Why you're a mosquito’s favourite summer treat

July 9, 2018

 

Do you find yourself being eaten alive by mosquitoes on a daily or nightly basis?

 

Are you covered from head-to-toe by little red molehills filled with the saliva of your least favourite insect?

 

Are you, like the best of us, subject to the bites’ irritatingly itchy allergic reactions, temporarily scaring your skin with bumpy, pink-poppy-coloured blotches of the most unattractive kind?

 

Have you just had enough?

 

Well, not to worry. There are actual steps you can take to reduce your deliciousness to our buzzy hunter foes. Contrary to what you might expect, some scientific studies have suggested that it’s not just genetic factors which determine whether we’re all as tasty as each other on the mosquitoes’ ‘blood deliciousness’ scale.

 

Whilst genetic factors, such as blood type (type O being the most attractive to mosquitoes) and the volume of carbon dioxide we emit, account for approximately 85% of the determinants for mosquito-attractiveness, lifestyle can also be a key determining factor.

 

Wanting to update your summer wardrobe with bold colours? Thinking of wearing that stunning red dress or that chic navy suit to your summer garden party next week? Well, think again, mosquito victims. Mosquitoes also use vision to seek you out (not just scent!) so don’t make yourself easier to find.

 

 

Thinking of having a baby anytime soon? Well you might want to think again because pregnant women attract around twice as many mosquito bites, due to having both higher body temperatures and emitting more carbon dioxide. (At least you know mosquito repellent will be a thoughtful birthday gift for your pregnant friend this summer).

 

Thinking of whipping out the beer just in time for England winning the world cup semi-finals match this Wednesday? Well, think again, beer lovers. Drinking increases our body temperatures and the amount of ethanol we excrete in sweat, so don’t get too comfortable with your drinking habits.

 

Finally, for those of you seeking to perfect your fitness routine and knuckle down in the gym, stay right there. Exercise builds-up the lactic acid and heat levels in your body, so take a chill-pill and stick to your framboise sorbet instead.

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First published in 1965, InQuire is the University of Kent student newspaper.

All content © 1965-2019 InQuire Media Group.

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