July 22, 2013
Why You Are The Perfect Match For Mosquitoes (Part 2)
Be sure to read Part 1
Mosquitoes are in season. As the rains come in and the temperature rises, the possibility of being bitten by an infected mosquito increases. Here you can learn what about you attracts them and how to possibly being bitten this summer.
In the last section of this blog, we discovered that mosquitoes are more attracted to type “O” blood than they are to people with type “A” blood. We also learned that mosquitoes are prone to attack pregnant women even more than non-pregnant woman due to the elevated amount of carbon dioxide and moisture released due to their increase in exhaled breaths and to the fact that they are a bit hotter than woman who are not expecting. But these are not the only things that attract mosquitoes.
Most people think a woman attracts more mosquitoes than a man because females have estrogen, which is believed to be a “sweet” hormone. In a recent study, however, guys were found to attract more mosquitoes than women. The reason is due to the simple fact that men tend to be bigger than woman. Bugs in general, not just mosquitoes, are attracted to bigger targets due to the fact that they release more carbon dioxide, which helps them identify a target.
That’s not all, guys. Apparently, the more you drink, the more these little vampires will be attracted to you. According to a French study, in comparison to water consumption, the consumption of beer increased a person’s attractiveness to a mosquito by about 47 percent. Even though no one knows exactly why mosquitoes like their humans nice and drunk, the hypothesis is that mosquitoes are able to detect the chemical smells our bodies release whenever we consume alcohol, and they have over time come to the realization that humans tend to either not notice their presence or move a lot slower, if they do, when they are excreting such chemicals. Another hypothesis is that our blood becomes sweeter to their tastes buds when laced with alcohol. Interesting enough, mosquitoes can handle large quantities of it. They have been known to nibble on fermented fruits and plants on a regular basis and they have a special enzyme that actually allows them to break down the alcohol before it even reaches their nervous system. One study determined that some mosquitoes could withstand up to 60 percent vapor concentrations of pure alcohol, which is a lot more than most humans can handle. According to Michael Reiskind, an entomologist at Oklahoma State University, if you ever wanted to challenge a mosquito to a drinking competition, the amount of alcohol you would put in your blood would be enough to kill you.
So far we have learned that being having type “O” blood, being pregnant, or being a male, and/or drinking can increase the possibilities for you to be a mosquito’s favorite meal. In the following edition of this blog series, we will discover what minor changes you can make to your habits to reduce the chance of being nibbled on by a little blood sucking predator.
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