It’s Science Tuesday–let’s talk about mosquitoes.
About 20% of people are especially delicious for mosquitoes to take blood from, according to scientists.
* 85% of people secrete a chemical indicating what blood type they have; mosquitoes prefer Type O blood more than Type A and B
* People who exhale more CO2, which attracts mosquitoes from up to 164 feet away (a reason why mosquitoes like to bite pregnant women and larger people)
* Mosquitoes are attracted to body sweat and people with higher body temperatures
* Some skin bacteria attracts mosquitoes; as bacteria are denser on ankles on feet, mosquitoes like to bite there
* Drinking beer attracts mosquitoes (it raises body temperature)
* It’s possible even clothing choices can attract mosquitoes–colors that stand out, as mosquitoes can see you
In contrast, about 15% of people excrete chemicals that appear to repel mosquitoes. Scientists are now attempting to isolate these molecules for potential use in mosquito repellent.
The Smithsonian Magazine has more here.