Why Do Some People Always Get Bitten By Mosquitoes While Others Don’t?

By Samantha Khor

Let’s find out
Do you ever feel like you're the only one being targeted by mosquitoes?

Somehow, you always seem to end up with itchy welts all over your body, while your friends aren’t even aware of the existence of these pesky biters.

Well, it’s not your imagination.

In a feature by WebMD, Jerry Butler, PhD, professor emeritus at the University of Florida says that mosquitoes DO have preferences when it comes to who they choose to suck blood from.

“1 in 10 people are highly attractive to mosquitoes,” he said.

And it’s mostly due to genetics.

Research has shown that your genes account for 85% of your susceptibility to mosquito bites. Certain elements of your body chemistry also makes you more attractive to mosquitoes.

But, here’s the thing –
they don’t suck blood for food.

In fact, only female mosquitoes bite people. That’s because they need proteins from human blood to develop fertile eggs and create more mosquito babies.

So why do some people get bitten by mosquitoes all the time?

Your blood type

  • A
  • AB
  • B
  • O

People with Type A blood are least likely to become mosquito prey

People with Type AB blood are less likely to become mosquito prey

Those with Type B blood are kind of in between

A study found that people with Type O blood are 83% more likely to get bitten

Your metabolic rate

a.k.a. how much carbon dioxide (CO2) you exhale

The higher your metabolic rate, the more attractive you are to mosquitoes.
In fact, mosquitoes can sense CO2 from their targets, up to 50 metres away!

Pregnant women
Pregnant women

According to a study done in Africa, pregnant women are twice as likely to attract mosquitoes compared to non-pregnant women because they exhale more CO2.

Larger Individuals
Larger individuals

Overweight people tend to give off more CO2, making them more susceptible to mosquito bites because of their larger body size and relative heat.


Drinking alcohol also raises your metabolic rate and your body temperature, making you very appealing to mosquitoes.

You just worked out

Do you realise how your body heats up after exercise? Well, body warmth attracts mosquitoes.
But more than that, mosquitoes are drawn to lactic acid, a compound produced by your body after working up a sweat. That’s why you’re likely to get bitten after a run or workout.

What you're wearing

Apart from smell, mosquitoes also rely on sight to spot their prey. Red makes you a prime target, as well as dark colours like black and blue.

Your body chemistry

Mosquitoes are attracted to people with excess amounts of certain compounds in their body or on their skin surface:

steroids cholesterol lactic acid uric acid

On the other hand, a study found that people who are bitten less “smell differently to mosquitoes”

According to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, these people seemingly produce a natural repellent against mosquitoes.

Ugh, lucky.

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