Do you feel like you are a mosquito magnet and no one else gets bitten as much as you do? Understanding why mosquitoes bite certain people more than others can be a valuable tool in fighting them off.
Mosquito bites can at times call for concern, as Zika, West Nile virus, malaria, dengue fever and other illnesses can be spread by these flying hosts in a moment’s time. Other times, their bites are harmless, though extremely itchy, keeping you up at night scratching and swatting as their loud hums fly by.
The following list can help you ward off those pesky mosquitoes by being aware of the things that attract them. Keep in mind that some of these things cannot be avoided, but at least you will be informed and prepared.
By using their eyes to target their next meal, mosquitoes are highly visual, particularly in the afternoon. Wearing dark colors like navy blue, black or red can make you an easy target.
6. Blood Type
What’s a mosquito’s favorite meal? Blood! Adult mosquitoes can survive on nectar for nourishment, but females rely heavily on the protein from our blood for the production of their eggs. According to research, people with type O blood are twice as likely to be bitten by a mosquito than those with type A or B. Additionally, mosquitoes are attracted to the 85 percent of people who produce a secretion that signals their blood type.
5. Carbon Dioxide
Mosquitoes are able to sense carbon dioxide up to 160 feet away, so the more you exhale, the more attractive you become. Since humans exhale carbon dioxide through the nose and mouth, mosquitoes are attracted to our heads, which explains why mosquitoes are constantly buzzing around our ears.
4. Heat and Sweat
Mosquitoes have a high sensitivity to the scent of lactic acid, uric acid, ammonia and other compounds that are emitted through our sweat, and are attracted to people who run warmer. According to the Smithsonian, strenuous exercise increases the buildup of lactic acid and heat in the body. Also, genetic factors can influence the amount of uric acid and other substances that are naturally emitted, making it easier for mosquitoes to find certain people.
3. Lively Skin
Research has shown that the types and amount of bacteria on the skin can play a vital role in attracting mosquitoes. The dermal casing found on our skin is naturally teeming with microscopic life and creates a unique fragrance.
Women who are pregnant are more likely to attract mosquitoes than women who are not pregnant. A study conducted in Africa found that pregnant women are twice as likely to contract malaria by getting bitten by disease-carrying mosquitoes. Researchers believe that it is due to the increase in carbon dioxide, as pregnant women exhale 21 percent more than non-pregnant women. Also, the abdomens of pregnant women are 1.26 times hotter, further attracting mosquitoes to their warm bodies.
1. BeerRelated: Hotels and Beg Bugs: How to Stay Pest-Free
Is it the alcohol or the hops? According to a study, researchers found that mosquitoes were significantly more attracted to participants after drinking 12 ounces of beer. The scientists found that it was due to the increased ethanol levels in the participants’ sweat due to the beer.