Mosquitoes are one of the most dangerous animals in the world. In Australia, they can be particularly dangerous with several known diseases that they can spread. For instance, a single bite by this tiny insect can cause Ross River virus, Barmah Forest virus, Murray Valley encephalitis virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, and West Nile virus. But one interesting fact is that mosquitoes can be rather picky about who they bite. Some people never get bitten while others are always bitten. So if you’re wondering why don’t mosquitoes bite me, here are some answers.
Are Mosquitoes Particular in Targets?
Mosquitoes are a very big problem for some people, but for others, there is very little for them to worry about. While some people put it down to where they live, this is not always the case. There have been studies that have shown that mosquitoes will target people based on several factors.
And research has shown that 85% of the targeting of mosquitoes is down to genetics. Therefore, two people can be sleeping next to each other, one can be bitten loads while the other is not targeted at all.
So why is one person bitten more than another?
Myths Around Mosquito Bites
There have been many myths about what can cause a high level of attraction for mosquitoes. For example, some thought wearing perfume, eating salty snacks, or foods with potassium would help to attract mosquitoes. However, research has shown that these are not factors.
Nor is it true that living by water will cause mosquitoes to be attracted. The reason why those living near water are more likely to be bitten is just that this is where populations are going to be highest.
Another myth is that those with fair skin will be bitten more. This myth is often there because the reaction is higher with those who have fair skin, but the occurrence of bites is often the same as other people.
So, What Attracts Mosquitoes to Certain People
About one in five people in the world experience an above-average ratio of mosquito bites. And 85% of this is down to genetics. It can be things that are as simple as the blood type of the individual. Blood type O seems to be the preferred blood type of mosquitoes. Though there is still debate around this.
However, this is not the only genetic issue that can cause some people to experience more bites. Those who have higher levels of lactic acid in the skin can also play a significant part in the attraction.
There might be other reasons why they might be more attracted to some people, compared to others.
What Else Attracts Mosquitoes?
There are several reasons why a mosquito might bite you rather than another. Some of these reasons are that mosquitoes are attracted by the higher levels of CO2 that some people might exhale. So if two people are sleeping next to each other, and one is breathing heavier than the other, then the mosquitoes will likely go for them.
One classic example of this is for pregnant women, especially those who are further along in the pregnancy, will be targeted compared to their partners. However, those who are overweight, snore, have been drinking alcohol, or have been exercising recently can all experience a higher incidence of bites.
There are also those who have a higher body temperature. Mosquitoes can detect body heat relatively easily, so this is a common attraction. Those that are sweaty can also experience more bites, so going to bed after exercise and not bathing can be a mistake. Not showering/bathing every day can attract mosquitoes as they seem to prefer older sweat.
People who are also restless in bed can attract mosquitoes because these people are easier for the little insects to see.
And if you’re not getting bitten, it might be because you are near someone who carries one of these risk factors. Though some studies have shown people will sometimes give off a natural mosquito repellent. While there has been much research on replicating this in controlled environments, it has so far been elusive and not effective.
It is also interesting that mosquitoes will use their eyes to pick out targets and prefer dark-coloured fabrics. So if you are using black bed linen or materials in your home, this can attract bugs to your home. Wearing light coloured clothing in bed might also be a way to prevent mosquitoes from targeting you at night.
They’re also attracted by moving objects. So babies who have a moving mobile above their cot could experience mosquito bites regularly.
How to Prevent Mosquito Bites
There are several ways to deter mosquitoes from biting you should you attract them. Here are some options to reduce the incidence of you being bitten by mosquitoes.
Shower at Night
One of the first options is to ensure that you are showering after exercise. This removes sweat from your body, cools your body down, can help slow down your breathing that prevents an excess of CO2 to be produced.
Don’t exercise outside, at least not near areas where mosquitoes like to live (lakes, slow-moving water, etc.). This prevents you from displaying typical attractants right near where mosquitoes are.
Wear Correct Clothing and Bed Sheets
Ensure you’re not using darker-coloured night clothing or bed linen. This will be less attractive to mosquitoes and you can have a more peaceful sleep.
Avoid Dawn and Dusk
Mosquitoes are more active at dawn and dusk, so avoid mosquito areas at these times. At the same time, it might be best to remove any standing water from your home, these are prime breeding spots for mosquitoes.
Final Word: Why Don't Mosquitoes Bite Me, Or Bite More Than Others?
Are you wondering why don’t mosquitoes bite myself? When the answer might be as simple as it is down to your genetics. Above are some of the reasons why it might happen and what you can do to prevent the mosquito from biting you if you are bitten, or a loved one is.