Have you ever felt like mosquitoes bite you more than your friend even though you are in the same room? If yes, you are right. Studies have shown that Mosquitoes are picky with their meal. Here’s why mosquitoes bite you but not your friend.
Factor that determines the probability of a mosquito biting a person.
1. Blood group
According to a study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, mosquitoes are likely to land on a person with blood group O twice as compared to a person with blood group A. This is because of the secretion we produce. Mosquitoes could sense these secretions and as a result, bites more to a person with blood group O.
2. Carbon Dioxide
The more CO2 you give off, the more attracted you are to mosquitoes. People with high metabolic rates ― genetic, other factors give off more carbon dioxide. Being pregnant or being overweight also increases metabolic rate and is more prone to mosquito bites. Pregnant women usually have higher body temperature and give off more carbon dioxide. As a result, they are more prone to mosquitoes.
3. Lactic acid
Lactic acid also attracts mosquitoes. Lactic acid is the chemical that causes cramps during exercise. It is released through the skin, signaling to mosquitoes that we are a target.
Mosquitoes have excellent vision. They can contrast you with the horizon, so how you’re dressed matters. If you have on dark clothes, you are going to attract more because you’ll stand out from the horizon, whereas those wearing light colors won’t as much.
5. Body heat
People whose temperatures are a little higher are more likely to get the bite.
According to one study, people who consumed just one can of beer were more at risk of attracting mosquitoes than those who didn’t.
- What does heat tell a mosquito? Characterization of the orientation behavior of Aedes aegypti towards heat sources, Journal of Insect Physiology.
- Olfaction, experience and neural mechanisms underlying mosquito host preference, Journal of experimental Biology.
- Detection and perception of generic host volatiles by mosquitoes: responses to CO2 constrains host-seeking behaviour, Royal society open science.
- Alcohol ingestion stimulates mosquito attraction, Journal of American Mosquito control association, 2002 Jun;18(2):91-6.
- Mosquitoes prefer pregnant women, BMJ 2000, 320(7249): 1558.