Why do mosquitos like me? And other essential facts
We are all familiar with the itching sensation that comes from a mosquito bite, one of the effects of the insect feeding on your blood. However, did you know that only female mosquitos feed on blood? All mosquitos seek nectar and other plant juices to eat, but female mosquitos require additional protein to develop their ovaries and eggs – and that additional protein is found in human blood. We take a deeper dive into the motivations of mosquito feeding below.
A female’s feeding
A female mosquito, in need of the protein that comes from blood, typically consumes about three milligrams of the fluid in one feeding. This number is minuscule when compared to the total amount of blood in the human body, but for a mosquito, it can be up to four times her actual weight. You might wonder how a mosquito finds you; typically, a mosquito chooses its target through a range of signals – smells, heat, movement – and will continue seeking prey until she’s full. Female mosquitos can survive through the month feeding every two or three nights.
What makes you a mosquito magnet?
Many people believe that they’re more popular with mosquitos than others – and they may be right. While research has been done attempting to clarify what drives mosquitos to certain humans, there is still a lot of uncertainty. With 400 different compounds to examine, researchers still have a ways to go.
But in general, mosquitos are driven to human odor. Pregnant women and larger people are known to be more attractive to mosquitos, likely because they exert more energy and release more CO2 than the average person. Sweat, perfumes, and lotions can all contribute to leading mosquitos toward your blood. Although we’re still unsure of all the ways certain humans become the perfect target, according to WebMD, one in 10 people is highly attractive to the pests.
While many think that mosquitos are only active in the summer, the insects’ activity is not necessarily based on a specific time of a year – it’s the temperature levels. Though mosquitos tend to die off or hibernate during the colder months, they come out of hibernation, their eggs will hatch, and feeding frenzies will ensue once temperature levels surpass 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Overall, mosquito activity remains prevalent in temperatures 80 degrees or higher, with peak hours during dusk. In some parts of the country, specifically Texas and Florida, “mosquito season” can be nearly all-year round.
Keeping the bites away
Though there are plenty of mosquito repellents in drugstores and supermarkets, not all are effective and they require repeated application. It’s much easier to put a shield around your backyard. Enjoy your summer comfortably with Platinum Mosquito Protection’s automatic misting system. Each system is custom-designed to meet your specifications and lifestyle to become a permanent, non-intrusive, part of your home. Our home misting systems are virtually invisible, professionally-installed and use time-released mists to effectively repel insects.
Schedule a free consultation today and start living a life without mosquitos!