Though summer brings advantages such as longer days and an excuse to spend more time outdoors, it also has its share of downsides. One of these is the increased number of mosquitoes out and about, looking to make a meal out of your blood.
Are you one of the lucky people who seem to be a mosquito magnet? If so, you may have wondered why. Is it something in your skin, or do mosquitoes prefer a certain blood type?
Get ready to find out why these nuisance insects like to feed on you.
Mosquitoes and Blood Types
Do mosquitoes prefer one blood type over the others? As it turns out, yes. Scientists first landed on this discovery back in 1972. More recently, a Journal of Medical Entomology study further broke down certain species of mosquitoes’ preferences.
Which Blood Types Do Mosquitoes Prefer?
People with Type O blood are more than universal donors. They’re also “tastier” to mosquitoes. In fact, according to a study, certain species of the insect landed on the skin of people with Type O blood almost twice as often as they did on the skin of those with Type A.
But what about your blood type draws mosquitoes to you? Well, people secrete certain chemicals through their skin. The chemicals you produce will depend on your DNA, which also determines your blood type. Dr. Jonathan Day, a University of Florida medical entomologist and mosquito expert, says that some of these chemicals — like lactic acid — can attract more mosquitoes.
What Other Factors Attract Mosquitoes?
True, mosquitoes may be more attracted to people with Type O blood, however, it’s not the only factor that may cause them to choose to feed on you over someone else.
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According to Day, a person’s metabolic rate could also attract mosquitoes. The insects use carbon dioxide as a means of locating the source of their meal. The higher your metabolic rate, the more carbon dioxide you produce, making you more attractive to mosquitoes. This means people who have recently worked out, pregnant women or those who just have high resting metabolic rates, could be more attractive to mosquitoes.
The clothes you choose to wear can impact whether you attract mosquitoes, too. Mosquitoes are very visual and are attracted to darker colors. Therefore, if you’re not one to follow summer trends of lighter-colored clothes, you could be setting yourself up to pull in more mosquitoes.
In addition, we tend to bare more skin in the summer, which gives mosquitoes more surface area of skin to land on, bite and feed. You can help lessen the odds of being bitten as much by wearing clothing that covers you up but doesn’t make you too hot.
So, do mosquitoes prefer a certain blood type? Final answer: Yes. But having one of the less preferable blood types doesn’t mean mosquitoes won’t bother you at all, nor does it do any good for your guests and pets.
Don’t let these mosquitoes trap you indoors all summer.