Why Do Bugs Fly at You? The Surprising Answer!

Even though bugs are a vital part of our ecosystem, they can be pretty pesky–especially when they seem to be constantly flying at you.

Research shows that bugs fly at humans because of our breath, our skin, and our hair, some of which contain nutrients for the bugs’ survival. 

This article will cover the following topics and give you some answers to your bug queries: 

  • What makes bugs fly at me
  • What are bugs attracted to
  • How do I keep bugs away
  • What happens if a bug enters my eye or mouth

What makes bugs fly at my face?

Bugs are often drawn to the carbon dioxide that humans emit when breathing out. Everytime we exhale, there are chemicals like lactic acid and fatty acids that mix with our carbon dioxide, making an insect interested in our scent. 

What are bugs attracted to? 

Bugs are attracted to the heat of a warm body, especially in colder temperatures. They’re also attracted to salt, and therefore, sweat. The sweatier you are, the more likely it is to find bugs around you.

Bugs are attracted to oil and dead skin cells; this means that if you have oily hair or oily skin, you may notice bugs nearby. Sweet soaps or perfumes can be attractants for flies. 

Can bugs smell my blood? 

Mosquitoes have the ability to smell humans and detect carbon dioxide, and the knowledge that those scents will lead to blood go hand in hand.

So, while mosquitoes can’t smell your blood, they can smell your exhales, which leads them to your blood. 

How do bugs differentiate between skin and other surfaces?

Bugs have several different sensory organs that allow them to see, smell, taste, hear, and touch their environment, like humans!

All of these sensory receptors help them find resources that they need to survive–like sugars, salts, carbohydrates, and proteins (all things that can be found on human skin).

They have 3 different types of sensory organs: mechanoreceptors (detect movement), chemoreceptors (detect smells and tastes), and photoreceptors (detect light).

Mosquitoes, for example, can detect skin that is exposed. Typically, human’s faces are exposed most of the time, which is why mosquitoes often fly at your face. 

Do bugs fly at me because I stink? 

It’s possible! The more scents you are putting off, the more attracted a bug will be to you and your skin. You may want to update and improve your hygiene routine if you frequently find yourself in the path of bugs. 

How do I keep bugs away from me? 

An easy way to keep bugs away is by covering up. You can wear long sleeves and long pants if you’re in nature, a buff and a hat as well. You can make sure to have a blanket if you’re spending time outside.

There are many types and strengths of bug spray that you can use for yourself. Deet is the most powerful, but not the healthiest or most eco-friendly. There are plenty of natural bug sprays that will do the trick of repelling bugs. 

How do I keep bugs away from my home? 

Never leave food out and uncovered. This includes pet food bowls as well. This will be a very quick way to attract bugs into your home.

Take care of food scraps in your kitchen; leaving crumbs and scraps out will attract bugs. Leaving dirty dishes in the sink for prolonged periods of time will have the same effect. 

Take out your trash regularly and clean out your trash bins occasionally. These receptacles accumulate many smells over time and can be very fragrant to bugs.

Fruit flies are (obviously) attracted to fruit, so be sure not to let your produce get too ripe while out on your counter or the fruit flies will make themselves welcome.

If all else fails, there are many pest control companies that will come and assess your problem and then take care of it for you.  

What happens if a bug lands on my face or my body? 

If a bug lands on you, don’t panic. Of course, it depends on the type of bug, but most bugs will not harm you seriously. Most flies are harmless, though they are annoying. 

We’ve all had a mosquito bite and know that they are not fun; unless the mosquito is carrying a transmittable disease, a mosquito bite is harmless.

There are countless types of insects that can potentially harm us, but very few that we come across on a regular basis. 

What do I do if a bug goes into my eye? 

If a bug flies into your eye, whether on a bike ride, a simple walk, or driving in your convertible, the best thing to do is to wash your eye out with cold water or saline solution.

Don’t rub your eye at first–this can cause the bug to go further into your eye socket and be harder to get out. 

To avoid any infection, make sure you wash your hands before touching your eyes. If you’ve tried flushing your eyes out with water or saline solution and the bug is still not coming out, you may want to contact a doctor. 

What happens if a bug goes into my mouth?

If you accidentally swallow an insect, there’s no need for concern. It may be gross, but as long as you don’t choke on it, you’ll be fine.

Our bodies are capable of digesting most bugs. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, if you accidentally ingest a bug that can sting or bite, that can cause swelling and pain if stung or bitten. 

If you’re allergic to any bugs that sting or bite, that can be a much more serious situation that needs urgent care. If you know you’re allergic to a bug that you accidentally ingested, make sure to get the proper care immediately.

What preventative measures can I take to stop bugs from flying at me?

If you regularly wear sweet-smelling, fragrant perfumes or use sweet-smelling soap, you may want to switch to a more neutral scent. Bugs are more attracted to sweet smells and this may make you their target. 

Adopting hygiene routines may help you become less of a target for bugs.

Exfoliating your body to rid yourself of dead skin cells, washing sweat off of your skin, and keeping your hair clean will lessen your chance of interaction with bugs. 

If you’re noticing bugs in your living space, make sure to seal any cracks in your doors or windows, and be sure to keep your kitchen and eating spaces free of uncovered food or crumbs. 


There’s little us humans can do to eliminate bugs from our lives. We share this planet with them, after all! They really do help our ecosystem in more ways than not, so we can give them credit for that.

Still, getting a bug to the face is not a pleasant experience. Remember, bugs are attracted to the CO2 from your breath, the elements on/in your skin, and the smells you emanate.

Keeping your body and your living space clean and tidy are ways to lessen your chance of meeting a bug in your surroundings. 

Alright, that’s it for this article, here are a few hand-selected articles that you might also find interesting reads:

Why Do Bugs Have Antennae? – Explained In Simple Terms/

Why Don’t Insects Drown? the Quick Answer

Why Do Bugs Just Sit There For Hours!? Here’s Why

Steve Foster

Mad about bugs and wanting to publish as many articles as I can to help educate people about these amazing beautiful creatures! For more info check out my about page https://schoolofbugs.com/about-steve-foster/

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