Why mosquitoes prefer some people more than others


(WYMT) - There are 176 different species of mosquitoes in the United States, and their bites can be a big problem, sometimes causing death. Officials say mosquitoes prefer certain people over others.

Most people say they hate them.

"They're really annoying. They tend to terrorize my child. She still has scars from last year from being bit by them," said Allison Noble, who lives in Hazard.

"Disease. Blood sucking disease," said Brett Smith of Jackson.

But some people might not know who mosquitoes are most attracted to. Officials with the American Mosquito Control Association say people with a high body temperature and who produce large amounts of carbon dioxide, like from activities like working out, are at the greatest risk for a bite. This comes as a surprise to some.

"No I had no idea," said Patton Couch of Hazard.

While some people say they already knew exercise attracts mosquitoes.

"I just have to push them off of me sometimes when I get out and run around a little bit and I just try to ignore them so I can get my exercise in for the day," said Lorene Johnson, who lives in Hazard.

But the reasons we are food for many mosquitoes goes beyond a jog in the park. The American Mosquito Control Association website reports smelly feet can attract certain species of mosquitoes. Officials say beer drinkers and people who wear dark clothing could be at higher risk.

"Having a distinct silhouette against the background so the mosquitoes notice there is a shape there that is about the right size," said Tom Wilmot, the Past President of American Mosquito Control Association.

Officials say you should use a CDC recommended mosquito repellent to keep them away.


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