(AscendHealthy.com) – Mosquito bites are the worst. And it always seems like those buzzing little minions of darkness favor a handful of people over everyone else. According to the most recent research, this plight could boil down to something as simple as blood type.
Does Your Blood Type Make You More Prone to Mosquito Bites?
The Link Between Blood Type and Mosquito Bites
We all know those unlucky few who seem to get covered in mosquito bites every summer. And while we might joke about some people being “sweeter” than others to the little buggers, the idea does merit some investigation. Mosquitoes carry all sorts of deadly diseases, so if subgroups of people really are prone, figuring out the source of their attraction could help in the development of better future deterrents.
A study recently published in the American Journal of Entomology investigated the impact of blood type. The researchers divided 300 female (blood-sucking) mosquitoes into six cages, each containing feeding dishes with equal offerings of O, A, B and AB blood. After an hour of open feeding, blood was present in the stomachs of 192 mosquitoes:
- Blood type O was present in an overwhelming 59 of them.
- Blood type AB came in second, attracting 48.
- Blood Type A only attracted 34 mosquitoes.
- Blood type B was present in 37.
- Only 14 mosquitoes fed from multiple sources.
Studies have attempted to pinpoint the reason behind the preference for type O blood, but that piece of the puzzle has yet to fall into place.
Balancing the Odds
People with type O blood might be more prone to bites, but they can use other factors to their advantage to help balance the odds. No matter who you are, you can protect yourself from mosquitoes and other biting nuisances by applying a DEET-based insect repellent. Blowing a fan can also help, as mosquitoes can’t navigate well in a breeze. Dark clothing and physical movement can attract the insects’ attention, so wearing lighter colors and sitting still may also make a difference.
Scientific American warns that faster metabolisms and warmer bodies can also serve as beacons to hungry female mosquitoes. This may make pregnant women particularly vulnerable, so they should consider covering up or making use of mosquito netting for extra protection. Exercising can temporarily raise metabolic rate, so avoid working up a sweat when mosquitoes are more likely to be out. Abstaining from alcohol, which can raise skin temperature, may also make you less visible.
It’s true, some people really are “sweeter” to mosquitoes than others. If you’re among them, you now have scientific proof of it: The awful insects really do favor you over your friends. But remember, you can even the playing field. Take extra measures to protect yourself while you’re out; otherwise, you may wind up the miserable and itchy one all summer.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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