Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Me So Much

Why do mosquitoes bite me so much?I was at a party the other night and witnessed a conversation that bordered on argument. The argument didn’t cover favorite sports teams or politics even. The argument conversation was all about who got bit more by mosquitoes.

Perhaps you have heard these conversations, “I am a pin cushion” “I can’t go outside without getting bit”. It almost becomes a badge of honor saying ‘my blood is more valuable than yours’.

But is there any truth to statements that some people get bit more than others by mosquitoes? Maybe you are the one that gets bit so much that you hate going outdoors.

So, why do mosquitoes bite me so much?

The folks at Mental Floss share some reasons why someone might be bitten by mosquitoes more than others.


It’s true, mosquitoes have discerning fashion taste. Or at least, they’re more likely to spot you as a target if you stand out from your environment. Dark colors, especially, will attract more of the insect.


Similarly, the more you move, the easier you are to identify as a living, breathing, vessel full of delicious blood.


Visual clues allow the mosquito to locate you from relatively far away, but as she approaches, it’s your body heat that draws her in. This puts pregnant women, who average about 1.26 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than others, at a particular risk — a fact which has been substantiated by a number of studies.


This is another reason pregnant women are at a disadvantage. Mosquitoes can detect carbon dioxide using a special organ called a maxillary palp from as far as 164 feet away. Since everyone emits CO2 simply by exhaling, it comes down to relative amounts. Unfortunately for mothers-to-be, pregnancy causes women to emit 21 percent more CO2. This is also why kids are often safe from bites, when bigger, more CO2-emitting adults are around.


On the flip side, pregnant women are (presumably) avoiding another mosquito attractor: alcohol. Although it’s unclear how mosquitoes go about detecting the presence of ethanol, studies show that drinking even just 12 ounces of beer will significantly increase the attention you receive from the pests.


Up to 85 percent of your susceptibility to mosquito bites has nothing to do with what you’re drinking or wearing — it’s just genetic. Specifically, the composition of your skin bacteria — the kind that naturally and healthily exists there — can serve as an attractor. As can the levels of lactic acid, uric acid, ammonia, and other substances present in your sweat.


Another factor you can’t control? Your blood type. And it stands to reason that, if the mosquito is there to suck your blood, she cares what kind she’s getting. People with blood type O are more prone to mosquito bites than those with type B, with type A folks bringing up the rear.


Some interesting facts about the mosquito bite that you may not know is that only the female mosquito will bite you. The reason they are the only ones biting you is because they are not using your blood for food. Blood has a certain protein that they need in order to breed and grow eggs. So if you want to be the annoying expert at the next party, when someone says “Mosquitoes like to feed on me.” you can correct their science by informing them that mosquitoes are in-fact, not feeding on you at all.

How to Prevent Mosquitoes at Home

West Nile Virus | Johnson Pest ControlIt is that time of year again, mosquito season is upon us and in full biting force. In East Tennessee you can find some 49 different mosquito species. Many species are relatively harmless, but some of them  do have the ability to transmit diseases. There are roughly 17 species cause the most problems for humans.

Mosquitoes can spread West Nile Virus, Encephalitis, several other diseases, most recently diagnosed in Tennessee is ‘chickungunya’. Mosquitoes can also bite and affect animals, transmitting things like heartworm in dogs or eastern equine encephalitis in horses.

Protecting your home from mosquitoes is a best practice to protect your family from bites and potential diseases.

Prevention is Proactive

Get rid of the water. Mosquitoes use standing water to breed and create more blood sucking pests. If you can do regular assessments of your home and property to get rid of any standing water (dog bowls, drainage pooling, trash cans (lids), buckets, gutters, kids toys, etc. Getting rid of the breeding grounds will go a long way in ridding your yard of mosquitoes. Talking to your neighbors about doing similar will help your home as  well. Mosquitoes do not know to stay out of your yard if they were born in someone else’s yard. It’s a mutual benefit for everyone to keep standing water at bay in your yards.

If you have a pond or pooling area that is not going to go away any time soon, or lingers around after a rain, then utilize a larvicide to kill off any mosquito activity.

Building some garden areas around the house using some mosquito preventative plants will help to dissuade the blood suckers from making your house their home.

  • Citronella: Yes, you can buy the citronella candle at the store, but did you know that it is a plant you can grow. There are few different types of plants, leafy and grass, to try out. But putting in a bunch of citronella plants will help start your mosquito free garden zone.
  • Rosemary: Thinking of starting an herb garden? Put a bunch of rosemary into that plan. Rosemary has a number of methods to keep out the mosquitoes. Grow the plant and you can also put the leaves on the grill to create an aromatic smoke to fend off mosquitoes in the area.
  • Catnip: Plant some catnip around the deck or patio for some added protection. You can get hundreds of seeds for next to nothing and put catnip plants around the house.
  • Geraniums: Looking for some color to this mosquito free zone? Geraniums can bring in the color in hanging baskets or ground planters. You can find all types of colors to match this organic mosquito repellent.
  • Basil, Lavender, Lemon grass, Mint are also helpful organic mosquito repellents

Invite some bats. Yes, this might seem a bit freaky, but mosquitoes will make up a large portion of a bat’s diet. If you put a ‘bat house’ (think birdhouse, but for bats) on the perimeter of your property then a few bats will eat a few thousand insects (mosquitoes included) in the course of a night.

Be Prepared

Do not forget to use insect repellents containing DEET when going outside. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when you are outside working or lounging around is a good idea. This way you are not a standing target for mosquitoes to feed on. Avoiding wearing perfumes, lotions, or hair spray while outside many of those scents will actually attracts mosquitoes.

Fix It

This might seem common sense, but keep mosquitoes outside of the house. When checking your house for standing water take a few more moments to check your window and door screens for any holes. Even the smallest hole can give access to your home for a mosquito. Screen patches do not cost a lot of money and are easily applied.

Keep Informed

Our local government agencies will routinely spray for mosquitoes. In particular they will spray in areas where mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile Virus. For more information on these practices or current concerns you can contact TVA’s Mosquito Management Team at 1-800-288-2483 or the local health department.

Get Treatment

If you have tried and tried and still have concerns over the mosquito population in your home then feel free to give us a call. We will do a thorough inspection and apply a residual mosquito treatment to ward off those adult biting mosquitoes