Why do some people get bitten by mosquitoes…
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Why do some people get bitten by mosquitoes more than others as summer approaches?

August 07, 2021 • By Alison Forde

Punctually, as soon as the hottest season of the year arrives, our bodies are literally attacked by swarms of mosquitoes that seem to particularly appreciate our skin; yet, according to what we hear from other people as well, there are individuals who are not in the least bothered by the annoying bites from this insect that we have all learned to hate a little, but which is in fact essential for the balance of the ecosystem. The fundamental question is: why do some people get bitten by mosquitoes more than others?

In reality, the answer is provided by science, and it is manifold; if many common mosquitoes decide to "choose" one human being instead of another to feed on, it's not a matter of subjective preference but it seems that our skin plays a fundamental role. Well yes, because the mosquito, this insect which is so important and yet at the same time so annoying in summer, is particularly attracted to the amount of carbon dioxide that our body emits.

For example, we know the smell of CO2 is amplified by our skin if it produces more or less lactic acid; in the case of greater production, the mosquitoes will "attack" en masse the individual which smells so appetizing for them; this is the case, for example, of overweight people or pregnant women.

It is not just a question of carbon dioxide. Everything we eat, drink or touch without noticing affects the bacterial flora of our skin; the skin microbiota and its composition (it can be formed by countless bacteria and non-pathogenic agents) can attract the presence of mosquitoes; moreover, doing a lot of physical activity generates the production of lactic acid, a real attractant for these much hated insects. It also seems that even the excessive consumption of alcohol can induce these little animals to position themselves happily on our skin and bite us as they please.

But despite everything, the only weapon we have to protect ourselves from their attack, as every year with the arrival of summer, is to be prepared with repellents and lotions for the skin: will they be enough?

Tags: Curious NatureUseful

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