Why Mosquitoes Bite Some People But Not Others

Science has proven what many have observed to be true: Mosquitoes are not equal opportunity when it comes to who they bite.

Science has proven what many have observed to be true: Mosquitoes are not equal opportunity when it comes to who they bite.

As this handy, research-backed video shows, mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide in our blood. The more CO2 we have, the more likely it is that a mosquito will find and bite us.

People who are carrying extra weight, those who are hyperactive and those who’ve just worked out tend to have high levels of carbon dioxide in their blood, and so they are some of the choicest folks for mosquitoes.

Other factors that are likely to make you appealing to these little flying pests? Consumption of beer. No wonder mosquitoes tend to crash our summer barbecues.


As for those individuals whom mosquitoes tend to pass over when looking for their next meal, it turns out they may be born with a scent that mosquitoes just don’t like. Lucky them!

In the meantime, if you’re looking for a way to naturally repel mosquitos at your home, consider planting these plants around the house.

mosquito photo
Getty Images | FEMA


In addition to being straight-up delicious, basil can also help keep mosquitoes at bay.

That’s because mosquitoes (as well as flies) apparently dislike the pungent odor of the leafy green herb. So, fill your yard with pots of basil or plant it right in your garden next to flowers. Just make sure it gets plenty of light.

basil plant photo
Flickr | cluttercup


In case you don’t already know, lavender can reduce anxiety, help us sleep and more. Plus, mosquitos apparently hate it.

You can plant it or put lavender oil on your skin to ward off pesky mosquitos. Either way, it smells much better than any chemical-laden repellant out there.

lavender photo
Flickr | [email protected] Néel


Peppermint is also effective for keeping mosquitos away while you’re enjoying your outdoor space. You can grow peppermint and spearmint, as well as wear it by putting some olive oil into a small bottle with some peppermint essential oils. Spray on and voilà — the mosquitos should stay away!

peppermint plant photo
Flickr | Juan Carlos Martins

Catnip and lemon balm, as well as rosemary and marigolds, are also popular plants for warding off mosquitos.

Watch the video to learn more about mosquitoes’ choosy palates and in the meantime, protect yourself with these mosquito-repelling tips.