It’s springtime, and that means warmer weather, more sunshine, and mosquitoes. Unfortunately, while some people will be blissfully unaware of their presence, others experience mosquito bites every time they open the front door.
According to Marla Ahlgrimm, there are many different reasons why mosquitoes favor one individual over another. Two of these are size and blood type. Larger humans, such as men or people who are overweight, have more surface area and also emit more carbon dioxide. Blood type plays a role as well, with type O individuals getting bit twice as often as their type A friends and family. Regardless of blood type, people who secrete chemicals (not everyone does) that mosquitoes can smell that show their blood type are more likely to get bitten.
Aside from weight and blood type, Marla Ahlgrimm says that genetics plays a huge role in who mosquitoes tend to feast upon. In fact, one study found that around 70% of mosquito attraction is based on genes.
How to reduce mosquito bites
Although you can’t change your genetics, there are a few ways that you can keep these biting bloodsuckers at bay. Marla Ahlgrimm says to:
- Have your yard sprayed with mosquito-specific insecticides
- Cover gaps to reduce intrusion into your home
- If you open the windows, leave the screen doors down
- Wear long sleeves when you go outside – Marla Ahlgrimm says there are plenty of types of lightweight apparel that will not leave you sweating
- Turn your outdoor lights yellow, which attract fewer mosquitoes
- Treating mosquito bites
No matter how many precautions you take, even those of us who are not prone to mosquito bites get tasted every once in a while. If you’ve been bitten, you already know how itchy and swollen mosquito bite can be. Marla Ahlgrimm says that the best treatment is to wash the area with soap and water and reduce swelling with an ice pack. You can lessen the amount of itching you may experience with a quick scrub of baking soda and water or a slather of an anti-itch cream.