The Real Reason Why Mosquitoes Are So Obsessed With You

Photographed by Refinery29.
The mosquito bite gap is a very real thing, just ask anyone who's currently sporting a dozen red bites on their body. While some of us need a mosquito net to survive a BBQ, others could sleep in a swamp and emerge unscathed. This is an unfair reality of summer, but members of both parties could certainly agree that mosquito bites are the worst no matter how many you get.
The reason why mosquito bites suck so epically bad has to do with their saliva, which gets injected into your skin every time one of the little buzzers bites you. Allergens in mosquito saliva then trigger a histamine response in your body, causing swelling, itching, and most of all, annoyance.
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Of course, understanding how these blood-hungry insects bite is only half of the battle. You might be wondering why skeeters seem to be targeting you, specifically, over some of your equally-delicious peers? Ahead of mosquito season (which, BTW, typically begins when the temperature rises above 50 degrees), here are a few scientific reasons why you might be a mosquito magnet:

You release a lot of carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide is the main bodily trigger that tells mosquitoes to come hither, followed by body heat, and then the scent of your blood (seriously). All humans that breathe exhale carbon dioxide, so there's not really a way around that. But, interestingly, research has shown that pregnant women exhale 21% greater volume than those who aren't, and they have higher body temperatures, which could explain why pregnant people tend to get bit more.

Your sweat is delicious.

If you find that mosquitoes always feast on your body during an outdoor yoga class or post run, it could be your sweat. We all have a unique blend of chemicals in our sweat, but research has shown that the combo of moisture and lactic acid, which is secreted in your sweat, seems to make you extra attractive to most mosquito species. And if you're someone who produces more sweat than most, then that can make you more of a target, too.

You happen to be very allergic.

Sometimes it's not the number of bites you have that drives you crazy, it's the intensity of the few that you end up with. If you're someone who gets a couple of mighty bites a season, that's probably a sign that you're highly allergic to mosquito saliva. On the flip side, some lucky people won't have any reaction at all.
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