Your friend stretches out on the grass and takes a nap in the warm sun. You writhe beside her, swatting at the air, squirming and scratching uncomfortably. Mosquitos.
You scratch at the bite wounds, as they swell up. You have just been injected with chemicals that prevent your blood from clotting and cause irritation.
These tiny nuisances are known as the deadliest species on earth. They can drink twice the amount of blood they weigh, and fly around as vessels of deadly diseases. What’s more, female mosquitos can detect carbon dioxide emitted by animals and people and follow the trail to their next lunch.
I’m sure, like myself, you have often wondered what makes some people seem so tasty to a mosquito, while others go relatively unscathed. Surprisingly, there are more reasons than you may have imagined.
To begin with, research has proved that mosquitos are attracted to dark colours, and use these to locate their targets. They are also drawn to areas with high humidity, as they need water to reproduce. This makes them attracted to you the more you perspire. High body temperature also draws in mosquitos.
Mosquitos also gravitate towards sources of potassium, lactic acid and salts which can be found in the human body. So, if you tend to binge out on the likes of dried fruits, bananas or avocados, it may be the reason why you are so popular to these little critters. Salty or potassium-rich food sources make us the perfect snack. On top of this, some believe that consuming alcohol creates a chemical released by the skin that they are also attracted to.
Lastly, the mosquito is 83% more likely to be drawn to those with type ‘O’ blood. They are also twice as likely to be attracted to a pregnant woman than someone who is not due to the higher levels of CO2 released.
So, there you have the reasons why mosquitos may bother you more or less than your companions. In any case, it’s a good idea to keep a bottle of mosquito repellent handy if you feel like you are going to need it.