Some people are real mosquito magnets. Why do some people seem to attract bloodthirsty mosquitoes from all over the neighborhood, while others can sit outside all evening without suffering a bite? These lucky people give off just the right combination of sights and smells. Mosquitoes use their senses to choose a favorite target in the crowd. Here are 10 ways to guarantee yourself lots of mosquito bites.
1. Keep breathing.
Mosquitoes detect carbon dioxide in the air, so the more you breathe, the more likely you are to become a blood meal. Carbon dioxide clues the mosquitoes in to the presence of a living, breathing, blood-pumping animal nearby. Once they sense it, mosquitoes usually fly in a zigzag pattern through the CO2 plume until they locate the source.
2. Skip the shower.
That's right, bring on the B.O. The more you stink, the easier it is for a blood-seeking mosquito to find you. Drop the deodorant, skip the soap, and get ready to start slapping skeeters.
3. Run around.
Mosquitoes first locate potential victims using their sight, and anything moving will be deemed worthy of a second look. Go outside and flag them down. Mow the lawn. Take a jog around the block. Jump up and down and shout "pick me, pick me!" The mosquitoes will pick you, for sure.
4. Sweat a lot.
Perspiration is the perfect combination of mosquito attractants – moisture and odors. Head outdoors on a hot, sticky summer evening, and work up a sweat. The mosquitoes will thank you.
5. Stay warm.
Think of mosquitoes as heat-seeking missiles. The warmer you are, the quicker they'll find you. Though mosquitoes can't sense your body heat from a distance, once they get within a few yards, your warmth will lure them in.
6. Dress in dark colors.
Research shows that mosquitoes respond best to dark colors, especially blue. Put away the khakis and white shirt; instead, don your jeans and a black t-shirt. You'll shine a spotlight on yourself that allows the mosquitoes to come in for a quicker landing.
7. Wear perfume or cologne.
If you just can't bear the body odor approach, do the opposite – bathe yourself in the strongest perfume money can buy. Floral scents are especially attractive to mosquitoes.
8. Use alpha hydroxy products on your skin.
Lactic acid, which our bodies produce naturally, is a big draw for mosquitoes. It just so happens that many skin care products contain lactic acid, too, and so might help boost your chemistry with these blood-seeking bugs. Look for lotions and creams labeled "alpha hydroxy," which provide the most lactic acid.
9. Don't change your socks.
Yes, this is based on actual scientific research. Mosquitoes love smelly feet. Entomologist Daniel L. Kline experimented with using dirty socks as a mosquito lure, and found his 3-day-old socks were irresistible to them. Specifically, it's the bacteria that grow on human feet that seems to draw a crowd.
10. Drink beer and eat limburger cheese.
Studies show people who've had a few beers score the most mosquito bites at the barbecue. Snack on some limburger cheese while enjoying a beer, and you will open yourself up to an all out assault. Limburger cheese is made with the same bacteria that makes your feet stink.