Why Mosquitoes Love Us and How We Can Fight Back

(Getty Images)

Mosquitoes are especially attracted to pregnant women and people drinking alcohol. (Getty Images)

The state has confirmed the second West Nile virus case this year, and the Los Angeles Times reports that county officials say two adults are hospitalized there with the virus as well.

Every summer, West Nile moves across California, spread by mosquitoes. The insects pick up the virus when they feed on infected birds — then spread West Nile to humans when they munch on us.

“They will fly towards carbon dioxide, and so in a lot of cases in the backyard that’s you and me.”
Avoiding mosquito bites is ideal for lots of reasons besides West Nile. What repellents are best? And why do mosquitoes seem to prefer some people over others? NPR’s Shots blog posed those questions and more to Dr. Roger Nasci, chief of the branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that tracks insect-borne viruses. Here’s the Shots Q&A: Continue reading