Why do mosquitoes prefer to eat some people over others?

It seems like your friend lived in really unsanitary conditions and perhaps it was a good idea you didn’t visit her anyway… And poor cats. :confused:

That would be me. Back in college, they would fly in the window and over my roommate to get to me.

My daughter is so attractive to mosquitos that no one else has to worry when she is around, sadly for her. Her blood is AB-, so she doesn’'t fit the O- theory. The meat-eating theory works for us, though. Also it seems like I read that blonde blue-eyed people are either more attractive to mosquitos or have more allergic reactions. She has both. Now concerning ticks instead of mosquitos, an Ozark folk remedy is to drink a quart of buttermilk a day. Doesn’t even matter if that works or not bc there’s no way…

Here in the “country” we lets the birds, spiders, and other insects take care of them. Works real well.

To add to the anecdotes: I’m A- and while I do get bitten from time to time, I don’t really get welts and they seem to prefer other people when those are available.

On the other hand, my perception of mosquito activity is all skewed by living inside Minneapolis’ Mosquito Control Zone (they spray the city with a pelletized version of a bacteria that eats mosquito larvae). My experience might be different if I ever got outside the MCZ and experienced REAL Minnesotan mosquitoes.

Man it is anecdote city up in here.

How about some of you folks line up for science! Just get a big box (maybe with another box to act as an airlock), fill it with mosquitos, then take turns entering for 1 minute each. Count bites upon exit.

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If you take turns, then the mossies will gradually get their fill of blood from the first people to enter, and the last person won’t get bitten as much.
A better experiment would be to put two or more people in the same room full of mossies, then count bites. That should show who was most preferable when there was a choice for the little blighters.

I’m AB and almost never get bit. Sharing a tent with my brother as a kid, I’d get one or two bites a night, he’d have 10+. Not sure what blood group he is though.

Hmm, yeah, you’re right. It makes the experiment more complex, but we need multiple boxes with the same volume of mosquitos in each one. Each person enters a box, then when they come out, we count the bites.

One technique I’ve heard works is to put a piece of scotch tape over the welt. Apparently, without oxygen, it won’t itch as much.

Considering that a couple of nights ago I was drained to the point of needing a three-unit transfusion, and a currently resemble an ambulatory carbuncle, I might try both.

So there actually has been SCIENCE! done on this topic. Turns out that mosquitoes prefer to land on people with type O blood. Also, it probably matters whether or not you secrete blood-group antigens onto your skin (some people do, some don’t).


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