Always find that you are the target of mosquitoes?
Coming away from a family camping trip covered in bites while the rest get away with one?
Well, there are a number of reasons why the blood-sucking insects have chosen you over your fellow campers.
Jonathan Day, a professor of medical entomology at the University of Florida in Vero Beach – where you can imagine the critters are a menace – recently debunked some myths for
It is all about knowing the enemy, and scientific research on the flying bugs has helped experts pinpoint reasons why some are more affected than others.
Blood, sweat and… gas?
A mosquito has an incredible sense of smell. It is so powerful it can sniff out your blood type.
And they are very fond of Type O, so if you have Type O, you are twice as likely to be bitten than someone with Type A blood.
A mosquito bite is one of the many insect bites and stings you might have to deal with this summer
They also sniff out lactic acid, uric acid and ammonia, which are all found in sweat, so if you are someone who works out a lot and builds up a lot of lactic acid in your body, you are more likely to attract a mosquito.
And that is not the only thing they hunt for. They can sense carbon dioxide up to 48 metres away. And because that is the gas we breathe out, it attracts them to our faces.
There is also another biological reason you may be bitten more. Pregnancy.
Pregnant women are more likely to attract mosquitoes partly due to the increase in carbon dioxide exhaled by women in late pregnancy. They also tend to be warmer, which has obvious appeals for the insect.
But what about the things you can control?
There are two other things that encourage mosquitoes to bite your skin.
Firstly: the wrong clothes. According to Jonathan Day, wearing dark clothing, like black, navy and red, makes you more visible to the bug.
The second reason isn’t going to go down well, but drinking beer can also attract them disproportionately.
So if you want to escape those itchy red marks, ditch the beer and wear something white.
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