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Are mosquitoes attracted to some people more than others?

Yes. Mosquito attraction to humans is a very complex matter. Primarily mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from the breath and pores of humans. Mosquitoes are attracted to lactic acid, a by-product of human metabolism found in sweat. Mosquitoes are also attracted to fragrances, body heat, moisture, dark colors, and movement. During mosquito season it is recommended that people who wish to be less attractive to mosquitoes wear unscented products and light colored clothing. Odors produced by skin microflora also play a part in inducing the mosquito to land. Over 350 compounds have been isolated from odors produced by human skin. Either singly or in combination, many of these compounds may be attractants – and many may be repellents. Visual stimuli, such as movement, also factor into host-seeking behavior by mosquitoes. Mosquito attraction is complicated and will require many years of testing before it can be completely sorted out.

What can be safely stated, though, is that ingestion of garlic, vitamin B12 and other systemics has been proven in controlled laboratory studies to have no impact on mosquito biting. Conversely, eating bananas did not attract mosquitoes as the myth suggests, but wearing perfumes does. People drinking beer have been shown to be more attractive to mosquitoes. Limburger cheese has also been found to be attractive. Scientists have theorized that this may explain the attraction some mosquitoes find for human feet. Content Source: the American Mosquito Control Association at http://www.mosquito.org/faq#attracts.

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Clackamas County Vector Control

Clackamas County Vector Control

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