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25 Jul 2017

Eight things you do that make mosquitoes bite you


New research has revealed that mosquitoes prey on their victims due to a number of factors.

They also say that the species of mosquitoes you are exposed to can determine whether or not you are going to be bitten.

So, why do mosquitoes bite you? These reasons…

• Beer: Some studies reveal that mosquitoes are attracted to beer drinkers, though this is only relevant to one type of mosquito.

• Type O Blood: If you have Type O blood running through your veins, you’re prime candidate for mosquito bites! Research published in the Journal of Medical Entomology found that mosquitoes were 83.3 percent more likely to land on type O carriers than type A carriers. Again, this appears to apply to one particular species of mosquito.

• Pregnancy: In 2003, an experiment was conducted in eastern Sudan to see if mosquitoes were more attracted to pregnant women than non-pregnant women. The results, published on NCBI, found that out of the 18 women, the nine pregnant women attracted significantly more mosquitoes, especially ones that were carrying malaria. This could be because of raised temperature and how women’s body odour changes during pregnancy. Again, only one species of mosquito is attracted to pregnant women.

• Gender: Interestingly, only female mosquitoes bite, as the nutritional value of blood helps develop their eggs. They also seem to prefer to bite more men, but women are more badly affected by a bite. Women reportedly get bigger and itchy bites, but men are more likely to be attacked.

• Genes: There is also the belief that mosquitoes could be attracted to you because of your genetic make-up. An indicator of this could be if you have a bad reaction to a bite, such as the size of the bite or the intensity of the itchiness.

• Carbon dioxide: This one is quite hard to avoid, as your body naturally produces around 2.3 pounds of carbon dioxide a day, which is breathed out through your lungs. Well, you have to breathe, so you can’t avoid mosquito bites by withholding your breath. Good news, though: Mosquitoes tend to prefer people who emit more than the standard levels of carbon dioxide—a situation that is common among pregnant women and overweight people.

• Lactic acid: Mosquitoes love the lactic acid that the body produces when you work out. The acid is released as you sweat, making you a prime target, especially if you are hot and tired.

• Bacteria: If you have lots of different bacteria on your skin, mosquitoes will be less attracted to you. The chemicals that build up your natural smell could repel them. A study published in PLOS showed that a group of people with a more diverse colony of bacteria were less likely to attract mosquitoes, than those with less.

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