Did you know that you could actually be more "attractive" to those pesky mosquitoes? Find out what factors lure those bugs to you.
I always thought the reason I got so many mosquito bites during the summer was because I was so sweet -- hey, that's what my mom told me! Apparently, it's a bit more scientific than that.
A new study suggests 20% of people are more "delicious" to mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are lured by sight and smell, says Jonathan Day, a professor of medical entomology at the University of Florida in Vero Beach. So what are the sights and smells these pesky bugs thrive off of? Well, believe it or not, one of the triggers is blood type. 85% of people secrete a chemical signal that indicates what blood type they have. In a controlled setting, mosquitoes tended to land on people with Type O blood nearly twice as often as those with Type A blood. The reason mosquitoes bite us is because they harvest protein from our blood.
Another factor has to do with the amount of carbon dioxide we emitt from our breath. People that exhale more gas have been shown to attract more mosquitoes. That is one reason why adults get bit more than children.
There are many other elements that play into your "mosquito attractiveness factor" such as excercise, metabolism, and genetics. Bugs tend to gravitate towards people who relase certain substances expelled from sweat; as well as those with a higher body temperature.
And whether you like it or not, beer can also "up" a mosquito's tendency to bite you. The ethanol your body releases in your sweat can attract the biting bugs.
Read the full list of mosquito bite factors from Smithsonian magazine.