Chemical Attraction

Towleroad points out an interesting story about why mosquitoes prefer some folks over others. It turns out only about 10% of humans are “highly attractive” to skeeters.

“People with high concentrations of steroids or cholesterol on their skin surface attract mosquitoes,” Butler tells WebMD. That doesn’t necessarily mean that mosquitoes prey on people with higher overall levels of cholesterol, Butler explains. These people simply may be more efficient at processing cholesterol, the byproducts of which remain on the skin’s surface. Mosquitoes also target people who produce excess amounts of certain acids, such as uric acid, explains entomologist John Edman, PhD, spokesman for the Entomological Society of America. These substances can trigger mosquitoes’ sense of smell, luring them to land on unsuspecting victims. But the process of attraction begins long before the landing. Mosquitoes can smell their dinner from an impressive distance of up to 50 meters, explains Edman.

Sadly, I am one of those people getting dizzy from blood loss while everybody is completely unbothered. I am also one of those people who gets up in the middle of the night and turns on all the lights to stalk the little suckers.