Why Mosquitoes Love Some People More Than Others

<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=62284501&src=id">Natursports</a>/Shutterstock


The Wall Street Journal asks an expert why some people get attacked by mosquitoes more than others:

Mosquitoes find their mammalian prey through sensing the heat and carbon dioxide mammals emit…Mosquitoes are also guided by their sense of smell…”Mosquitoes are attracted to our human odor, and that is largely a consequence of the bacteria on our skin,” says Dr. Zwiebel. The “flora and fauna on our skin” also smell appetizing to mosquitoes, says Dr. Zweibel, and these can increase when we sweat or spend a lot of time outdoors.

I never realized that mosquitoes played favorites until a few years ago, when I was at a spring conference on St. Simons Island in Georgia where I and my fellow progressives plotted how to take over the banking system. (After some false starts, it eventually inspired me to write this piece.) One evening I was sitting next to Mark Schmitt and noticed that he looked like he had the measles or something. I had a few mosquito bites myself, but he must have had a hundred or so. He told me that mosquitoes had always found him very attractive. I guess he just has the wrong flora and fauna.

Apparently there’s no good answer if you’re one of the unlucky few. In the meantime, use DEET.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate