Somehow, you always seem to end up with itchy welts all over your body, while your friends aren’t even aware of the existence of these pesky biters.
In a feature by WebMD, Jerry Butler, PhD, professor emeritus at the University of Florida says that mosquitoes DO have preferences when it comes to who they choose to suck blood from.
And it’s mostly due to genetics.
Research has shown that your genes account for 85% of your susceptibility to mosquito bites. Certain elements of your body chemistry also makes you more attractive to mosquitoes.
In fact, only female mosquitoes bite people. That’s because they need proteins from human blood to develop fertile eggs and create more mosquito babies.
People with Type A blood are least likely to become mosquito prey
People with Type AB blood are less likely to become mosquito prey
Those with Type B blood are kind of in between
A study found that people with Type O blood are 83% more likely to get bitten
The higher your metabolic rate, the more attractive you are to mosquitoes.
In fact, mosquitoes can sense CO2 from their targets, up to 50 metres away!
According to a study done in Africa, pregnant women are twice as likely to attract mosquitoes compared to non-pregnant women because they exhale more CO2.
Overweight people tend to give off more CO2, making them more susceptible to mosquito bites because of their larger body size and relative heat.
Drinking alcohol also raises your metabolic rate and your body temperature, making you very appealing to mosquitoes.
Do you realise how your body heats up after exercise? Well, body warmth attracts
But more than that, mosquitoes are drawn to lactic acid, a compound produced by your body after working up a sweat. That’s why you’re likely to get bitten after a run or workout.
Apart from smell, mosquitoes also rely on sight to spot their prey. Red makes you a prime target, as well as dark colours like black and blue.
Mosquitoes are attracted to people with excess amounts of certain compounds in their body or on their skin surface:
According to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, these people seemingly produce a natural
repellent against mosquitoes.