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Nature & Environment

Who are mosquitoes more likely to bite ?

By T.K. Randall
July 16, 2013 · Comment icon 32 comments



Image Credit: Grzegorz Krucke
Some people seem to find themselves more prone to being bitten by mosquitoes than others.
Around 20 percent of the population are deemed to be a more desirable target to the insects however it isn't well understood exactly why this should be so. Those who have gone camping and found themselves with red marks all over while their friends have remained unscathed can attest to the nature of this phenomenon.

Several factors are believed to have some impact on who mosquitoes will flock to. The blood type of the victim is one possibility, as is the amount of carbon dioxide they are breathing out. Other factors include the amount of alcohol that has been consumed, the amount of bacteria on the skin and even the color of clothes being worn.
You come in from a summer hike covered with itchy red mosquito bites, only to have your friends innocently proclaim that they donít have any. Or you wake up from a night of camping to find your ankles and wrists aflame with bites, while your tentmates are unscathed.


Source: Smithsonian | Comments (32)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #23 Posted by Darkwind 10 years ago
I was just out messing round under my oak, I kid you not, skeeters out there the size of quarters. They said this was their year to come out. The really big ones cycle about every 10 yrs. It is like being skewed by hummingbirds.
Comment icon #24 Posted by Darkwind 10 years ago
My wife used to be bitten by mosquitoes then when she was diagnosed with MS they seemed to leave her alone. Whether its something to do with the MS I don't know. I have MS they don't leave me alone. I just can't feel them bite on my legs that much.
Comment icon #25 Posted by madduke 10 years ago
There is no mystery why mosquitoes bite people who've had some booze. Even bugs like to get a little 'buzz' every now and then...*groan here*
Comment icon #26 Posted by sam_comm 10 years ago
I noticed overtime after some camping experiences that indeed some people seems to become more of a target for mosquitoes though usually everyone around the fire get their fair shair of annoyance. I doubt it is the the blood type, really how can mosquitoes can smell blood? As far as I know, before they target someone they havn't put their stings in him/her. I think it could have something to do with the smell that a person project in the environement so that it draws insect on him. If you have noticed, people with fragrance on them usually get attacked pretty quick in the woods. So, it might e... [More]
Comment icon #27 Posted by AliveInDeath7 10 years ago
I've found that they usually don't find me a target, since I'm anemic. They do bite me, but find targets more often with my Labrador or anyone else on me. Another probability may be with what Odds has said about the alcohol, but I doubt that, considering my mum Is the primary abuse of any walk. She has been prone to deep alcoholism for a while. Maybe Everclear will ward them off? Wine and beer seem to attract. I've found and have been followed by others, that once you hold a healthy maintenance of garlic, that the squitos will go away. I've actually found this rather truthful.. Those little br... [More]
Comment icon #28 Posted by woopypooky 10 years ago
1. sweats attract mosquitoes. those who seldom exercise therefore sweats more aka fatty are more prone to mosquitoes. 2. amount of hairs hairy people are less prone simply becos mosquitoes can't find place to stand.
Comment icon #29 Posted by shaddow134 10 years ago
1. sweats attract mosquitoes. those who seldom exercise therefore sweats more aka fatty are more prone to mosquitoes. 2. amount of hairs hairy people are less prone simply becos mosquitoes can't find place to stand. I exercise regularly and also quite hairy,but this makes no difference.Also note that studies using garlic and Vitamin B supplement have been found to be inconclusive, and basically good old fashioned genetics may be the reason at the end of the day. They either like the taste of you or they don't.
Comment icon #30 Posted by bigjonalien 10 years ago
Female hormones attracts them. Moving air detours them
Comment icon #31 Posted by ancient astronaut 10 years ago
Whoever the hell they want
Comment icon #32 Posted by Dragonwind 10 years ago
Slightly unrelated but this chinese tincture is awesome to put on after being bitten by a mozzie. It instantly takes away the bite swelling and pain. It's called 'six god'


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