Did You Know

Some People Are Actual Mosquito Magnets - Here's Why

Terminix / Daily Herald

There a lot of fun activities you can do in the summer - like swimming, hiking, camping, golfing, and the list goes on and on.

While it's great to spend hours having fun in the outdoors, you have to deal with all the pesky bugs that call this world home too.

And if you're like me, when you're not trying to enjoy these fun outdoor activities, you're scratching almost every inch of your body wondering why you're the only one in the group with so many mosquito bites.

It's admirable that we take one for the team (even though it's unintentional), but it's annoying that we have to.

The good news is that science has a reason to explain why mosquitoes bite some people more than others.

The bad news is that you may not be able to do anything about it. That being said, there are a few tips at the end of this article that you can follow to help ward off mosquitoes!

The "Magnet" Is Inside You

1. You smell tasty

The bacteria on your skin plays a huge role when a mosquito wants to decide if you're worth a meal.

If you find that you're getting bit more in a certain area than in others, like your ankles, then it's time to start exfoliating.

Keeping your skin clean may be able to help ward off those pesky bugs.

2. Your blood type

Many people have heard that blood type plays a factor in whether mosquitoes find certain people juicer than others, and it's actually true.

Female mosquitoes rely on the protein in our blood to produce more eggs, and research has shown that they actually have a preference.

Scientists found that a majority of people secrete a chemical that indicates what their blood type is.

Mosquitoes find Type O blood simply irresistible compared to other blood types.

3. You stand out

By now, we all know mosquitoes have a great sense of smell, but they also rely on their vision to make informed decisions.

They don't see things the same way we do, but they're able to identify certain colors over others.

According to James Day, a medical entomologist at the University of Florida, colors like black, dark blue, and red will make you stand out to a mosquito.

4. Your weight

If you needed any more encouragement to change your eating habits and hit the gym, this may be it.

Mosquitoes are also known to locate their victims by detecting their levels of carbon dioxide.

The more you exhale, the more likely you're going to fall victim, so the bad news is that heavier people tend to exhale more CO2 in the atmosphere.

5. The taste of beer

There's nothing like enjoying a cold beer in summer. But if you turn into a tasty meal for pesky bugs, is it worth it?

One study published in the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association found that a single beer increases your chances of getting bit.

They haven't been able to discover exactly why this happens, but they have theories.

They speculate that the ethanol content in your sweat makes you a more likely target.

6. You're emitting lactic acid

The more you sweat, the more lactic acid you're building up.

Mosquitoes seem to go crazy for this smell, so it's important that you always wash your body with soap after you exercise.

7. Pregnancy

As mentioned before, body temperature and weight play a big role in how attractive you become to mosquitoes.

Because pregnant women exhale more carbon dioxide and are on average warmer than someone who's not carrying another person, they become more delicious targets.

8. Genetics

Whether you like it or not, your genetics play a big role in your life.

Regardless of your blood type, certain genetic factors, like the natural substances emitted from your body, make you much more appealing to mosquitoes.

Scientists are still working to uncover what all these underlying factors are, so in the meantime here's what mosquito magnets need to know to ward off these pesky bugs.

5 Clever Ways To Ward Off Mosquitoes

Mosquito repellent is a life saver, but there are more natural ways you can deter those bugs from landing on you.

1. Grow lemongrass

The distinct smell of lemongrass is so effective in repelling mosquitoes that it's used as a natural ingredient in mosquito repellents.

Make sure you get the real plant, and not one that is "citronella scented," or else it may not get the job done.

Other plants like lavender, catnip, basil, and horsemint will also keep those pesky bugs at bay.

2. Keep a fan on

Whether you're in your house, backyard, or having a picnic, keep a small fan on you at all times.

The breezier it is, the more difficult it will be for mosquitoes to stay around you.

3. Wear bright colors

Mosquitoes seem to like darker hues, which is honestly good news because dark colors absorb heat, which make you feel hotter in the summer.

For a win-win, wear brighter colors, like white, and start enjoying your time in the outdoors.

4. Wear synthetic fibers

Along with white clothes, high-tech athletic apparel are often tightly woven, which means mosquitoes have no chance to get access to your skin.

While cotton and linen does keep you cool in the summer, it won't work as the best defense.

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Share this with a friend who's also a mosquito magnet!

Have you ever gotten a bug bite but had no idea what bit you? Here's a quick guide that will help you next time.

[H/T: Smithsonian / Treehugger / Mosquitno]

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for almost a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.