Mosquitoes need blood to survive and their favorite target is humans. How do they find their victims and why do they prefer some people more than others?
They are completely driven by smell. Unlike humans, who are predominately sight-driven, these annoying pests are scientifically referred to as 'pheromone-driven' which is a fancy way of saying their sense of smell is what allows them to survive.
There are many animals that use sense of smell. Deer, for example, have very heightened sense of smell which is why those who choose to hunt deer also are known to douse themselves in the scent of deer urine in order to remain anonymous to the sensitive noses of deer. But a deer also relates heavily on eyesight as they dart through the forest avoiding trees, gulleys and any other creatures that would harm them.
In contrast, a mosquito has no ability to 'see' in order to survive. They maneuvered their world strictly through scent which is very valuable information for those who want to avoid them.
It has been well documented that the carbon dioxide we exhale when breathing is basically a mosquito magnet. There are control systems that actually generate carbon dioxide in an area away from where humans gather in an attempt to lure the blood thirsty monsters to the false food source. Obviously, they are not completely successful as we still continue the discussion of avoidance.
There always seems to be certain people who hardly ever get bitten – or vice versa. There are those who step outside and draw crowds of mosquitoes in minutes. Why is that?
We've been told certain perfumes, lotions, deodorants, etc. have luring effects for these blood-suckers and wearing certain colors can either attract or repel. But it seems regardless of efforts, the same people always seem to be victims and those lucky sots who avoid them keep living bite free. Could it really be what our dear grandmothers have said for years that mosquitoes love to bite nice people because they have sweet blood?
Recently, scientists have figured it out. It seems that people carry certain microbes on their skin that the ever-keen sense of smell of these skeletons can not deny. So it is body chemistry but it is more of a surface situation. Ends up these microbes – also known as bacteria – are more valuable than we could have imagined. A human body has 10 times more bacteria cells than human cells!
And our skin surface bacterial configurations are like fingerprints – no two people are similar in their microbial make-up. Depending on whether the skin area is dry (an elbow), somewhat oily (creases of the nose) of continuously moist (in the belly button), would determine the different species who could thrive in that environment. This is along the lines of creatures living in the desert compared to the tropical rain forest. With more than 1000 different species of skin surface microbes identified thus far, the configurations across the human population are as numerous and unique as the individuals harboring them.
So if a gal states that mosquitoes just love her, you can share it is because mosquitoes are drawn by smell to the bacteria growing on her skin. Yuck! Or you could kind of dismiss it and simply say she is certainly a nice person as they must be drawn to her sweet blood.