Why Mosquitoes Love to Bite Our Feet and Ankles
Mosquitoes seem to find a way to our skin no matter what we do. Covered in repellent and clothing? They’ll still find a tiny spot you didn’t catch, and they’ll attack it with glee. And with the rise of mosquito transferred diseases like Zika Virus, understanding the behavior of mosquitoes has never been more important. Mosquito protection is something we should be aware of all year long.
Have you ever noticed that your feet and ankles tend to come out the loser after a summer barbecue, that your ankles and feet are covered with red, itchy welts while your arms and face are relatively untouched? This article will explain why mosquitoes are so attracted to your feet and ankles.
Your Feet Stink
The short answer as to why mosquitoes go after feet and ankles is that our feet often carry a strong odor. Yes, stinky feet attract mosquitoes. But that’s only part of it.
Mosquitoes are, first and foremost, attracted to carbon dioxide. This is because carbon dioxide is an indication that there is something living and breathing nearby. To a mosquito, living and breathing means a yummy blood lunch. So when mosquitoes smell the carbon dioxide you emit, they head in your direction.
Interestingly enough, the area emitting carbon dioxide isn’t the area where mosquitoes bite – how often have you been bitten on your mouth? No, they use the carbon dioxide to find you, and then they keep smelling to find the best place for their dinner.
Since our feet make higher numbers of stinky bacteria than other areas of our body, mosquitoes can quickly sense the presence of your feet, and understand there’s a tasty treat not too far away.
But Why Not the Armpit?
There are plenty of other places on the body that don’t always smell too lovely (armpits, for example). So why do mosquitoes single out stinky feet? One obvious explanation is that our feet are often uncovered and exposed, which makes them an easier target.
Another theory is that perhaps mosquitoes have evolved enough to understand that they have a smaller chance of being swatted by a human if they go for the feet than if they go for the face or arm. In other words, their chances of survival are higher if they bite in a spot that takes effort for you to reach.
How to Prevent Mosquito Bites
So, you should just wear lots of perfume to mask the smell of your stinky feet, right?
Wrong. Mosquitoes can smell a diversion. In fact, they can smell right through a diversion. Perfume won’t keep the mosquitoes away. You have to actually block their receptors, which is what the chemical DEET does. Using a repellent with DEET generally hides you from mosquitoes’ sniffers.
In addition, it’s important to keep standing water out of your yard, since that’s where mosquitoes breed. And make sure you’re not letting any mosquitoes into your house through holes in the screens or open doors.
Keep Mosquitoes Out of Your Yard
For even better peace of mind (and lack of itch!), hire a mosquito control company for effective mosquito protection. Barefoot Mosquito uses the most effective method for keeping mosquitoes out of your yard. Call today to discuss how we create a wall-like barrier around your yard and eliminate potential mosquito breeding spots.
Say Goodbye to Mosquitoes!
Want to enjoy your backyard again? We can help. Come discover just
how effective & affordable our mosquito control service is. Call us today at 512-400-2008 (Austin) or 713-554-9430 (Houston) or request a quote online!