Mosquitoes are an incredibly rude bunch. They don’t even offer to take you to dinner before biting, draining your blood and exposing you to all sorts of nasty diseases.
Speaking of blood, did you know that mosquitoes actually have a preferred type?
85% of people secrete a chemical through their skin that mosquitoes use to gauge what type of blood lies underneath. Type A is meh. Type B gets ’em going. But Type O? That will make you the most popular dish in the blood buffet.
In one controlled study by the Journal of Medical Entomology, mosquitoes landed on people with Type O blood twice as often as those with Type A.
Contrary to popular belief, mosquitoes aren’t actually feeding when they bite humans. In fact, females are the only ones that consume human blood. That’s because they need it to maintain fertility.
Type O blood, for reasons researchers aren’t entirely sure of, helps them do that better than any other type.
Type O individuals get turned into a pin cushion at dusk but they’re also the least likely to die from the most severe forms of malaria.
The malaria-causing compound RIFIN bonds weakly with Type O blood but links strongly to Type A, the type least likely to be attacked by skeeters.
Maybe the little buggers are a bit more considerate than we originally thought.
Other Risk Factors For Mosquito Bites
While blood type is a major consideration, it’s not the only thing mosquitoes care about. They also keep an eye out for…
Pregnant women exhale 21% more air than your average human. Along with that air comes carbon dioxide, which mosquitoes love. That’s particularly concerning because Zika causes birth defects.
When you exercise, your body temperature rises and your skin releases certain chemicals such as lactic acid. Both of those factors make you more visible and attractive to mosquitoes.
Ever notice how Uncle Bob can’t stop swatting the air around him after a few beers at family barbecues? It is the alcohol that’s causing him to flap so recklessly, but not in the way you might think.
For some reason, mosquitoes are especially attracted to tipsy human beings. Researchers aren’t entirely sure what makes the connection.