Does Perfume Attract Mosquitoes?

If you know anything about mosquitoes, it's that they are attracted to the carbon dioxide we exhale. In fact, CO2 is one of the main ways in which these blood suckers locate us. According to multiple studies, mosquitoes have a highly specialized olfactory system, giving them smelling superpowers. That explains why the world's deadliest animal is able to hunt us down with so much ease!

If you have suffered mosquito bites and delivered unsuccessful slaps to the side of your head, you're probably wondering: How are these annoying insects so good at seeking you out even in the dark? Yet, some lucky people are unattractive to mosquitoes – it's as if they are made of natural repellents.

So what attracts mosquitoes, and what drives them away? Does perfume attract mosquitoes? This article answers these questions and more.

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Why Do Mosquitoes Attack and Bite Humans?

To answer the question, 'does perfume attract mosquitoes,' it's important that you understand why they attack and bite humans in the first place.

A rather interesting fact about these invasive insects is that not all mosquitoes bite. Most people are surprised to learn that only female mosquitoes enjoy sucking human blood. These greedy little pests can drink up to 3 times their body weight in blood! That's right.

Female mosquitoes need to drink human blood as it contains the proteins and amino acids required for mosquito egg production and development. So, female mosquitoes are the ones that prowl for new smells because they need to bite humans to fulfill their nutritional needs.

Unsettlingly, there are approximately 3500 different mosquito species in the world. Each of these species grows and behaves differently. Similarly, not all mosquitoes are attracted to or triggered by the same smells. While some species crave a cocktail of human blood, others prefer to suck blood from animals such as frogs, cows, and birds.

Which Smells Are Mosquitoes Attracted to?

Recent research has found that mosquitoes hunt by smells thanks to their sophisticated olfactory system. They can pick up specific human aromas and pass that information to the brain when searching for food.

Although studies are ongoing to better understand how mosquitoes find their host, new research reveals that these human foes are attracted to certain people more than others. Generally, there are certain smells that mosquitoes are insanely attracted to. And the sad truth is that we have no control over most of these smells because we naturally and unknowingly produce them: 

Carbon Dioxide: 

The carbon dioxide we exhale drives these predators crazy. Every time you breathe out, for instance, in your sleep or during physical activity, you unintentionally send a beacon to mosquitoes as far as 100 feet away.

Mosquitoes are as old as dinosaurs, with their evidence dating as far back as the Triassic period. No wonder they have learned to associate carbon dioxide with warm-blooded animals. 

While carbon dioxide allows mosquitoes to zero in on us, people who emit more carbon dioxide are not only a prime target but also more easily identified mosquitoes. Pregnant women and heavier people tend to release more carbon dioxide; hence they're more vulnerable to mosquito bites.

Blood Type

Your blood type can also make you a mosquito magnet. There are over 30 recognized blood types by the International Society of Blood Transfusion. But humans essentially fall into four blood types (types A, B, AB, and O), each of which gives off different smells. A study found that those with blood type O are 'tastier' to mosquitoes than those with type A and B blood.

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid, a necessary acid our bodies produce, can also attract mosquitoes. It is produced in the eccrine sweat glands and is secreted onto the skin through sweat. Like the factors discussed above, we also don't have much control over lactic acid. However, some foods with high levels of lactic acids, such as pickled vegetables, cheese, beer, bread, and yogurt, can make you more vulnerable to mosquitoes.


Last but not least, recent studies have found that human body bacteria can also attract mosquitoes. Interestingly, these are the good bacteria that perform important bodily functions, such as fighting off bad bacteria and supporting your immune function. But these bacteria, particularly their waste, are responsible for your sweat's distinctive odor. Opportunistic mosquitoes take advantage of the unique smell of your sweat when targeting you.

Does Perfume Attract Mosquitoes?

By now, it's probably obvious that mosquitoes are attracted to perfume. As it turns out, mosquitoes are attracted just as strongly to the floral scent of perfumes, colognes, and scented lotions as CO2. You inadvertently attract mosquitoes for a blood cocktail by wearing perfume to address body odors.

So it's a good idea to avoid using fragranced products like air fresheners, deodorants, perfumes, body wash, and soaps when trying to avoid mosquitoes. Instead, stick to scent-free lotions, deodorants, and body wash.


Ways to Fight Off Mosquitoes

Unfortunately, mosquitoes are frustratingly hard to control because they are primarily attracted to our natural body smells. The countless bacteria and microorganisms living in our bodies are absolutely outside of our control. And so are our blood type and the carbon dioxide we exhale.

Breathing less might help keep mosquitoes away, but it won't last long. If you're serious about fighting off mosquitoes, you must prevent them from accessing your home in the first place. You can achieve this by removing water sources around your home, avoiding scented body products, and using natural mosquito repellents such as eucalyptus oil, lavender, and cinnamon oil.

Interesting Fact: Wearing light-colored clothes can significantly reduce the number of mosquito bites you get. These deadly insects are attracted to dark-colored clothes. Hence, light-colored materials make you less appealing to them.

The most effective way to deal with a mosquito problem is by engaging a pest control expert. The trained technician will inspect your home and yard to determine the factors attracting mosquitoes to your property. He will spray a highly effective treatment solution that kills mosquitoes while preventing the development of mosquito eggs into adults. This treatment remains effective for up to 21 days. Hence, the technician will visit after every three weeks to re-apply the mosquito treatment.

Alternatively, the technician can install an automated misting system that fills your yard with a non-toxic but highly effective solution against mosquitoes. The misting system is timed to automatically release the solution at the right time when the mosquito population is high. The solution kills and repels mosquitoes as well as other nuisance pests. 

Misting systems provide 24/7 protection from mosquitoes and are the best treatment option for those who don't want return visits from the pest technician.

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