Have you ever felt like you are being specifically targeted by mosquitoes as you finish up with itchy welts all over your body, as your friends seem like they are not even aware of the pesky biters’ existence?
Well, it is not your imagination. Research has proven that mosquitoes DO have preferences when them comes to picking out the people they want to suck blood from. In a feature by WebMD, Jerry Butler, PhD, professor emeritus at the University of Florida posited that “one in ten people are highly attractive to mosquitoes”.
Here’s the thing mosquitoes do not suck blood for food. In fact, only female mosquitoes bite people because they need proteins from human blood to develop fertile eggs and create more mosquito babies. 85% of our likelihood to get bitten of mosquitoes is due to genetics.
You’ve a large body size
These has to do with your metabolic rate, or the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) released by your body as them burns energy. Mosquitoes use carbon dioxide as their primary means of identifying targets and can actually sense CO2 from up to fifty metres away!
You are wearing red or dark-coloured clothing
Apart from smell, mosquitoes as well rely on sight to spot their prey. Red makes you a prime target, also as dark colours specified black and blue.
You’ve Type O blood
A few blood types are so sweeter than others, metaphorically speaking. A study found that people with Type O blood are 83% more likely to get bitten. People with Type A blood are least likely to become mosquito prey, while those with Type B blood are kind of in the middle. Additionally, 85 percent of people produce a secretion that signals their blood type, making them more visible prey for mosquitoes compared to the non-secretors, regardless of blood type.
Certain elements of your body chemistry are actually calling out to the mosquitoes
People who produce excess amount of certain acids (e.g. lactic acid, uric acid) and/or have higher concentrations of steroids and cholesterol on their skin surface tend to attract mosquitoes. These doesn’t inevitably mean that mosquitoes prey on those with high cholesterol. Rather, these people naturally metabolise and process cholesterol faster than others, the byproducts of which remain on the skin’s surface.
You are pregnant
According to a study done in Africa, pregnant women is double as likely to attract mosquitoes compared to their non-pregnant peers because they give off a greater amount of carbon dioxide. In fact, a 2002 study found that women in the later stages of pregnancy exhale 21% more carbon dioxide than non-pregnant women, making it even more noticeable to the pests.
You have just had a beer or a glass of wine
Drinking alcohol as well raises your metabolic rate and your blood heat, making you very appealing to mosquitoes.