As fun as it is to spend time outside at picnics and barbecues over the summer, it can be frustrating to deal with summer’s most common pest: the mosquito. If you feel like you get bitten more than the people around you, you might be right, as there are many factors that influence a mosquito to choose one person over another. Here are eight factors or reasons why mosquitoes may find you to be extra delicious.
Unfortunately, one of the most common reasons a mosquito might favor you has to do you’re your blood type, something you can’t change. Studies have shown that mosquitoes are more likely to bite people with type O blood than people with other blood types.
One of the biggest mosquito attractants is carbon dioxide, a gas people exhale. The larger you are, the more carbon dioxide you produce, meaning that adults are more likely to be bitten than children.
Mosquitoes are attracted to high body temperatures. If you run hot, have been exercising, or have been standing in the sun for too long, you might be attracting mosquitoes. Try to avoid being outside in the heat for too long if mosquitoes tend to favor you.
In addition to smelling out their prey, mosquitoes also spot potential meals visually. Mosquitoes like darker colors, like black or navy blue. If you want to avoid being bitten, try changing into light clothing.
Each person’s skin has a unique combination of microbes and chemicals, some of which attract mosquitoes more than others. Some chemicals secreted by the skin which attract mosquitoes include lactic acid, uric acid, and ammonia. Unfortunately, your genetics control how much of certain chemicals are expelled through the skin, so there isn’t much you can do to change this factor.
There are several reasons why mosquitoes seem to like sweaty people. For one thing, mosquitoes like heat, and sweaty people have higher temperatures. Additionally, if you’ve been exercising, sweat contains lactic acid, which mosquitoes love. Avoid exercising outside during mosquito season to keep from being bitten.
For some reason, mosquitoes seem to love pregnant people. Pregnant women tend to have higher temperatures and emit more carbon dioxide, both of which attract mosquitoes. Mosquitoes may also be attracted to the additional estrogen created during pregnancy.
Oddly enough, mosquitoes seem to like beer. Scientists aren’t exactly sure why this is the case, but some think that it’s because people produce more ethanol after consuming beer. Drink your beers inside to avoid becoming a target for mosquitoes.
There are many reasons why mosquitoes might be more attracted to you than they are to other people. Although some factors can be fixed with simple lifestyle adjustments, many of mosquitoes’ preferences are based on genetics. Because mosquitoes carry diseases such as Zika, West Nile, and malaria, it is important to use insect repellents to avoid being bitten as much as possible.
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