There are many reasons why summer is the best season of the year, but mosquitos aren’t one of them. Camping and late nights at the beach would be much better if we didn’t have to keep scratching our ankles or our back. What’s worse is when we seem to be the only ones to be doing the scratching, as if the mosquitos only have eyes for us.
If you think mosquitos have it out for you, you may be right. It appears that around 20 percent of people in the world are “especially delicious” to mosquitos and you could be one of the “lucky” few. So what makes you so appealing? Well, researchers have a few ideas….
So which blood is a favorite? Well, it seems that if given a choice, mosquitos are more likely to bite people with Type O blood than those with a Type A. If you have Type B blood than you are somewhat appealing. Basically, the mosquito will bite you if there’s nothing better around.
It’s not just your blood type which gives you up though. It seems that some people, around 85 percent, “secrete a chemical signal through their skin that indicates which blood type they have” while the other 15 percent don’t. When given a choice, mosquitos are more likely to bite the secretors than the nonsecretors.
Carbon dioxide is another determining factor. This is how mosquitos locate us by smelling carbon dioxide which we exhale. They can smell it from up to “164 feet away.” Yep, there’s no hiding from them.
Often, it’s “generally larger people” who exhale more of this gas over time. So those extra pounds could be causing you more mosquito bites. “This is one of the reasons why children get bit less often than adults, on the whole.”
Extra pounds can lead to more bites but so can working out. Besides carbon dioxide, mosquitos smell “lactic acid, uric acid, ammonia and other substances expelled via their sweat.” They are also drawn to those “with higher body temperatures.”
Some forms of skin bacteria can also attract more mosquitos to you. There was a study in 2011, where researchers found “that having large amounts of a few types of bacteria made skin more appealing to mosquitoes.” These types of bacteria “naturally love on human skin” and when we have many of these, we become more appealing to mosquitos.
Beer is another determining factor if you want to become more appealing to mosquitos. This is what researchers found through one study. Although, researchers are still baffled as to why beer drinkers are so appealing. Maybe they’re just blood drinkers looking to change it up with an occasional beer.
Being pregnant is also especially appealing to mosquitos. Several studies have proved that women who were expecting were more attractive to mosquitos. This is because pregnant women “exhale about 21 percent more carbon dioxide.” Moreover, they have a slightly higher body temperature than the norm.
Even color determines your attractiveness to mosquitos. Besides scents, mosquitos use their eyes to find us. If you’re wearing a color that stands out like black, red or a dark blue, you’re going to be much easier to find.
Finally, there’s the issue of genetics. “Whether it’s expressed through blood type, metabolism or other factors,” genetics have a say in whether you are attractive to mosquitos or not. It’s not just a say either, it accounts for “85 percent of the variability between people in their attractiveness to mosquitos.” So if you’ve got genetic appeal, you’re screwed.
In conclusion, refrain from drinking beer. Don’t get pregnant. Don’t become overweight but don’t workout either. Don’t wear bold colors and most importantly, see what you can do to change your genetic appeal.