Some of us end up covered in bites, while others escape with only a nibble or two.
Well, it all comes down to our environment and skin type.
There are actually more than 3-thousand different mosquito species. Out of this, only a fraction actually feed on humans. And when they do, they really do discriminate who is worth biting.
Experts say the best evidence for what motivates a mosquito’s choice between different people is the difference in our skin microbiota. See… we have bacteria on our skin. This bacteria emits an odor from our pores and hair follicles. This oder lets mosquitoes know just how tasty we really are.
Mosquitoes don’t select a person based on his/her inner biology. They instead go for the micro-organisms that live on our skin.
The composition of our skin microbiota mostly depends on our environment – what we eat and where we live.
Everything we touch, eat, drink and wash with has the potential to introduce new microbes.
But genetics also play a part. It plays a role in the production of proteins in the skin that act as barriers and prevent microbes from growing on the skin.
Now some people believe that blood type, having fair skin, being sweaty and even eating foods with garlic or apple cider vinegar can influence biting rates one way or the other. For the most part, however, these don’t appear to have much influence when scientifically tested.
Mosquitoes use carbon dioxide as a long-range indicator that a host (human) is nearby. This alerts them. When they get closer, lactic acid attracts them more.
So keep the bug spray handy. It’s only August after all.