How many times have you been relaxing, hanging out with your kids, and enjoying the great outdoors when your fun was interrupted by the uncontrollable itch from a mosquito bite?
Mosquitoes will bite when you least expect it—and at the worst time possible.
Mosquitos reside on every continent except Antarctica, plaguing people from the United States to Japan and everywhere in between. So, how can parents keep mosquitoes at bay?
We have to learn what attracts mosquitoes and how to repel them to best protect ourselves and our families.
Thankfully, science has the answers. Whether it’s open-sitting water, the color of your clothing, or your blood type, there are certain traits that can make you seem like a mosquito’s favorite treat from dawn to dusk.
What Really Attracts Mosquitoes?
Before we figure out how to keep mosquitos away, we need to know how they find us.
Mosquitoes use their sense of smell to seek out their victims, and smelly things tend to attract mosquitoes’ attention.
Some of mosquitoes’ favorite smells include:
- Body Odor
- Floral Scented Perfumes and Lotions
- Carbon Dioxide
There are many ways to keep mosquitoes, wasps, gnats, fruit flies, and other bugs away from our backyards and patios, whether you're dealing with smaller spaces or an acre.
You can try to trap them with fancy devices or repel them with your favorite ultraviolet light lantern as much as you like, but sometimes it seems like there's nothing we can do to keep them away. Think of all the fans, UV lights, bug zappers with a mosquito attractant cartridge, and electric coils we have tried with varying degrees of success.
We try to add on more things to scare them off without thinking about what’s drawing them in. No matter how strong your light bulb is, that usually doesn’t work very well.
Mosquitoes are one of society’s many minor menaces. But knowing what draws them in gives you the knowledge to repel them accurately.
In addition to smells, mosquitoes can find you through body temperature, pregnancy, blood type, and more.
Let’s get into each of these mosquito homing devices in a little more detail.
Your body temperature is a giant, waving flag to mosquitos. However, they can only sense warmer body temperatures at close range.
If you have a warm body temperature and get within a few square feet, mosquitoes will fly straight to you.
This warmer body temperature usually comes hand in hand with exercise—like the fun family hikes you love. Thankfully, there are effective repellents that can help mask your natural scent.
Being pregnant means you are almost twice as likely to be bitten by a mosquito. Pregnant women breathe faster and more frequently, which leads to a higher body temperature. As we know, the hotter you are, the more mosquito bites you’ll endure.
Blood type can also drive mosquitoes wild.
Along with being the most universal blood type, O blood is the most delicious to mosquitoes. Type B blood comes in second, and Type A blood comes in third.
Congrats, AB blood-havers—your blood is the least attractive to these annoying pests.
The difference comes down to your blood type’s amount of antigens, which differ from type to type. O blood is the only blood type devoid of antigen entirely, which is why mosquitoes love it the most.
The clothing you wear can also attract mosquitoes. Floral clothes and dark colors such as navy, black, and red are more easily seen by the mosquitoes' weak eyesight.
Also, keep in mind that mosquitoes can bite through tight clothing—even denim! Rather than just wearing long sleeves and pants, your family is better off wearing loose clothing to protect themselves.
Common hotspots for mosquito bites are ankles and feet, where certain types of bacteria tend to colonize.
Thankfully, bacteria can also help the cause. A wider variety of bacteria spread across your body can actually deter mosquitoes. Don’t let your kids convince you this means skipping bathtime is the way to go—body odor is a major smell that draws in mosquitoes to a food source.
Why Do Some People Get Bitten By Mosquitoes More Than Others?
Some days, it feels like you are the mosquitoes’ prime target. There are a few factors that have been found to be the most appetizing to mosquitoes.
Other common components that draw mosquitoes’ attention include carbon dioxide, metabolism, and drinking beer or alcoholic beverages. There are also other factors that can increase your chances of getting bitten, but the reasons above are the most common culprits.
Of course, you’re not going to stop exercising, avoid pregnancy, or change your blood type to get rid of mosquitoes for good—nor should you want to! However, simple changes like wearing muted colors on your family hikes, avoiding perfumes that attract these itch machines, or choosing lotions that mask your natural scent can help your family avoid these nasty bites.
If you use the right repellents and have the right anti-itch supplies, then you have nothing to fear. But what repellents can really get the job done?
How To Keep Those Pesky Mosquitoes Away
There are tons of products claiming they can keep away mosquitoes and other unwanted bugs. When thinking of bug repellent, most people immediately picture some DEET-filled aerosol spray that relies on dangerous and harmful chemicals to keep mosquitos away.
Unfortunately, few well-tested bug repellents are free from DEET or the other harsh chemicals used in its place like Picaridin. Many people feel uncomfortable covering their kids with chemicals. Thankfully, there are other safer alternatives.
BuzzPatch from The Natural Patch Co. is chemical-free and uses essential oils instead of dangerous chemicals. Not only that, but BuzzPatch is a sticker! No more waiting for the repellent to dry, and no more worries about your kids wiping it into their eyes, mouth, or other sensitive areas.
When comparing BuzzPatch, DEET, and Picaridin, only BuzzPatch is chemical-free, leaning on natural solutions used long before the creation of chemical bug repellents.
What Do You Do If You’ve Already Been Bitten?
There are many bug bite relief products on the shelves. However, like bug repellents, they rely heavily on dangerous chemicals, and the efficacy of these products varies. There’s one solution that is totally chemical-free: MagicPatch.
MagicPatch is a simple sticker with a grid-like pattern that relieves itching from a mosquito bite. The patch lasts up to seven days and is perfectly safe to stick anywhere, including faces, legs, necks, arms, and ankles. MagicPatch is even waterproof, so the summer family fun doesn’t have to stop due to an annoying mosquito bite.
MagicPatch works by targeting and eliminating itching at the source. Mosquito bites itch because mosquitoes replace your blood with their saliva through their bite. Mosquito saliva contains specific proteins that create minor allergic reactions in humans.
That saliva is also what brings all the diseases you hear about mosquitoes spreading, like the West Nile virus, malaria, or the Zika virus. MagicPatch’s grid-like sticker helps your body adjust to the saliva and lets the fluid drain. This process relieves the itchiness left by mosquito bites and any other nastiness they decide to share.
It's better than any mosquito zapper, quiet fan, or special gadgets and attachments on the market. Best of all, it's not dependent on any cord, battery life, or electrical grid, so it goes where you do.
A Light at the End of the Tunnel
Mosquitoes are mainly attracted to strong smells. If you want to stop bug bites in their tracks, avoid floral-smelling perfumes and lotion, alcohol, and brightly colored clothing. Be aware that your body temperature, genetics, and blood type can also draw them in, leaving an itchy bite in their wake.
Mosquitoes can ruin a family outing in a heartbeat. Be sure to come prepared with BuzzPatches to protect yourself from their bites. If you do get bit, keep MagicPatches close by to save the day.
Lastly, keep in mind that mosquito bites can carry diseases, but MagicPatches can help counteract mosquito saliva’s negative effects. You can never be too prepared, especially while protecting your family’s health.
What Attracts Mosquitoes to Certain People? | Intermountain Healthcare
Mosquito Blood Type: Do Some Blood Types Get Bitten More? | Healthline