One of the very few things worse than having your sleep disturbed by mosquitos looking for their next meal is waking up to itchy bumps and realising they not only disturbed your sleep but also feasted on you

If you find that you’ve been bitten while others around you haven’t, you might be wondering why you’re the mozzie magnet, but there isn’t a short answer.

Mosquitoes can smell you out

Like most predators, mosquitoes rely heavily on their sense of smell and can smell their next meal out.  

Sweat and floral scents are said to be some of the things that draw mosquitos to their prey. Although our sweat doesn’t smell the same, according to a study published in Current Biology, certain smells like lactic acid and ammonia in the sweat are more attractive to mosquitoes. 

Equally certain smells also repel mosquitoes. Citrus and lavender are often used in natural mosquito repellants because for some reason mosquitoes can’t stand the smells. 

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Homemade, natural mosquito repellents

They have their favourites

Mosquitoes can remember who swats at them and who doesn’t, they can recognise a good source of food from your scent. Mosquitoes remember past behaviours that make you a better target than someone who may also be nearby but has made feeding difficult for the mosquito in the past. 

A study proved that mosquitos can learn. They will remember you swatting them, and will stay away from you for self-preservation. 

Mosquitoes love their booze

According to Healthline, drinking can make you more attractive to mosquitoes. 

Although it is unclear if mosquitoes have found that people who have had a drink are less likely to swat and associate the smell with an easy meal. Or if it is the smell of alcohol itself that attracts them. 


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While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.