8 things you do that make mosquitoes bite you
There is nothing quite as irritating as a mosquito bite.
These little flies just can’t resist the taste of your blood.
A small bite is only likely to irritate you for a day or so but mosquitoes are known to carry diseases such as malaria, Zika and yellow fever.
Unless you have some super strength spray, there is little you can do to protect your self against them, or so you thought.
New research has revealed that mosquitoes prey on their victims thanks to a number of factors and may alter depending on which species of mosquito live near you.
However, why they prey on blood isn’t fully understood and these results are only theories.
Business Insider have published the findings which might suggest why mosquitos find your blood so irresistible and how you might be able to reduce your allure.
1. 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.
We all need to breathe, so don’t think about holding your breath all day just to avoid a few mosquitoes.
However, mosquitoes tend to prefer people who emit more than the standard levels of carbon dioxide.
This is common amongst pregnant women and overweight people.
2. Lactic Acid
This won’t be good news for athletic types out there.
Mosquitoes love the lactic acid that your body produces whilst working out.
The acid is released via your sweat, making you a prime target, especially if you are hot and tired.
Exercise is obviously important but perhaps going for a jog near a lake or wetlands isn’t advisable.
This news will be very disappointing for anyone who enjoys the occasional pint.
Some studies have discovered that mosquitoes are attracted to beer drinkers.
The Conversation points out that this is only relevant to one type of mosquito so you might not have to worry too much.
It’s good news for you sober individuals out there who don’t have to worry either way.
4. Type O Blood
Changing your blood isn’t advisable but if you have Type O blood running through your veins try to remain vigilant.
Research posted by the Journal of Medical Entomology found that mosquitoes were 83.3 percent more likely to land on type O carriers than type A carriers.
Unfortunately, the NHS record that blood group O is the most common in the UK, belonging to 48 percent of the population.
However, as with beer drinkers this line of thinking only appears to apply to one particular species of mosquito.
There is also the belief that mosquitos could be attracted to you because of your genetic make-up.
Something in your DNA, passed down over generations could be behind mosquitoes fondness for you.
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.
23 and Me report that people with similar genetics often shared these symptoms after being bitten.
Here’s some good news. If you have lots of different bacteria on your skin, mosquitos will be less attracted to you.
Although it might not seem particularly hygienic, the chemicals that build up your natural smell could act as a deterrent.
A study posted on Plos showed that a group of people with a more diverse colony of bacteria were less likely to attract mosquitoes, than those with less.
If you were to go down this route, you might not smell very nice, but at least you wouldn’t be bitten.
In 2003, an experiment was conducted in eastern Sudan to see if mosquitos were more attracted to pregnant women than non-pregnant women.
The results, published on NCBI found 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, according to the Daily Mail.
However, as with beer and type O blood, only one species of mosquito is attracted to pregnant women.
Even so, if you are pregnant and live in an area with malaria carrying mosquitoes a bed net should always be used when sleeping.
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.
Females reportedly get bigger and itchy bites but men are more likely to be attacked.
The New York Times report that due to men mostly having a larger body size, they are more likely to attract mosquitoes.