Here’s Why Mosquitos Bite Some People More Than Others

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My favorite season is summer, and do I really need to jot down all the reasons why? Well, first off, I absolutely loathe everything cold (except for ice cream and iced Americanos, haha). I feel most at ease basking in warmth. Sure, it’s chic to don winter coats when the air gets frosty, but that’s nothing compared to the joy of crop tops, sunshine, and birds serenading. I’m a summer girl through and through, but there’s one thing about the season that I genuinely despise—mosquitos. These tiny insects just looove me. Seriously, do they even bother biting other people, or is it just me? Sometimes I feel like all the mosquitos have conspired to target me and ruin my summer vibes.

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So, why me? Why do some of us seem to be mosquito magnets while others barely get a nibble? Believe it or not, there are actual reasons for this, and here’s what I found out after a bit of digging.

Firstly, it turns out that our blood type might play a role. Research suggests that mosquitos are more attracted to certain blood types, with Type O blood being the biggest mosquito magnet. Guess what my blood type is? Yep, Type O. So, if you’re like me and find yourself constantly swatting away these pesky insects, your blood type might be the reason. This is just one of the suggestions. Not a fact, I guess. 

Then there’s the matter of the carbon dioxide we exhale. Mosquitos have a keen sense of smell, particularly when it comes to CO2, which we all emit when we breathe. People who exhale more CO2, like those who are larger or naturally exhale more deeply (I’m looking at you, gym buffs), tend to attract more mosquitos. So, my habit of jogging every morning might be making me more of a target.

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Body heat and sweat can also turn you into a mosquito beacon. These insects are drawn to warmer bodies and the lactic acid, uric acid, and ammonia found in sweat. My summer volleyball sessions not only make me feel alive but apparently also make me irresistible to mosquitos. It’s not just about getting hot and sweaty, though. Wearing dark colors like black, navy, and red can raise your body temperature and make you stand out to these heat-seeking pests.

And it doesn’t stop there—our genetic makeup itself could be attracting mosquitos. Scientists estimate that around 85% of the reason some of us are more attractive to mosquitos than others could be down to our genes. So, if your parents were constantly battling bites, there’s a good chance you might be fighting off these critters too.

Now that we know why some of us might be more prone to mosquito bites, what can we do about it? Well, there are a few strategies I’ve picked up over the years to keep these buzzing nuisances at bay.

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First, I’ve learned that mosquito repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or lemon eucalyptus oil can be effective. I make sure to spray myself before I head out, especially during dusk and dawn when mosquitos are most active. I also try to wear light-colored clothing that covers as much skin as possible when I know I’ll be in mosquito-prone areas.

At home, I keep my environment less inviting to mosquitos by eliminating standing water where they breed, using window screens, and sometimes running a fan to disrupt their flying patterns.

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And what if you do get bitten? Over the years, I’ve found that topical antihistamines or hydrocortisone cream can reduce itching and swelling. Home remedies like applying a cold compress or aloe vera can also provide relief.

While I can’t change my blood type or genetics, understanding why I’m a mosquito favorite and taking proactive steps has definitely made my summers more bearable. So, if you’re like me and find yourself a target for these summer spoilers, take heart. There are ways to fight back and reclaim the joy of the season. After all, we summer folks have sunshine to bask in and waves to jump into—let’s not let the mosquitos ruin our fun!