Our feet elicit an odor that is particularly enticing to mosquitoes. “One thing scientists have known for a long time is that mosquitoes are attracted to the odor of used gym socks,” Dr. Jon Oliver of the University of Minnesota told KFVS12. “They are being attracted to that kind of mix of bacteria and fungus that causes foot odor. That’s why mosquitoes often bite people on their feet and ankles.”
While various regions of the body will give off their own unique scents, our feet are among the most pungent. Therefore, it doesn’t take long for a mosquito to sniff them out. Not only that, but mosquitoes are keen as to which areas of the human body are a safer bet for an uninterrupted meal than others (via NPR). A mosquito is much more likely to get waved off by a human hand if they were to land squarely on our nose versus down by our unsuspecting ankles. As a result, they’ve learned how to pinpoint these safer areas through smell.