Have you ever wondered why you attract more mosquitoes than say the person sitting beside you?
With dengue, a disease transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, having spiked in Singapore to 13,000 cases since the start of the year and resulted in four deaths, it becomes more important to find out why.
According to an article by U.S. health expert Lisa Collier Cool, there are seven reasons why you might be a mosquito magnet.
• Mosquitoes prefer blood type O
Based on a Japanese study, mosquitoes are “twice as likely” to feed on people with blood type O as they are considered tastier than those with other blood types.
• Attracted to beer drinkers
The Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) reported that more mosquitoes will land on someone after “beer ingestion” than someone who has not taken the drink. This means that you are more at risk of a mosquito bite after drinking a bottle of beer.
• More active during full moon
The bloodsuckers are also “500 times” more active when there is a full moon, AMCA said. Their peak feeding periods are during dusk and dawn, and they can travel up to 40 miles (over 60 km) to pursue their meal.
• Love the smell of dirty feet
Dutch scientist Bart Knols discovered that mosquitoes love the pungent smell of dirty feet, according to an experiment he did on himself. Wearing only his underwear, Knols sat in a laboratory filled with mosquitoes and saw them flying straight to his smelly feet. The mosquitoes then bit at other random spots after his feet were washed and deodorised.
• Mosquitoes know if a woman is pregnant
Mosquitoes are attracted to “moisture and carbon dioxide” in your breath, which is exhaled 21 per cent more by a pregnant woman, according to a study in Gambia. They are also attracted to a pregnant woman’s skin, which tends to be warmer and moister, said in the study.
• Exercising ups the risk
“Physical activity ups the risk for bites by as much as 50 per cent,” said AMCA, as more carbon dioxide is exhaled and more sweat is produced while exercising. The sweat produced also contains substances such as lactic acid, which attracts mosquitoes.
• They prefer dark coloured clothing
Wearing black and red puts you at highest risk of mosquito bites while wearing light coloured clothes such as khaki, green, light khaki and yellow, do not. Meanwhile, grey and blue are neutral.