I am a mosquito magnet.
FINALLY, my beliefs of being a mosquito magnet have been confirmed with this article. This is truly life-changing. I’ve been suffering itchy welps and bumps from these pesky blood-suckers my entire life.
I can now blame my parents for producing a perfectly attractable mosquito-magnet. Afterall, they provided my genetic make-up, right? Of course it’s their fault.
According to this article, mosquitoes are most attracted by their sight and smell. One in five (that’s 20 percent) persons are “high attractors” to mosquitos. I’ll give you one guess as to which side of the fence you think I sit.
I knew mosquitos were active and more likely to strike in their afternoons and early evening, but I didn’t realize the blood-suckers preferred dark-colored clothing. No more dark clothes for me.
OK, so maybe the color of clothing I wear is not my parent’s fault. I will accept responsibility on this one. But my mosquito attractability goes MUCH deeper…let’s continue.
The other main attractor is the level of carbon dioxide released when a person exhales. People with high metabolic rates release lots of carbon dioxide, as do larger people and women who are pregnant. Larger people? What is considered large? Are you talking about height or weight or both?
The article also mentions that body temperature is a big contributor to increased mosquito interest. Interestingly, pregnant women are more likely to get their blood sucked by mosquitos as they have higher-than-normal body temps. People – I’m not pregnant, I’m just hot all the time!
Metabolic rates reference a person’s BMR, or basal metabolic rate. Basically, in idiot’s terms, BMR is the number of calories you burn while at rest, for example, sleeping. Personally, my BMR is 1,950, which means I use this many calories to operate my vital organs and continue being on this Earth – and providing all my blog readers with useless information regarding mosquitos. I’ll admit here too that I consume more than 1,950 calories per day. I know, that was a big surprise for you.
OK, let me get this straight. Mosquitos are attracted to my darker clothing, fat cells, and high body temperature? YIPPEEE!!!!!!
I’m not pregnant. Obviously. Unfortunately, I cannot qualify for that justification.
I could, however, be considered “large” as I stand nearly 5-12 (inside joke) and tend to sweat, (ahem!) GLOW, when temps dip below 70 degrees. Southern women don’t sweat, we glow. And don’t y’all forget it.
So, what have I learned?
- I need to eat fewer daily calories. That sounds like no fun, whatsoever.
- Find a way to sweat less and lower my body temperature. Not easy to do when the school’s a/c unit is broken most days.
- Lower my carbon dioxide exhaust. What? How am I supposed to do this? Stop breathing?
Bet you didn’t know this…
- Only female mosquitos bite.
- Mosquitos don’t bite for food (they actually feed off of plant nectar), but they use proteins in blood to develop their eggs – to produce even more of their annoying offspring. Oh joy!
- Skeeters tend to be more attracted to people after they’ve been drinking beer. Bring on the brewskies!
- Some mosquitos prefer the smell (and taste?) of ankles, while other tend to stay close to the head, neck, and arms.
- The size of the welp left after you’ve been bitten has nothing to do with the amount of blood the skeeter sucked, but rather your immune system’s reaction to their spit. Yes, mosquitos suck your blood and then, so lady-like, spit into your wound. How nice of them.
- Humans tend to become immune to species of mosquitos that bite them more frequently – yay! – unfortunately, there’s more than 3,000 species of mosquitos. Booooo!
Did you learn anything today?