The Blood Matters Blog ·

Yes, Mosquitoes Can Tell Your Blood Type

You're not imagining it: mosquitoes really are more interested in some of us than others. Here's why.


If you've ever uttered the phrase, "Why do mosquitoes like me so much?", well – this article is for you. Because there are, in fact, real reasons why they might prefer you over your friends at the barbecue. Take for, instance, your blood type.

What Blood Type Do Mosquitoes Like?

Heads up to our O donors out there: research shows that mosquitoes are attracted to your blood type. In a study published in the American Journal of Entomology in 2019, researchers conducted an experiment in which mosquitoes were given the option to feed on A, B, AB, and O blood types. The mosquitoes chose the Type O feeder more than any other.

That research supports the findings of another key study from 2004, which showed that mosquitoes land on people with Type O blood far more often than those with other blood types.

More: Mosquitoes know about your blood type. Make sure you do, too!

What Blood Type Do Mosquitoes Not Like?

While mosquitoes do seem to be attracted to specific blood types, there isn't one that mosquitoes completely dislike or avoid. However, studies have found that mosquitoes are generally less attracted to individuals with Type A blood, especially when given the choice to feast on our Type O friends.

Before any Type A readers rush outside feeling impervious from blood-thirsty insects, though, it's important to note that blood type is just one component of mosquito attraction.

What Else Attracts Mosquitoes?

When it comes to finding a meal, mosquitoes actually tend to weigh a number of factors, from your genes to your... jeans. Let's take a look.

Body Odor & Sweat

Mosquitoes are highly sensitive to human body odors, particularly compounds like lactic acid, ammonia, and uric acid that are present in sweat. These odors act as chemical cues and are heavily influenced by one's diet, hygiene, health conditions and genetics.

Your Breath

Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide (CO2) that humans exhale when they breathe and can detect it from a considerable distance. This helps them identify human hosts, which is great for them – and not so great for us. Another fun nugget: the more heavily we breathe, the more carbon dioxide we express. Take note, runners!

Body Heat

Mosquitoes have heat-sensing organs called thermoreceptors, which allow them to detect changes in temperature. They are attracted to sources of warmth, such as the heat emitted by humans and other animals. They're also drawn to parts of the body where heat is emitted, such as the head, neck, and extremities. These areas often have higher surface temperatures, making them prime targets for mosquito bites.


Moms know. Pregnant women tend to have slightly higher body temperature (see above) and are affected by hormonal changes that alter the chemical composition of their sweat in a way that mosquitoes seem to love.

Clothing Color

Mosquitoes are also attracted to certain colors, such as dark colors like black and navy blue. Something to think about this summer!

How to Prevent Mosquito Bites

If any of this has you feeling a little too tasty for your liking, take heart! Here are some tried-and-true strategies you can use to minimize mosquito bites and protect yourself from potential health risks.

  • Use mosquito repellents

    Apply insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus to exposed skin and clothing. Follow the product instructions carefully, especially when applying to children.

  • Wear Protective Clothing

    When outdoors in mosquito-prone areas, wear lightweight, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and closed-toe shoes to reduce exposed skin. Tucking in shirts and pants can also help prevent mosquitoes from biting through clothing. And don't forget: mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors like black and navy blue.

  • Avoid peak mosquito activity times

    Mosquitoes are most active during dawn and dusk, so try to limit outdoor activities during these times. If you must be outdoors, take extra precautions

  • Get rid of standing water

    Mosquitoes breed in standing water, so eliminate sources of stagnant water around your home, such as birdbaths, flower pots, clogged gutters, and discarded containers. Keep swimming pools clean and well-maintained.

  • Install screens

    Install screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of indoor spaces. Repair any damaged screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering.

One More Way to Avoid Mosquitoes

Another effective mosquito prevention strategy? Come inside to one of our 17 donor centers – you won't find any mozzies in here!

When you give blood, you are saving up to three lives! So why donate to mosquitoes when you can donate to your community instead?

Schedule your donation