It turns out that not all people are created equal when it comes to mosquito bites.There are certain blood types that are more attractive to mosquitoes, so some folks are a more appetizing meal than the average joe. This may not be news to you if you’re the person who gets lit up with itchy bites at an outdoor party while other guests don’t feel a thing. Unfortunately, you can only blame Mom and Dad for this enhanced attraction to mosquitoes because it boils down to genetics.
Around 20% of humans are more attractive to mosquitoes and get more bites than other humans. A number of genetic factors have an affect on this. A major influence is the blood type of the individual. Female mosquitoes must have a blood meal to produce eggs, therefore it is understandable that they may be particular about what flavor of blood they consume..
Blood Types Mosquitoes Love Most
According to a study in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, here’s how the blood types stack up:
- Type O: The findings came to the conclusion that humans with Type O blood have mosquitoes land on them the most, making Type O blood more appetizing than the others.
- Type B: Type B placed second in popularity.
- Type A: Type A Blood Type apparently tastes the worst to mosquitoes. The study found that those with Blood Type A are 50% less likely to receive a mosquito bite than those with Type O.
Also, it is noted that around 85 percent of people secrete biochemical signals through their skin that identifies which blood type they have, while 15 percent do not. Mosquitoes are more attracted to the secretors than the nonsecretors, regardless of which blood type they possess.
Genetic reasons why you are more attractive to mosquitoes
Blood type isn’t the only factor that influences how much mosquitoes like you. Other genetic risk factors include:
- Certain chemicals produced by your skin. Lactic acid, for example, attracts mosquitoes.
- Your metabolic rate, or how much carbon dioxide (CO2) your body releases. Mosquitoes detect their next blood meal using CO2, so they are drawn to those who release more of the gas, including pregnant women and larger individuals.
- The amount of bacteria on your skin. Large amounts of a few types of bacteria make your skin tastier to mosquitoes.
Of course, there are other non-genetic factors that are thought to determine how attractive you are to a mosquito. If possible, try to avoid these habits when mosquitoes are around:
- Environmental factors that attract mosquitoes
- Drinking alcohol. Consuming alcohol raises your metabolic rate and body temperature.
- Exercising, which also raises your metabolic rate, increases your body temperature, and releases lactic acid. Sweating, which produces octenol, a chemical that attracts mosquitoes.
- Wearing dark colored clothing.
Unfortunately, if you’re a larger individual with Type O blood, drinks beer, who sweats a lot, and produces lactic acid, you are simply more prone to mosquito bites. While you can’t change your chemical makeup or your blood type, you can take precautions to protect yourself against mosquitoes. Apply DEET-based repellents and wear light-colored, protective clothing when outside.
To keep mosquitoes from biting you in your own backyard, contact Mosquito Squad today. We are the authority in providing effective mosquito control solutions to keep those pesky and dangerous blood suckers away and help you stay itch-free.