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Female mosquitoes of blood-sucking species locate their victims primarily through scent (they are extremely sensitive to the carbon dioxide in exhaled breath, as well as several substances found in sweat).
Female mosquitoes also use extremely sensitive thermal receptors located on the top of their antennae to sense blood near the surface of the skin (they are only capable of this when they are 10 feet or less away).
Some people seem to attract mosquitoes more than others. Being male, being overweight and having type 'O' blood may increase the risk of being bitten. Mosquitoes can detect heat, so they can find warm-blooded mammals and birds very easily once they get close enough.