It is definitely true that some people are more attractive to mosquitoes than others, but the reason why remains a bit of a mystery.
There are up to 400 chemical compounds on human skin that could play a role in attracting (and perhaps repulsing) mosquitoes. This smelly mix, produced by bacteria living on our skin and exuded in sweat, varies from person to person and is likely to explain why there is substantial variation in how many mozzies we attract. Genetics probably plays the biggest role in this, but a little of it may be down to diet or physiology.
Factors that might boost appeal include:
- Carbon dioxide - mosquitoes are attracted by the carbon dioxide we exhale. Bigger people produce more carbon dioxide. This is why adults tend to get bitten more than children
- Body heat
- Lactic acid
- Type O blood
- Targets dressed in dark colors
- Drinking alcohol