TEANECK, N.J. — Raise your hand if you've ever felt personally victimized by mosquitos. Holy Name Medical Center's Chief of Infectious Diseases Dr. Suraj Saggar says you could be on to something.
There are several factors that could make you more attractive to mosquitoes, according to the doctor, who says he finds himself swatting more than others.
- Blood Type
"The big one is blood type," said the doctor, of Ridgewood. "For whatever reason, Type O blood is highly associated with mosquito bites."
Mosquitos are least attracted to people with Type A and Type B is in the middle, according to Dr. Saggar.
While female mosquitos require protein (from human blood) for pregnancy, both genders are attracted to blood, he added.
Have you ever noticed mosquitos are always around your head? That's because they're attracted to carbon-dioxide, Dr. Saggar explained.
"We inhale oxygen and exhaled carbon-dioxide, where levels are highest around your head," the doctor said. "And people are constantly swatting."
Women carrying a baby emit certain hormones that attract mosquitos, according to Dr. Saggar.
If you are exercising then you are likely producing sweat, which contains lactic acid — a byproduct of working out, according to the physician.
If you like to run at night, that won't help, because that's when mosquitos tend to come out, Dr. Saggar explained.
- Increased Body Temp
This could be from a number of things, but the physician cited exercise or drinking alcohol as the main cause of an increased metabolic rate — which he said also attracts mosquitos.
- What You're Wearing
Mosquitos are attracted to darker colors, Dr. Saggar said. He suggests opting for lighter colors like white and yellow, and keeping the red, blue and black clothing options in the closet.
- Genetic Disposition
"Certain people secrete more chemicals for no specific reason," Dr. Saggar said. "For example, the amount of cholesterol and uric acid on your skin."
This is unrelated to levels inside of your body, and instead is determined based on cellular processes that leave traces of cholesterol and uric acid on skin, the physician said.
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