Did you know that mosquitoes are picky eaters? Mosquitoes will bite some people more than others, but why?
There are several known factors that come into play when mosquitoes choose to chomp down on one person over another. If you’ve noticed you get bitten more than your friends and family, here are a few possible reasons why.
Bacteria On Your Skin
Research shows that there are certain types of bacteria that dwell on human skin which can act as a beacon for mosquitoes. These bacteria make your skin more appealing to the mosquito and thus makes you more vulnerable to getting bitten. This can also explain why mosquitoes are more likely to bite ankles and feet, as these skin areas have a dense build-up of bacteria.
Breathing (No, Seriously)
Mosquitoes track their next meal by smelling carbon dioxide in the air. We humans exhale carbon dioxide everytime we breathe. With their maxillary palp organ, mosquitoes can track CO2 emissions from over 160 feet away. Because of this, people who exhale more (typically larger individuals) are more likely to get bitten by mosquitoes because they’re giving off more carbon dioxide.
Studies have shown that women who are pregnant attract twice as many mosquitoes than others. This is most likely due to the excessive carbon dioxide they exhale while pregnant (roughly 21% more) and their higher body temperatures.
It’s In Your Blood
Certain blood types are known to be more attractive to mosquitoes than others. For example, Type O blood has shown to be twice as attractive to mosquitoes than Type A blood. Mosquitoes feed off of the proteins in our blood, so it’s no wonder that they’re more prone to choose the most protein-rich options.
In addition to blood type, some people secrete chemical signals which give off their blood type, beckoning nearby blood suckers. Only about 15% of the population doesn’t secrete their blood type, making them less likely to be bitten.
Beer Drinkers Beware
This reason is somewhat of a mystery to scientists. But one study has shown that a single 12 ounce beer can make you more attractive to insects and thus more susceptible to mosquito bites. Both the increased ethanol in sweat and the increase of body temperature as a result of drinking alcohol were tested as possible causes, but no correlation was found.
Born to be Bitten
It’s estimated that 85% of the variability found between people who are attractive to mosquitoes and those who aren’t is due to underlying genetic factors. These factors can be chalked up to blood type, metabolism, and a host of other variables. So, if you are prone to being bitten by mosquitoes, you may have your parents to thank.
Questions About Mosquitoes?
No matter the reason why mosquitoes are prone to bite you, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about it. Mosquito solutions go beyond bug spray. In fact, studies have shown that mosquitoes can actually become immune to these sprays. Keep your home mosquito-free this year by contacting Vulcan Termite today. Families have been calling on us to protect their homes since 1965–get in touch today and see why!