Why Do Some People Attract So Many Mosquitoes?

Why Do Some People Attract So Many Mosquitoes? (Image 1)

Genes, blood type and even beer drinking could all be to blame…

Are you someone who gets attacked by mosquitoes?  I am.  My daughter does too.  My son, however, barely gets touched. 

Well, it’s estimated that around 20 percent of us get bitten more than others.  Get this…  there’s even a video now to explain why this could be. 

There are various factors that can affect your chance of getting bitten…  from your blood type to how often you shower. 

According to expert Craig Benzine, whether or not you get bitten all comes down to the ‘perfect combination of genetics and scent.’  He claims that 85% of the reason why mosquitoes prefer you is genetic. 

That’s not good news because for those of us who get bitten more…  we can’t do much about it. 

Some of us produce more lactic acid in our sweat, and this too can lead to more bites.  Researchers say our bodies produce around 500 different chemicals that can be detected by mosquitoes.  The insects are then attracted to sweat, lactic acid, uric acid and octenol.  Lactic acid is released through pores in the skin, particularly after exercise.  Uric acid is best known as a chemical in urine, but it can also build up on the skin.  Octenol is found in sweat and breath.  So if you are sweaty and breathing heavily, you will produce more of all the above and here come the mosquitoes.

Since you can’t change your body chemistry, here are some ways you maybe able to avoid them

For one, if you exercise outside, you tend to produce more lactic acid.  Also, mosquitoes seem to like higher body temperatures.  Our body temperature goes up when we exercise.  Another fact… the older the sweat, say a day or so, then the more attractive you are to mosquitoes.  So try to shower often.  You will be less of a target. 

Blood type can also influence how likely you are to get bitten.  Research shows that people with Type O blood are twice as likely to get bitten as those with Type B.  Type A was even less popular than Type B. 

And now let’s talk about beer.  Back in 2002, a Japanese study found that those who drank a single bottle of beer were more attractive to mosquitoes.  Experts think this is because drinking beer increases body temperature and the amount of alcohol in that is in a person’s sweat.  

So what is your best defense?  Use an insect repellent containing the chemical DEET.  Of if you want to go natural, use lemon eucalyptus oil.  


(source:  Mental Floss video, Washington Times)

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