It’s not in your head. Mosquitoes really do prefer some people to others. Scientists have estimated that 20 percent of people, are especially delicious for mosquitoes, and get bit more often on a consistent basis. If you are in that not-so-lucky minority you are probably wondering how you came to be so special. Well there are several factors that might play a part. Here are five reasons why mosquitoes might bite you more than your friend.
They want YOUR blood.
You’re saying “well, duh!” Mosquitoes bite us to reap proteins from our blood—but, research has shown that those little winged vampires find certain blood types more appetizing than others. According to a Journal of Medical Entomology study, mosquitoes land on people that have Type O blood almost twice as often as they land on people with Type A blood. People with Type B blood fall someplace in the middle. They also, found that about 85 percent of people secrete a chemical signal advertising their blood type to mosquitoes.
It’s only skin deep.
Other research has proposed that the specific types and volume of bacteria that naturally live on human skin affect our appeal to mosquitoes. In a 2011 study, scientists found that having large amounts of a few types of bacteria made skin more attractive to mosquitoes. This also may explain why mosquitoes are drawn to our ankles and feet, which are areas that often harbor highly active bacteria colonies.
Don’t hold your breath!
One of the main methods mosquitoes locate their victims is by smelling the carbon dioxide emitted in their breath—they use an organ called a maxillary palp that can detect carbon dioxide from as far as 164 feet away! Those who exhale more of this gas (often larger people) seem to attract mosquitoes more than others. This is one of the reasons why children get bit less often than adults, on the whole.
You’re just so hot.
Besides carbon dioxide, mosquitoes seem to have a nose for other scents, such as lactic acid, uric acid, ammonia and other compounds emitted in sweat. They also prefer people with higher body temperatures. Exercise increases the buildup of lactic acid and heat, making a warm, sweaty body almost irresistible to mosquitoes.
They love your style.
Mosquitoes are highly visual creatures. They use their eyes and scent organs to locate food sources, especially in the late afternoon. Wearing certain colors including dark blues, black and red, can make you easier to find. And according to studies, dark colors in general have been shown to attract more mosquitoes than lighter colors.
Science seems to have all the answers as to why we attract mosquitoes, but as to repelling them? Leave that to us. Give us a call at (717) 532-2660 to get started. Then, go out and enjoy your back yard without the threat of mosquitoes!