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Mosquitos. Why do some people bite more than others? There are several reasons

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Mosquitoes sting everyone, but they don’t treat everyone equally. There are several factors that attract these insects. Among those most at risk of being bitten are: people with a specific blood group, people who drink alcohol or pregnant women.

There are many theories as to why some people act like mosquito magnets and others don’t. It was said that these universally hated insects consciously choose blood that is “sweeter”, i.e. richer in glucose. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this thesis. What about other popular theories, such as the one that attributes the attraction of mosquitoes to a specific blood type? This is explained to us by Dr. Piotr Jawień from the Faculty of Biological Sciences of the University of Wrocław.

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Who do mosquitoes bite more often?

– There are two main factors that determine how often mosquitoes sting us: the amount of carbon dioxide we exhale and body temperature. The other factors are related to these two and are their consequence – says Dr. Jawień. – Larger people, or those with accelerated metabolisms, usually exhale more carbon dioxide than others. Mosquitoes are able to identify its source, or at least determine more or less the direction it comes from, from a distance of up to 50 meters. Different people also have different body temperatures. Those with higher levels are a bit more attractive to mosquitoes, she adds.

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There are also more and less preferred by mosquitoes, or rather mosquitoes, blood groups. – Research conducted on a species of tiger mosquito (occurring in Poland – ed.) showed that it prefers people with blood type O. On the other hand, one of the species of mosquitoes found in Africa prefers group AB – notes the assistant professor of the Department of Microbial Ecology and Acaroentomology. The question remains: how do insects know what blood type a potential target has? – 85 percent of the population emits certain chemical signals through the skin, usually manifested in sweat, concerning the blood type – explains Jawień.

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Pregnancy, beer and sports attract mosquitoes

Pregnant women are bitten by mosquitoes twice as often as the rest of the population. – This is related to three issues. Once – women, due to slightly higher levels of the sex hormone called estradiol, are generally chosen by female mosquitoes a little more often than men. Two – in pregnant women, the amount of carbon dioxide exhaled increases by about 20 percent. And the third issue is body temperature, which is usually slightly higher in them than in other people – Jawień lists.

People who consume alcoholic beverages are also at particular risk of being bitten by mosquitoes. – After drinking alcohol, the heart rate, body temperature and the amount of carbon dioxide exhaled increase. Komarzyce is especially attracted to beer, which itself contains carbon dioxide. Bananas also have similar properties – the scientist explains.

Mosquitoes are also attracted to sports. – During physical activity, the heart rate increases, we release more carbon dioxide and heat. Plus, we sweat. The secretion of uric acid, lactic acid or ammonia is also attractive to them – emphasizes Jawień.

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Mosquitoes and colors

What about the theory that the color of our clothes is also important for mosquitoes? – Noticeable colors that stand out against the background of the surroundings, not only black or navy blue, but also red or orange, actually attract mosquitoes – confirms Jawień. – It may be related to the greater heating of dark surfaces, and therefore our body. The colors red and orange can be associated by mosquitoes with heat waves that resemble the waves emitted by human skin, regardless of its pigmentation. Bright colors do not seem to be attractive to host-seeking mosquitoes, as do muted shades of green and grey, she adds.

SEE ALSO: Bees distinguish between even and odd numbers. Surprising research results

tvn24.pl, houstonmethodist.org, CNN

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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