Here’s the Blood Type Mosquitoes Love the Most

Just like some of us, mosquitoes are picky eaters.

Here’s the Blood Type Mosquitoes Love the Most
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Just like its human victims, the mosquito has an appetite for certain things over others. If you’ve always wondered why you tend to end up with more mosquito bites than your friends after spending the day outside, it could be because you have a certain blood type.

In an oft-cited 2004 study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, mosquitoes landed on those with type O blood 83 percent of the time; comparatively, the bugs were only attracted to those with type A blood 46.5 percent of the time.

In addition to your blood type, scientists have discovered many other factors that might make you all the more delicious to mosquitos. Evidently, these pests often hunt down their victims by tracking their carbon dioxide output, Sabrina Stierwalt, PhD, an astrophysicist and research scientist, wrote for Scientific American. Through your carbon dioxide output, the mosquito is able to sense that you are a mammal with delicious blood pumping through your veins, and so the larger your output of carbon dioxide (or the faster your metabolism is), the more likely you are to be chosen as the mosquito’s next victim.

One state that increases your carbon dioxide output? Pregnancy. A 2000 study published in the British Medical Journal found that, among 36 pregnant women and 36 non-pregnant women in Gambia, twice as many mosquitoes were attracted to the pregnant women. Also, engaging in activities that raise your metabolic rate—like enjoying a few drinks on the balcony or going for a long run outside—are surefire ways to receive a plethora of bug bites.

Exercising outdoors in the summertime is particularly a recipe for a mosquito bite because the ammonia and lactic acid found in your sweat can attract mosquitoes, says UnityPoint Health, a healthcare company based in West Des Moines, Iowa. Additionally, your post-run heightened body temperature makes you look like a sweet snack to mosquitoes, so doing any sort of physical activity outside when these bugs are around is basically asking for a bite. And if you want to protect yourself from these pests, check out these 15 Genius Ways to Outsmart Mosquitoes This Summer.

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