Home » Diet and Nutrition News & Advice » Why Mosquitoes Bite: Myth vs. Fact

Why Mosquitoes Bite: Myth vs. Fact

Diet and Nutrition News & Advice, Featured, Mobile Slider Featured, Your Health

It’s that dreaded time of year—when mosquitoes make their first annoying appearance after a season of cold, wet, and snow. The fact remains: these pesky insects aren’t going anywhere until we get frost! However, what is it that causes them to gravitate towards certain individuals, leaving their red, itchy bites behind while completely ignoring others? And what can you do to avoid those itchy stings?

From blood type to blood alcohol level to body weight, everyone claims to know what makes humans so tasty to mosquitoes. Read on for the true facts and laughable myths as to why mosquitoes bite…

1. Fact: Lactate in Your Skin

You may have heard that “sweet skin” can attract mosquitoes and cause them to bite you. While “sweet” skin isn’t really the proper scientific term, there is some truth to the fact that certain “sweet” chemicals your body, produced in the skin, can grab the attention of these pesky pests. Mosquitoes are attracted to lactate, a chemical produced in higher quantities when you exercise, though research has shown your body always produces some level of lactate. When you work out, lactate has the important role of giving you energy, among many other chemical processes that occur in the body.

According to the American Mosquito Control Association, mosquitoes can detect chemical signals, like lactic acid, from up to 25- to 35-meters away. So after you exercise, whether it’s a run outside, hitting the gym, or exercising in your own home, you may be more likely to be bothered by mosquitoes compared to someone who hasn’t just worked out. Certain foods may also cause the body to produce more lactic acid (i.e., yogurt and fermented foods like kimchi), making mosquitoes attracted to your “sweet” skin.

Next »
ADVERTISEMENT

More on ActiveBeat

  • 6 Things to Know About Conjunctivitis in Children
    Conjunctivitis, often referred to as pinkeye, doesn't necessarily have the redness of the eyes that the name implies.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 6 Simple Ways to Prevent Jet Lag
    Embarking on an international trip is an exciting time. The stress of planning is done and the plane has taken off; time to sit back and relax.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 6 Brain-Boosting Activities to Help Prevent Alzheimer's
    In the United States, Alzheimer’s disease affects one in 10 people aged 65 and older. Despite how common it is, scientists have yet to discover what causes the development and...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 6 Treatments for Hyperthyroidism
    You've probably heard of the thyroid, but you may not be as familiar with the condition known as hyperthyroidism, which involves the thyroid gland producing an unnecessary amount...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 7 Natural Remedies for Treating Body Odor
    Perspiration, the release of salt-based fluid from the sweat glands, is the natural process by which the body regulates its temperature.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 6 Treatments for Scleroderma
    Scleroderma is a type of skin disease that can result in the skin becoming abnormally hard and tight, sometimes resulting in redness, discomfort, and pain.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 8 Iron-Rich Foods That Aren’t Meat
    Iron, an essential mineral that helps to transport oxygen throughout the body, comes in two dietary forms: heme and non-heme.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 6 Painless Fibromyalgia Diet Tips
    Fibromyalgia is a painful condition that affects up to 5-million Americans, according to Healthline.com.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 7 Treatment Options for Agoraphobia
    People dealing with agoraphobia face some of the greatest mental health challenges: fear of leaving an environment deemed to be safe.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 8 Signs of Scurvy
    Scurvy -- chances are you read of the condition in history books about world explorers and continental adventurers who came down with the illness after being away from home (and...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 9 Possible Causes of Amnesia
    As far as mental health matters go, amnesia may be one of the most frightening conditions out there.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Breathe Easier with These 6 Natural Asthma Treatments
    Asthma is a condition that causes breathing to become very labored, which can limit activities or even lead to medical emergencies.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 6 Promising New Medical Treatments for Cancer
    Medical science is constantly making cancer breakthroughs, however there's an extensive process to bring treatments to the public.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Don't Be Confused by These 8 Delirium Causes
    "Delirium" is a term often used for someone who is not in their right mind, and often there are underlying health factors.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 7 Treatments for Lyme Disease
    You probably know that Lyme disease has very little to do with limes, or any citrus fruit for that matter.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice