Mosquitoes choose their prey — you, perhaps — based on a combination of factors.
But there’s good news: Some things that might make you attractive to mosquitoes you can actually change. Scientific research has found evidence supporting several factors that encourage the insects to seek you out.
These studies often involve different kinds of mosquitoes, however, so the things that attract them to you may vary depending on which species live nearby. And many of these studies are small, so keep in mind that these are preliminary hypotheses, not ironclad conclusions.
Mosquitoes are known to transmit deadly diseases like Zika, malaria, yellow fever, dengue, Chikungunya, and West Nile virus. So even though the traits that attract the bugs aren’t fully understood, it’s wise to try to reduce your allure as much as you can. Here are some factors that scientists have found might make you irresistible to the pests: