Summertime is perfect for outdoor activities, but mosquito bites are the worst. And sometimes, no matter how much insect repellant you use, it can seem like mosquitoes bite you way more than anyone else. Why do mosquitoes eat you and ignore your friend?
Science has actually found that about 20% of the population are a lot more attractive to mosquitoes than the remaining 80%. Some of the reasons for this are pretty easy to understand but others are still unexplained.
Do you feel like you’re constantly an item on the mosquito buffet? Let’s find out why.
1. Maybe It’s Your Blood Type
Mosquitoes eat blood for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Just like a wine aficionado might prefer a pinot noir to a cabernet, mosquitoes seem to prefer Type O blood over other types. In fact, people with Type O blood have been shown to attract about twice as many mosquitoes as people with Type A, while people with Type B fall somewhere in the middle.
2. It Could Be the Carbon Dioxide in Your Breath
When people exhale, they emit carbon dioxide. Mosquitoes can smell this stuff from about 160 feet away.
Obviously, the larger you are, the more CO2 you breathe out, which is why larger people and adults tend to attract more mosquitoes than smaller people and kids.
3. Might Be Your Exercise Habits
Love to work out? Unfortunately, you may attract more mosquitoes if you’re a gym rat. Mosquitoes can smell the lactic acid that builds up in the bodies of people who work out a lot, so if you’re a big fan of the gym, you might want to stock up on repellant and nets.
4. Or Perhaps It’s Skin Bacteria
Don’t be alarmed! We’ve got all kinds of bacteria on our skin. And inside it, too! You, me, and everybody that you know. For the most part, the bacteria on our skin helps us out. Sometimes, though, they can attract mosquitoes.
Most of us have many types of bacteria spread out all over our skin. Some of us, though, have just a few types, and they tend to be more clustered in one spot. Mosquitoes love it when this happens.
5. Beer Definitely Has Something to Do with It
Beer goggles actually work in the opposite direction when mosquitoes are involved. Drinking just one twelve-ounce bottle of beer makes you look super cute to mosquitoes, although scientists still don’t know why.
6. You’re Pregnant
Believe it or not, pregnant ladies are a lot more interesting to mosquitoes. It’s not really tough to figure out why. Other than the fact that pregnant women have a lot of extra human inside them, they also run about 1.25 degrees hotter and breathe out 21% more CO2 than most folks.
7. It’s All in the Way You Dress
Certain types of clothing can also attract mosquitoes, who use vision as well as smell to find their targets. Clothes that stand out definitely make it easier for a mosquito to spot its next meal.
8. Just Because You’re You!
Genetics obviously have a lot to do with most of the factors we just discussed, which is why they get their own section. About 85% of the variability between individuals and their levels of mosquito attractiveness is dependent on genetic factors.
In fact, some people even give off their own natural repellant, which scientists are trying to turn into the next must-have campsite accessory.
Share Your Mosquito Bite Tips
Are you a valiant soldier, fighting the good fight against our winged and bloodsucking opponents? What are your tips and home remedies for avoiding or treating mosquito bites? Tell us how you stay one foot ahead of mosquitoes in the comments!
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