eggs to mature and ultimately be laid.

Why do mosquitoes bite some people more than others?

Mosquitoes can detect potential hosts through a combination of visual, smell-related, and thermal cues. Your body odor and the chemicals in your blood attract mosquitoes to you, making you more susceptible to mosquito bites.

Mosquitoes bite some people more than others because of several factors, including the amount of carbon dioxide a person exhales, body temperature, blood type, and body odor compounds. Mosquitoes are particularly attracted to individuals who exhale more carbon dioxide or have higher body temperatures. Certain blood types and body odor compounds can also make some people more appealing to mosquitoes than others.

mosquito on a hand sucking blood

Why do mosquitoes bite ankles?

Mosquitoes are known to target specific areas of the body for various reasons. One of the most commonly targeted areas for mosquito bites is the ankles, which are easily accessible when you are outdoors and wearing clothing that leaves them exposed. Mosquitoes are attracted to the warmth and proximity to the blood vessels that the ankles provide.

Besides ankles, mosquitoes frequently target other exposed areas such as arms, hands, neck, face, back, and shoulders. These areas release heat and carbon dioxide and emit scents and odors that mosquitoes find appealing, providing ample opportunities to access blood vessels and obtain a successful blood meal to develop their eggs.

What can I do to avoid mosquitoes?

Now that you understand why mosquitoes bite you, how do you prevent them? There are many DIY methods you can use to help prevent mosquito bites, especially:

  1. Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, and socks.
  2. Use mosquito repellent as directed on exposed skin.
  3. Avoid being outside during peak mosquito activity times, such as dawn and dusk.
  4. Keep windows and doors closed or screened to prevent entry of mosquitoes.
  5. Eliminate standing water around your home where mosquitoes can breed.

Although these methods can provide short-term protection, professional mosquito control is the way to go for a more long-term solution. At Terminix, we have a team of expert technicians who are well-versed in what attracts mosquitoes, their behavior, and breeding patterns. Our technicians will work with you to identify the underlying causes of your mosquito problem and create a plan tailored to your property’s needs.