Here are the 5 reasons you get bitten by mosquitoes more than everyone else
As much as I enjoy the winter months, I've become sort of sick of the cold snaps over the past few weeks. Every time I have to trudge through the snow to get to work or put on an extra three jumpers to save on my heating bill, I find myself counting down the days until summer.
However, for all my pining after the days of T-shirts and short-shorts, there's one thing I'm not looking forward to about the warmer months: mosquitoes.
Fortunately, though, there are a few factors you can control to limit your chances of being bitten by the nasty little insects - but also a few that you can't. Here are five things that affect your likelihood of becoming a mosquito's next victim...
1. Blood type
If you've got type O blood (the most common blood group), then you are 83 percent more likely to get bitten than people with other blood types. If you're type A, however, then you are half as likely to get nipped - but you should still slap on some insect repellant before leaving the house, just to be sure.
2. Your clothes
In the hotter months, people tend to wear lighter colored clothing. As well as keeping more of the sun's heat off you, this will also keep you safer from mosquitoes too. This is because mozzies tend to keep close to the ground, so when they look upwards, lighter colors blend in with the surroundings. Dark or bright colors, however, will contrast more, and make it easier for the bugs to see you.
3. Alcohol consumption
Everyone loves a cold bevvy in the summer months - especially if you're enjoying a summer evening outside a bar, or having a cheeky couple of beers at a lunchtime picnic. But you know what else likes alcohol? Mosquitoes. Or, at least, they like the effects it has on the human body. Drinking alcohol increases a person's body temperature and metabolic rate - both of which are attractive to a hungry bloodsucker.
4. Body chemistry
The composition of your body - in particular, the chemicals lingering on your skin - will determine how tasty you are to a mozzie. If you have high amounts of lactic acid, uric acid, or ammonia in your system (all of which are emitted through sweat), then you'll be at a greater risk of being bitten. The concentration of steroids or cholesterol in your blood will also affect how likely you are of being nipped - so pay attention to any medication you're taking.
As well as identifying prey by sight, mosquitoes also seek out potential bloodmeals by tracking CO2 emissions. As heavier people will excrete more CO2 in their breath, they will be more attractive to the insects. Unfortunately, this puts pregnant people at higher risk for the same reasons - so make sure to take extra precautions if you're expecting.
So, now you know what makes people so delicious to mosquitoes, you can make a conscious effort to wear lighter clothes, avoid hanging around outside after vigorous exercise, and maybe say no to that lunchtime cocktail in the sun. However, if you've got type O blood, you're sort of stuck with this one. Sorry!