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It’s summer and that means mosquitos are out in full force. If you’re like me, you’ve likely noticed how much mosquitoes seem to love you. I mean, I can’t go outside without bathing in mosquito repellent beforehand.
If you seem to attract mosquitos far more than anyone else around you, you’re not crazy. There is actually a scientific explanation for that.
According to Science, This Is Why You’re A Mosquito Magnet
There are actually several reasons as to why mosquitos might leave your kids, friends and spouse alone while they hover over you looking to make their next bite.
According to a research study, blood type, metabolism, exercise, shirt color and even drinking beer are all factors that can make you more appetizing to the neighborhood mosquito. (Source)
For starters, since mosquitoes bite us to harvest proteins from our blood, research has shown that they may find certain blood types more appetizing than others.
In fact, one study found that in a controlled setting, mosquitoes landed on people with Type O blood nearly twice as often as those with Type A. People with Type B blood fell somewhere in the middle of this itchy spectrum.
So, if you’ve got type O blood you might find yourself bit more often.
The second factor is the amount of exercise someone may do.
Since one of the key ways mosquitoes locate their targets is by smelling the carbon dioxide emitted in a person’s breath, people who simply exhale more of the gas over time—generally, people who exercise less often or are otherwise, less fit get bit more often.
This is one of the reasons why children get bit less often than adults overall.
If you don’t fall into the lack of exercise above, it may actually be the strenuous exercise that causes you to get bit.
Contrary to the reason above, strenuous exercise can cause a buildup of lactic acid and heat in your body which is excreted through your sweat making you standout to mosquitos.
Drinking beer is among the other reasons that make you attracted to these blood sucking insects. One study found that just a single, 12 oz. bottle/can of beer stimulates mosquito attraction.
Feeling pregnant? That makes you a yummy appetizer as well. Pregnant women exhale more carbon dioxide (talked about above) and are generally warmer, again making them more appealing to mosquitos.
Finally, one of the craziest reasons is clothing color. Yes, mosquitos can see in color! AH! Colors such as black, dark blue or red can make you an easier target to getting bit (sorry, you can’t wear those slimming colors if you want to avoid getting bit).
Here are more fun facts about mosquitoes and bites provided by experts:
- Eating bananas will not attract mosquitoes and taking vitamin B-12 will not repel them; these are old wives’ tales.
- Some mosquito species are leg and ankle biters; they cue into the stinky smell of bacteria on your feet.
- Other species prefer the head, neck and arms perhaps because of the warmth, smells emitted by your skin, and closeness to carbon dioxide released by your mouth.
- The size of a mosquito bite welt has nothing to do with the amount of blood taken and everything to do with how your immune system responds to the saliva introduced by the mosquito into your skin.
- The more times you get bitten by a particular species of mosquito, the less most people react to that species over time. The bad news? There’s more than 3,000 species worldwide.
Basically, if you seem to attract mosquitos more than some, bathe in bug repellent (I like this one) and avoid doing some of these things.
Also, I feel like I need this shirt…