मच्छर भी हर किसी को काटने से डरते है... Why One Attracts Mosquitoes and Others Not?

Author : Dr. P. D.GUPTA

Former Director Grade Scientist, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India


More about Mosquitoes 

The word "mosquito" is Spanish word meaning "little fly", but these "little flies" are the most deadly animal on earth! More deaths are associated with mosquitoes than any other animal on the planet because of the diseases they carry.   The male mosquito lives only about 10 days whereas female last anywhere from 42 - 56 days. There are over 3,000 different species of mosquitoes throughout the world. Different mosquitoes have different feeding habits.  “Some mosquitoes don’t eat blood at all; and of the ones that do eat blood. Only female mosquitoes feed on blood, this is because they need the nutrients in blood to lay their eggs. Some feeds in the evening, while others feed during the day.   Male mosquitoes and female mosquitoes that are not laying eggs only feed on plant nectar. Mosquitoes can consume twice their body weight in blood.  On full moon day mosquitoes are more active increased their activity about 500%.   Mosquitoes can detect carbon dioxide from 75 feet away. Both humans and animals produce carbon dioxide which signals female mosquitoes that a potential blood is near. 

Why You Attract Mosquitoes? 

Mosquitoes are very smart; they can even diagnose what blood group you have. People with type O blood were 83 percent more likely to attract mosquitoes than any other blood type.  Not only that they can even detect whether you have consumed alcohol or not. Without thermometer they can sense your temperature. The higher your body temperature is, the faster mosquitoes will find you. Once they get within a few yards, they can sense the heat and love to nest in the warm conditions. When you drink alcohol our temperature rises.  

Sweat is one of the top mosquito attractors because mosquitoes need water to reproduce, and they are naturally attracted to areas with higher humidity levels. Research shows that mosquitoes are most attracted to dark colors. They can see and use their vision to locate targets from a distance, and people wearing dark clothing are at higher risk. Fragrances are known to attract mosquitoes. Floral scents are especially attractive. Those who eat potassium salt or potassium rich foods like bananas, avocados, and dried fruits which in turn release lactic acid by our body, that smell also attracts mosquitoes 

Pregnant Woman

Mosquitoes are experts in performing pregnancy tests,  rather than hCG (human chorionic gonodotropic hormone) which is used for pregnancy test in the laboratories, mosquitoes use their own parameters. A 2000 study found that pregnant women attracted twice as many mosquitoes as non-pregnant woman. This is because pregnant woman exhale more carbon dioxide than other people, in addition to running higher body temperatures and having more blood circulating through her body than the average person.

Individual Responses To Mosquito Bites Vary 

If you've ever wondered why some mosquito bites itch more than others, it totally depends on  our body. Your reaction depends on your body's immune system. "Reactivity is based on the sensitivity of one's immune system to the bite,". "People with atopic traits—eczema, asthma, allergic rhinitis—tend to develop more severe local reactions after mosquito bites". 

Itching of mosquitoes bites  

When a mosquito bites, it injects chemicals to prevent the blood from clotting and reduce pain. These chemicals cause irritation. That itchy sensation you feel after getting bit is the human body's natural reaction to mosquito saliva. This leads to the immune system producing histamines, which cause the nerves to itch due to increased blood flow. Most mosquito bites itch for 3 or 4 days. Any pinkness or redness lasts 3 or 4 days. The swelling may last 7 days. Certainly, scratching mosquito bites can feel good. When we scratch, our body sends pain signals to our brain, which in turn releases a chemical called serotonin, a neurotransmitter, which temporarily inhibits the pain and itching 

Always keep in mind using some kind of natural mosquito protection or making homemade mosquito traps can dramatically reduce your chances of getting bit. Planting Marigolds around your yard works great as a bug repellent because the flowers give off a fragrance bugs do not like. This is a great way to ward off mosquitoes without using chemical insecticides. (The author has his own study and views)