As well as being an inconvenience, mosquitoes are the deadliest animal to humans on the planet.
But some people swear up and down to be more attractive to the buzzing pests than others. They’re the people who return from a beach holiday covered in red, itchy welts and insist that the party moves inside as soon as night begins to fall.
It turns out they’re right, and there are several scientific explanations for mosquitoes’ preferences for certain people’s blood.
TikToker and dermatologist Lindsey Zubritsky, who uses the handle @dermguru, took to the platform to explain the different factors that determine whether you’re more likely to attract mozzies.
The first is sweat. Female mosquitoes drink mammalian blood, and the best way they can locate their feast is through sweat.
Dr Zubritsky explained: “Mosquitoes are attracted to sweat and people who have a higher temperature. (Mosquitoes) are particularly attracted to things like ammonia, uric acid, lactic acid, and so people who exercise quite a bit are more likely to get bit by mosquitoes.“
Another factor is bad news for the beer lovers out there.
“Other things that can make you more susceptible to mosquito bites is drinking a beer. The study found that just drinking one 12-ounce (350ml) can of beer can make you more attractive to mosquitoes,” Dr Zubritsky said.
And, finally, there are the bacterial colonies.
“The type and the number of bacteria that live on our skin can make us more or less attractive to mosquitoes. That also explains why we are more likely to get fit on the ankles because there‘s more robust bacterial colonies in those areas,” she said.
In a separate video Dr Zubritsky shared some more factors that may make humans tastier to mozzies.
“Mosquitoes tend to find that people with blood type O are way tastier than any of the other blood types,” she said.
“Another thing, mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide. The heavier you breathe, the more attractive you’re going to be. People who are larger or more obese tend to breathe more often and breathe more carbon dioxide, and therefore are more attractive to mosquitoes.”
And finally, you can choose to wear a lighter shirt.
“The colour clothing you wear may determine whether or not you get bit,” Dr Zubritsky said.
“Darker colours like black and green are easier for the mosquitoes to spot, so if you want to avoid getting bit up, try wearing a lighter colour like white.”