Foods that Attract Mosquitoes

by | Last updated Jun 29, 2023 | Mosquitoes

No one ever welcomes bugs with open arms, but when summer months begin to arrive, even what you eat can attract mosquitoes quite as easily.

You know what happens when you have mosquito-tempting food on your plate. These super annoying bugs will take their chances to find their way over to you, bite your skin, and leave you itching.

So the question is:

Which foods easily attract mosquitoes, especially in the warmer weather? And what should you eat instead to keep them away?

5 Foods that Attract Mosquitoes

1. Sweets

Cakes, cherry pies, and candies have an aroma that attracts all animals, which means that excessive and regular consumption can make you a desirable host for the bugs.

So don’t eat sweets outdoors in summer months if you want to keep mosquitoes away.

But if you must bring sugary treats to an outdoor gathering, cover them properly to protect yourself from possible mosquito bites.

2. Food rich in potassium

Your body frequently releases lactic acid produced from eating potassium-rich foods such as raisin, spinach, bananas, prunes, and potatoes.

So try as much as possible to skip these foods if you’re going to spend a lot of time outdoors in the season when mosquito infestation are a commonplace.

3. Beer 

For those of us used to drinking beer in an outdoor cookout, a backyard barbeque without a glass can’t give you the coolest buzz. Yet even an amount as small as just 12 ounces can make you susceptible to mosquito bites.

To be clear, there’s no link between the increase in ethanol in the bloodstream or increase in body temperature and mosquito attraction. And scientists don’t know exactly what attract mosquitoes to beer yet.

At the moment, all we know is that the mosquitoes are highly likely attracted to the taste of good brew.

4. Snacks rich in salt

It’s not just potassium-rich foods that increase the production of lactic acid in your body. Even snacks rich in high-sodium tends to have similar results.

An afternoon spent outdoors can only be as good as much as you avoid foods such as roasted peanuts, French fries, and crackers.

5. Alcohol

Would you say no to a white sangria or froze daiquiri? I bet not. But as refreshing as a glass of mixed drink or cocktail may be, research shows that alcohol can make your body a magnet for mosquitoes.

Not only is alcohol extremely sugar packed, it also tends to increase your body temperature. Since mosquitoes love warmth, they’ll be attracted to warmer blood.

Related reading Plants that Attract Mosquitoes

What to Eat to Keep Mosquitoes Away

Your time outdoors in the summer doesn’t have to look ugly simply because you can’t eat meals that easily attract bugs. There are foods you can eat prior to your next outdoor adventure, after which you don’t have to worry about bug bites.

1. Lemongrass

Lemongrass is good for summer because it contains citronella, an oil that easily repels bugs. This one is a good recommendation for the folks that love Thai recipes, and you can also include it in curries and soups.

What we love about lemongrass is that it easily hides your natural scent from bugs, making it difficult for mosquitoes to smell and get to you.

2. Beans, Lentils, and Tomatoes

Beans, lentils, and tomatoes are good because they contain a component called thiamine. There is about 0.04 milligrams of thiamine in 100 grams of tomatoes and 0.22 milligrams in about 100 grams of lentils.

A half a cup of beans can give you up to 27% of your daily serving of the component.

Thiamine causes your body to produce a bug resistant smell, which automatically bars mosquitoes from biting you.

3. Garlic or Onions

Garlic and onions, consumed raw or added to dishes, enable your body to release allicin, a compound that enables your skin to repel mosquitoes easily.

Allicin easily interferes with your body’s natural scent, changing it into something awful ONLY for the bugs.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

People have used apple cider vinegar as a natural mosquito repellent for years.

Today, research shows that about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with honey, homemade salad dressing, soups, or beverages can alter your body’s natural scent in a way that makes it unbearable for mosquitoes.

Related reading Mosquito Facts


What smells do mosquitoes hate?

Mosquitoes hate the smell of garlic, basil, peppermint, lemongrass, and neem. These have chemical compounds that alter your body scent in a way that makes it hard for bugs to get closer to you. Therefore, consuming or using them as recommended is the surest way to keep mosquitoes as far away from you as possible.

Are there natural ingredients that repel mosquitoes?

Yes, there are a few natural ingredients that easily repel bugs and using them can keep you safe no matter how much time you spend outdoors. These ingredients include tea tree oil, lavender, lemon eucalyptus oil, and citronella.

Under no circumstance should you use these essential oils in their raw form. You should first dilute them as recommended before applying to your skin.


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What can you spray to keep mosquitoes away?

You can use any lotion or spray that contains DEET to repel bugs. You can also use eucalyptus or lemon oil and get the same results. However, keep in mind that these sprays tend to wear off after a few hours. So if you plan to stay outdoors for long, you should bring the spray with you and reapply as recommended.


As you can see, some of the foods that are otherwise a nice treat for an outdoor gathering can easily make you a host for mosquitoes. But that doesn’t mean you should lock yourself up in the summer. There are alternative foods, as highlighted, that you can eat to keep mosquitoes away, not to mention have a good time outdoors. However, if you must eat foods and drink beverages that can easily attract mosquitoes to your skin, invest in safe bug sprays that can easily repel them. If you opt for bug repellants, choose something that’s skin-friendly and apply only as recommended.

Related reading What smells do mosquitoes like?

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