Why Do Mosquitoes Love to Bite You?
In summer, mosquitoes interrupt our sleep with their constant buzzing, they bite us leaving redness, itching, and sometimes edema. Also, they can transmit a large number of diseases to us.
Why Do Mosquitoes’ Bite Us?
First of all, you should know that not all mosquitoes bite. There are around 3,500 species and only three of them seek our blood: Anopheles, Culex, and Aedes. Likewise, it is only female mosquitoes that bite. And only those who need protein and other chemicals in the blood to produce and deposit their eggs. In general, a female mosquito can lay between 30 and 300 eggs by sucking blood once. To complete the process of forming more eggs, she needs to suck again. Male mosquitoes do not bite because they feed on the nectar and juices produced by plants. Females could also live without stinging, but the three species we mentioned need this for their reproduction.
Why Do Mosquitoes Bites Itch?
When they bite, mosquitoes insert their mouthparts under our skin and then inject some of their saliva to prevent the blood from clotting as they absorb it. On the other hand, the immune system reacts to chemicals in the insect’s saliva. This causes different reactions: redness, swelling, and itching. Although these reactions are the most common and harmless, children, people with weak immune systems, and adults who have never been bitten before tend to react with more severe symptoms. Among which fever and hives.
Do Mosquitoes Prefer Some People Over Others?
As unfair as it sounds, the answer is yes. Indeed, some studies suggest that 20% of people are irresistible to mosquitoes. Likewise, entomologists have discovered other factors that may be more attractive to these insects. Several factors, therefore, make you the favorite prey of mosquitoes. The best known and most supported by science are as follows.
1. The color of the clothes
Mosquitoes use the sense of sight to locate their prey. The studies suggest that they are often more attracted to dark colors such as black, green, and red. In this sense, if you wear clothes in these tones, you will become the ideal target for most mosquitoes.
2. The carbon dioxide we emit
Mosquitoes have the ability to smell the carbon dioxide that we exhale as we breathe. Therefore, the more we exhale, the more prone we are to their stings. In general, our production of dioxide increases when we play sports or when our body size is large. Also, be aware that when we exhale through our nose and mouth, mosquitoes feel more attracted to the head area. This explains why we hear their incessant buzzing during the night.
3. Chemicals and body temperature
Mosquitoes can also detect their prey by sniffing lactic acid, uric acid, ammonia, and other compounds emitted by sweat. They also have a great preference for people with an elevated body temperature. Also, being active makes us more prone to mosquito bites due to the increase in lactic acid and body temperature. There are also genetic factors involved in the amount of uric acid and other substances secreted.
4. Bacteria present in the skin
Some scientific studies have shown that the type and amount of bacteria present in the skin can make us more prone to mosquito bites. The most irresistible to mosquitoes are those that present the most numbers of certain types of skin microbes. This factor would explain why some insects are so attracted to the ankle and foot area. These regions are a sure source of bacteria.
According to studies, pregnant women are more attractive to mosquitoes. Indeed, during pregnancy, women exhale more carbon dioxide (about 21% more volume). Their body temperature is also higher.
6. Drink beer
A 2002 research has associated alcohol consumption with increased mosquito bites. Scientists determined that those who consumed beer were more attractive to insects than those who did not.
How To Prevent Mosquito Bites?
Although it is sometimes impossible to avoid being stung, there are some things you can do to prevent discomfort. The main thing is, first of all, to reduce the risk of contracting a disease.
Use insect repellant.
Use long clothes, pants, and socks, if possible.
Choose light-colored clothing.
Avoid going out at nightfall or daybreak: these are the hours when mosquitoes are most active.
1. itching n. 痒
2. edema n. 水肿
3. nectar n. 花蜜
4. mouthpart n. (节肢动物等的)口器
5. saliva n. 唾液
6. hives n. 荨麻疹
7. irresistible adj. 极诱人的；忍不住想要的
8. entomologist n. 昆虫学者
9. lactic acid 乳酸
10. uric acid 尿酸
11. ammonia n. 氨；氨水
12. secrete v. 分泌
13. microbes n. 细菌
14. repellant n. 驱虫剂