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Why Are Some People More Prone To Mosquito Bites?

Being a mosquito-magnet sucks big time.

Don’t you hate it when it seems like you’re the only person in the room getting attacked by a ferocious swarm of mosquitos? There's a popular theory going around that it might be because of your blood (You're yummier than most!), but it turns out that it has more to do with a person’s scent rather than taste.

Microbial ecologist Rob Knight explains that the bacteria on a person’s skin produce different chemicals, and some of these microbes smell more attractive to mosquitoes. The amount and kind of bacteria varies for each person. Although we share 99% of DNA with other humans, we only share 10% of these microbes with other people.

To prove this, a study was conducted where 48 adult male respondents were asked to refrain from alcohol, garlic, and spicy food for two days. The researchers used a glass bed to obtain the scent from the men’s feet, and then the samples were exposed to mosquitoes. Nine men were found to be very attractive to mosquitoes, while seven were almost completely ignored. Those who were ignored by mosquitoes had a more varied bacteria colony on their skin. It was also noted that beer drinkers are more prone to mosquito bites.


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