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Hi I’m Craig, my grandmother was half Miskito, and this is Mental Floss on YouTube. Today,
I’m going to answer locked-up time lady’s BIG question, “Why do mosquitoes prefer
biting some people to others? Is there something we can avoid doing or do besides using repellent,
like eat bananas?”
Well, time lady, you’re right that mosquitoes have preferences. 10-20% of people happen
to get bit more than others. And there are a few possible reasons for this, which I’m
going to tell you about today. Let’s get started!
Experts estimate that around 85% of the reason that mosquitoes prefer YOU is genetic, so
you’re pretty much born with it. It's not your good looks, sorry about that.
Mosquitoes will especially come after you if you have the perfect combination of genetics and scent.
Bon appétit.
There’s also stuff on your skin that attracts them.
You’ll probably suffer more bites if you happen to produce more lactic acid, which comes from your sweat glands.
And in 1999, it was observed that mosquitoes who carry malaria are most attracted to sweat
that had been sitting on skin for a day or two, rather than fresh sweat.
They’ll also prefer you if you have more of THESE bacteria living on your skin. People
who have more of THESE will have less mosquitoes to worry about.
Blood type might have something to do with it, too. A 2004 study found that mosquitoes
were twice as likely to land on people who were Type O rather than Type B. Boy, it would
SUCK to be part of that study. Type A was even less popular than Type B.
Plus, around 85% of us have a chemical on our skin that reveals our blood type. Mosquitoes
go after those 85% of people more than the 15% who don’t secrete the chemical.
People who produce more carbon dioxide when they exhale are also more likely to get bit.
A mosquito can smell this, so it’ll go after them. Larger people and pregnant women suffer
most for this.
Another interesting group that happens to get bit more often is beer-drinkers. This
might be related to carbon dioxide production as well -- people tend to breathe harder after
drinking a beer. Or, they might be a little warmer and nicer to land on.
In your question, you mentioned that eating bananas might help get the mosquitoes go away.
That’s actually a myth. Vitamin B-12 won’t work either.
Experts pretty much recommend your standard old fashioned bug spray. But, some work better
than others. Ideally, you should use an insect repellent with around 24% of the chemical
DEET. As usual, it's all in the DEETails. I'm sorry, I'm really sorry about that.
Thanks for watching Mental Floss on YouTube, made with the help of these lovely skeeters.
If you have a question of your own, leave it in the comments below. See you next week!


【生活小常識】為什麼蚊子會選擇性叮人? (Why do mosquitoes prefer biting some people to others? - Big Questions - (Ep. 26))

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羅紹桀 發佈於 2015 年 9 月 18 日    Fan Yuan Yuan 翻譯    Reina 審核
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