Have you been a frequent victim of mosquito bites? Or maybe you’re the one who is blessed while seeing your family and friends suffer from getting bitten?
Well, it’s not just plain “luck”, because there’s actual science behind why some people are more prone to mosquito bites as compared to others! It is proven that mosquitoes DO have preferences when it comes to picking and choosing their next victims.
In a feature by WebMD, Jerry Butler, PhD, professor emeritus at the University of Florida stated that “one in 10 people are highly attractive to mosquitoes”.
Also, news flash! Mosquitoes don’t actually suck blood for food. In fact, only female mosquitoes suck blood when they’re pregnant to obtain proteins from human blood to develop fertile eggs and procreate.
So, why are some people more prone to getting mosquito bites than others?
1. You’ve been exercising or producing a lot of heat and sweat
Warmth is attractive to mosquitoes when preying on their next victim. Hence, after breaking a sweat, your body’s heat increases due to the raise of your body’s metabolic rate – making you more susceptible to a mosquito’s bite.
Not to mention, mosquitoes are also attracted to lactic acid, a compound produced after strenuous activity or vigorous exercise!
2. You have type O blood
It’s not a myth that some blood types are indeed “sweeter” than others. A study found that people with Type O blood have a higher chance of getting bitten by mosquitoes while Type A blood rank the lowest in likelihood to becoming a mosquito’s prey.
3. You have a high metabolic rate and release more CO2
Studies have shown that mosquitoes use CO2 as their primary way to identify targets as they can sense it from up to 50 metres away! Also, people who are larger in size tend to exhale and release more CO2 that’s why adults are actually more prone to falling prey than children. Not to mention, men as opposed to women and obese or overweight people too.
4. It has something to do with your skin
Our skin is home to many types of bacteria and research showed that people who attract mosquitoes had fewer types of microbes on their skin but these less diversed microbes lived in a larger community.
This also explains why your feet and ankles draw mosquitoes in more since it’s a ripe source for bacteria to thrive in.
5. You’ve just had alcohol
Consuming alcohol increases your metabolic rate. Hence, making you a very attractive target to mosquitoes in general.
6. You’re pregnant
Pregnant women are more likely to attract mosquitoes as compared to non-pregnant women because they give off a greater amount of CO2. In fact, a study actually found that women in later stages of pregnancy exhale a higher percentage of CO2, making them even more attractive to prey on.
7. You’re dressed in red or dark coloured clothing
For those who love their dark coloured wardrobe, it’s sad to say that apart from scent, mosquitoes also rely on their sight to spot their prey. Red makes you a prime target alongside dark hues such as black and blue.
Dr. Jonathan Day, a medical entomologist and mosquito expert at the University of Florida, explained, “Mosquitoes have problems flying in even a slight wind, and so they keep close to the ground. Down there, they spot hosts by comparing your silhouette to the horizon. Dark colours stand out, while light shades blend in.”
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