If you are a mosquito magnet, you know who you are! Are you the person who comes back from a friends BBQ with 20 bites, while your friend has 1? Why is it that mosquitoes appear to really be attracted to some people more than others? Is it your good looks? Your charm? Your beer??
Keep reading, there is actually some science to be found regarding these little suckers and why they choose YOU.
- It’s In Your Blood
While you might have heard some anecdotal stories about how some people just have “sweeter” blood, the truth is that your blood type does seem to make a difference. One study found that those who have type O blood ( the most common type, of course) tend to be a favorite with those nighttime vampires. While type O isn’t necessarily “sweeter” than other blood types, it does contain a particular sugar that mosquitoes seem to find super tasty. However, we can guarantee you that if you and your type A friends hit up the woodlands this weekend, the mosquitoes will have no problem making you dinner if there are no type O’s around.
- It’s Really IS Your Beer
You thought we were kidding about that one, didn’t you? Well, in one study ( a very small one, yes, we know) found that those who drank just 350ml of beer found themselves in mosquito hell. Now we realize that the scientists didn’t indicate that the amount of ethanol in your sweat was the factor, they simply noted that those who drank beer, even tiny amounts, had far more mosquitoes on their skin than those who choose to be the designated driver.
- It’s the Way You Breathe
One of the ways we attract mosquitoes is by breathing. While there isn’t much you can do about breathing, you should note that one study found that people who exhaled more heavily (such as those who are angry or those who were dancing) tended to get bit a whole lot more than those who avoided becoming mouth breathers. Those pesky little buggers find you via carbon dioxide. The more you expel, the easier you are to find.
- It’s Your Sweat
Those annoying little bloodsuckers not only seek out carbon dioxide, the smell of your blood, and the smell of your beer, but they are also on the lookout for something called lactic acid. The type of mosquitoes which carry Zika and yellow fever are much more attracted to those who have more lactic acid on their skin. This would make even type A’s milk drinkers more attractive! An increase in body temperature, such as would occur when you are exercising or dancing, puts this substance on your skin. You might as well ring the dinner bell!
- It’s Your Belly, Ladies
We mean your baby bump. Why is it that a mosquito seems to be able to find a pregnant woman from two miles away?? In this case, it’s several reasons. One study found that in the last trimester, women exhaled 21 percent more air than non-pregnant females. Another reason is that being preggo increases the blood flow to your skin, which makes you warmer than others. Since these vampires are heat seeking missiles, is it any wonder that they can pick a pregnant woman out of a crowd?
- It’s Your Wardrobe
While smell has a lot to do with how mosquitoes choose their victims, they have pretty good eyesight as well. Mosquitoes are fairly visual creatures, especially in the early afternoon. For some reason, they like darker colors, such as black, navy blue, and red. Try the Madonna routine go “like a virgin” – wear white.
- It’s Your Skin
Last, but certainly not least, according to some research studies, the type and amount of bacteria on your skin can act like a beacon to these blood sucking pests. Our skin is literally a hive of microscopic life. Certain types of bacteria can make a pretty distinct and attractive aroma, at least to mosquitoes. This explains why some types of mosquitoes tend to bite ankles and feet, which tend to be pretty ripe when speaking of bacteria and odor. Take a shower just before you head outside and scrub off that party of bacteria before they open the door to your mosquito buddies.