What Attracts Mosquitoes to Humans?

Mosquitoes have been known for many years to be carriers or hosts of several diseases that has threatened man for decades. Some of those diseases include West Nile fever, dengue, malaria and yellow fever. These diseases have continued to threaten millions of human lives in different parts of the world even today. One way in trying to control their spread is by learning how to control mosquito populations that are known carriers and hosts of the said diseases.

In order for scientists to learn how to find ways in controlling mosquitoes in disease prone areas, they need to know how these insects live and how they thrive. One of the aspects that scientists have been able to learn about is by identifying what attracts mosquitoes to humans. Mosquitoes are also quite complex insects that rely on their senses to find food for survival. Primarily, mosquitoes are said to be attracted to humans because a blood meal can provide female mosquitoes with the essential proteins needed to reproduce a new generation of mosquitoes.

With extensive studies done by many scientists over the years, they have been able to identify the different ways in which mosquitoes use to look for humans to feed on. Here are some of the attractants that scientists have known to bring mosquitoes closer to you:

Carbon Dioxide

Mosquitoes have special sensors that can attract them to carbon dioxide. All living things give off carbon dioxide and that includes humans. The difference lies in the amount and how different living things give them off. This leads to special carbon dioxide signatures that help mosquitoes identify which carbon dioxide emissions to hone in to.

Lactic Acid

Lactic Acid has also been known as a mosquito attractant. It is given off by the body during physical exertion. The more a person exerts, as during an exercise routine, the more lactic acid is released. Mosquitoes then try to sense lactic acid in their sensors to find humans. Not only that, the release of lactic acid in the body may also be affected by eating certain foods such as those with high salt or potassium content.


Mosquitoes are also attracted to body heat. Depending on the type of mosquito, the exact body temperature may attract the insects to prefer different parts of the body. There are mosquitoes that prefer the slightly cooler body temperatures emitted in the extremities.


Mosquitoes are also attracted to moisture, especially body perspiration. This is partly because of the chemicals that are contained in sweat. Mosquitoes are also attracted to moisture generally since it provides the best area for them to reproduce. That is why even puddles and small areas of standing water will readily draw mosquitoes.

Dark Colors

Mosquitoes are also said to be attracted to dark colors such as blue and black. These insects use their vision to locate their hosts from a distance. This makes dark colors the initial attractants to these flying insects. Avoiding wearing dark clothing may prove effective in trying to avoid them.

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