If it looks like mosquitoes love you more than anyone else, they probably do. Studies show that about 20 percent of people are particularly resistant to these insects.
Some might say it’s because you have “sweet blood”, which is not true. However, your blood type and various other factors like your clothes, your breath, and even the bacteria that live on your skin can all play a role.
If you’re a mosquito magnet, read on to learn more about what might lure the insects to you. In addition to satisfying your curiosity, understanding these factors can help you identify ways to avoid their irritating bites and reduce your risk of diseases they can cause.
What are vector-borne diseases?
Vectors are living organisms that can transmit disease. Mosquitoes are vectors of human disease transmitted by biting vectors. Examples include:
- Zika virus
- West Nile virus
Mosquitoes target their victims with their eyes. Research shows that wearing dark colors (green, black and red) makes you more visible.
Choose pastel colors like pastels, beige or even white.
Adult mosquitoes rely on nectar for nutrients, while female mosquitoes rely on proteins in human blood to lay their eggs.
Interestingly, mosquitoes found certain blood types more popular than others.
Studies have found that different species have preferences for different blood types. E.g, Aedes albopictus Mosquitoes prefer type O blood, while Anopheles gambiae Prefer AB type.
In addition, about 80% of people secrete a secretion that indicates what blood type they are. Mosquitoes are more attracted to these people than others, regardless of blood type.
Mosquitoes can sense carbon dioxide from great distances. In addition, they can see humans from a distance of 5 to 15 meters (about 16 to 49 feet). These two clues can help them track you down.
Also, the more you exhale, the more attractive you become. Larger people exhale more, so they are more likely to attract mosquitoes.
Since you exhale carbon dioxide through your nose and mouth, mosquitoes are especially attracted to your head.
heat and sweat
Mosquitoes also have other scented noses. For example, they can sniff out lactic acid, ammonia and other compounds emitted in sweat.
Vigorous exercise increases the accumulation of lactic acid and calories in the body. In addition, genetic factors can affect your “smell profile,” which in turn affects your attraction to mosquitoes.
These things make it easier for mosquitoes to find some people than others.
Your skin is naturally full of microscopic life. These bacteria mix with sweat to create a unique fragrance.
Some studies have shown that the type and amount of bacteria on a person’s skin can act as an attraction for mosquitoes.
In one study, researchers divided participants into those who were very attracted to mosquitoes and those who disliked them. The first group had a larger microbial community, but it was not as diverse as those that were less attractive to mosquitoes.
The bacterial factor may also explain why some mosquitoes are attracted to the ankles and feet, where bacteria are particularly mature.
It turns out that pregnancy attracts some mosquitoes. There isn’t much research on this, but a 2000 study in Africa found that pregnant women were attracted to twice as many mosquitoes as non-pregnant people.
The researchers believe this could have several reasons, including:
- Carbon dioxide: People who are late in pregnancy exhale 21% more air than those who are not pregnant.
- Heat: A pregnant woman’s belly temperature rises by about 1 degree.
Who knew mosquitoes liked beer? In one study, researchers found that participants who drank a liter of beer flew far more mosquitoes than those who drank a liter of water.
However, the reasons for this increase remain unclear. Neither carbon dioxide exhalation nor skin temperature showed any correlation between alcohol consumption and mosquito landings.
Even so, the findings suggest that you should take precautions against mosquitoes when you drink alcohol.
While it may seem a mystery why mosquitoes prefer some people to others, it turns out that science can provide some clues.
The researchers found that dark clothing, blood type, sweat, carbon dioxide, pregnancy, skin bacteria and beer consumption are some of the things that attract mosquitoes.
Too many mosquito bites can cause noticeable itching and redness around the bite area. However, if you have a severe reaction to an unusual-looking mosquito bite, you may not only be particularly attracted to these bugs, but allergic to them.
See your doctor for mosquito allergy symptoms such as bruising, rash, and significant swelling.