Are You a Mosquito Magnet?
Posted by: Communications Team | July 7, 2019
Ever wonder why you get eaten up by mosquitoes and someone sitting right next to you doesn’t get even one bite? Possibly you are part of the 20% group of people who mosquitoes find irresistible.
“High attractor types” is what Jonathan Day, a professor of medical entomology at the University of Florida in Vero Beach, calls the unfortunate group.
Day says that the two most compelling factors of mosquito attraction have to do with sight and smell. We have some ideas to keeps those pests away from you and reduce the use of those questionable chemicals.
As mentioned above, mosquitoes actually use their eyes to target victims. Day explains that mosquitoes are highly visual, especially later in the afternoon, and their first mode of search for humans is through vision. Wearing dark colors (navy, black) and red make you easier to spot.
- Blood Type
Female mosquitoes rely on the protein in our blood to produce eggs, for food mosquitoes eat plant nectar.. Research has found, in fact, that people with Type O blood are found to be twice as attractive to mosquitoes than those with Type A blood; Type B people were in the middle. In addition, 85 percent of people produce a secretion that signals what blood type they are; mosquitoes are drawn to those 85 percent more than the non-secretors, regardless of blood type.
Mosquitoes can sense carbon dioxide up to 160 feet away so, the more one exhales, the more attractive they become. Larger people exhale more. Also to note, since human beings exhale carbon dioxide through the nose and mouth, mosquitoes are attracted to our heads, which explains the whole “mosquitoes buzzing about the ears all night” misery.
- Heat and Sweat
Mosquitoes apparently have a nose for other scents besides carbon dioxide; they can sniff down victims through the lactic acid, uric acid, ammonia and other compounds emitted in sweat. They also like people who run warmer; a hot sweaty human must seem quite delicious to them. Strenuous exercise increases the buildup of lactic acid and heat in your body.
- Lively Skin
Some research has shown that the types and amount of bacteria on one’s skin can play a role in bringing on the mosquitoes as well. Our dermal casing is naturally teeming with microscopic life creating a distinct fragrance. The bacteria factor could also explain why some mosquitoes are drawn to ankles and feet, an especially ripe source of bacteria.
Mosquitoes are evidently more attracted to pregnant women than women who are not. One study in Africa found that pregnant women are twice as attractive to malaria carrying mosquitoes as non-pregnant women; researchers believe it is due to an increase in carbon dioxide – they found that women in late pregnancy exhaled 21 percent greater volume of breath than non-pregnant women. They also discovered that the abdomens of pregnant women were 1.26°F hotter, adding to the mosquitoes-like-warm-bodies component.
Who knew mosquitoes had a taste for beer? In one study researchers found that significantly more mosquitoes landed on study participants after drinking a 12-ounce beer than before. The scientists figured that it was due to increased ethanol content in sweat and skin temperature from consuming the brew, but they were unable to find the exact correlation, just that it happened.
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We hope that you found our mosquito information interesting and useful. When you have questions about your insurance, we are ready with answers.
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