Mosquitos are an epidemic during the summer months, and, very often they can ruin people's vacations. Last year, my friend was, quite literally, eaten alive as he slept in an apartment in Greece. He was covered in so many bites the next day that it looked like he had chicken pox. But despite him becoming a human banquet overnight, no one else on the trip was affected as badly. So what made him different?
Well, it turns out that there are a number of factors which can affect a person's tastiness as far as mosquitos are concerned. While some are preventable, there are others which you simply can't change - in which case, you're just going to have to lock yourself in the bathroom the next time you're snoozing away in a hot country and hear that menacing buzzing noise that signals you're about to become human chow.
And while I'm on the subject of human chow, mosquitos don't actually bite people because they're hungry. They do it because our blood contains protein and other compounds that they need to produce eggs, which is why only female mosquitos bite!
So, without further ado, here are five things which could lead to you becoming a tasty reproductive treat for mosquitos...
1. The color you're wearing
If you're a fan of wearing red or dark colors like blacks and blues, then I'm sorry to say that it could lead to you being bitten - so now you have an extra excuse to buy that new summer wardrobe. This is because, according to medical entomologist Dr. Jonathan Day, mosquitoes "keep close to the ground. Down there, they spot hosts by comparing your silhouette to the horizon. Dark colors stand out, while light shades blend in."
This is exactly how mosquitos suck your blood:
2. Your blood type
Unlike the colors you wear, this is, unfortunately, one mosquito tasty factor which you can't change. Mosquitos will likely know your blood type because 85% of us produce a secretion which certain animals can use to identify our blood type. If you've got Type O blood, you've got an 83% higher chance of being bitten. In the US, 38% of people have Type O-Positive blood and 7% have Type O-Negative.
Well, this certainly explains a lot when it comes to my friend getting eaten alive on vacation. It turns out that if you've been drinking alcohol, the increase in metabolic rate and blood pressure which it causes makes you more attractive to those pesky lady mosquitos.
Check out the video below for 10 handy hacks that will help if you are unlucky enough to get bitten!
4. Weight / Pregnancy
While there's obviously a big difference between pregnant women and people who are overweight, when it comes to mosquitoes, they are in the same category. This is because mosquitos select prey with higher CO2 emissions and they are higher in these groups, with pregnant women having the ability to exhale up to 21% more CO2 than those who are not expecting a child! The more you know, eh?
5. Body chemistry
Lastly and unfortunately yet another factor which cannot be changed is a person's body chemistry. If you're a very active person, the excess lactic acid which you'll produce as a result will make you tastier. Similarly, if you are taking certain medications like steroids, or simply have high cholesterol levels, you're also more likely to become a mosquito feast because this does have an effect on your skin.
So there you have it - five factors which could lead to you becoming human mosquito chow. Although some of them are not preventable, I think that we can all agree that making one or two little changes - like changing the color of what we are wearing and cutting down on our alcohol consumption - is a small price to pay for not getting bitten. As for what we can't change, well, there's always mosquito repellent!