I once had a roommate casually mention that she never got mosquito bites because she wasn’t allergic to the little buggers. Hearing this, while I was grumpily slathering hydrocortisone over seemingly innumerable red itchy skin splotches caused an overwhelming and totally rational jealousy. Why me? Why anyone? Stupid bugs.
Smithsonian Magazine has a few answers if you feel like ending the senseless rage. Perhaps you’re just part of the 20% of our species deemed especially mouthwatering. So congratulations, you’re going to get bitten more often — invest in a big bottle of insect repellant and shut your ears to those never-get-bitten types.
Here are 5 reasons you might be more succulent — check out Smithsonian for more:
1. They vant to suck your blood type: It’s no secret that skeeters are after a feast by way of the red stuff coursing through your veins. And depending on what your blood type is, you might be more tantalizing: One study found mosquitoes landed on folks with Type O blood almost twice as often as those with Type A. Type B fell in the middle.
2. You’re gassy: Mosquitoes flock to targets, propelled by whiffs of carbon dioxide emitted when you breathe. If you exhale more than others — often larger people — you could be more of a bug magnet. Kids, you’ve got it easy… for now.
3. Beer is delicious, obviously: It’s not just humans who enjoy a cold brewsky on a hot day — one study found that beer could attract more mosquitoes to the people who drink it. It was thought that drinking increases how much ethanol you sweat out and bugs like that, although that hasn’t shown to be a lure for mosquitoes in research. Maybe they’re just fans of a nice IPA?Clothing
4. It’s your ancestors’ fault: Here’s where I shall shake my fist at genetics. Underlying genetic factors are responsible for about 85% of the variability between how attractive people are to mosquitoes. It could be your blood type, metabolism or any manner of things. All we know is it isn’t faaaaaair (whining not proven to attract biters).
5. You are just delectable: There are those of out there who could emit natural repellants, yucky things that mosquitoes don’t like and won’t come biting for. Researchers are trying to isolate these particular chemicals, as they think they could be used to engineer a more successful line of bug sprays. So you can be a large, Type O blood, beer-swilling and bug-free person, free of all that mosquito rage.
Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Some People More Than Others? [Smithsonian Magazine]