You’re trying your best to enjoy an exotic holiday, a garden party or a BBQ, but constant swarms of mosquitoes are desperate to ruin the occasion for you. They relentlessly pursue you, but they aren’t just a nuisance like many insects, they are actually a real threat to your health.
A bite from a mosquito causes an itchy swelling and the irritation can cause a rash. But the bite can also leave you with a serious illness. How is it, then that the insects seem to be after you and they don’t seem to bother other people? They might find you attractive! This is not a fallacy, mosquitoes do actually prefer to bite certain people, depending on their genetic makeup and body chemistry. Yes, that’s right. Apparently,1 in 10 people are ‘highly attractive’ to mosquitoes. The protein in human blood helps the female mosquitoes to develop eggs and only the female of the species bit people. And apparently, not just any old blood will do. Scientists have found that our genetics are largely to blame for us being susceptible to mosquito bites or not. They’ve also identified factors related to our unique body chemistry that attract mosquitoes. People with large amounts of cholesterol on the skin’s surface and people who give off a lot of carbon dioxide are particularly vulnerable to bites. Both substances appeal to a mosquito’s keen sense of smell, which can be effective from as far as 50 metres away from their intended target. which is pretty impressive. It turns out they can smell their target from up to 50 metres away!