Why do mosquitoes bite some people more than others? Scientists examine this summertime nuisance

National and World

(CBS) – Mosquitoes are more than a nuisance. They can carry serious illness. Some of you may feel you’re more prone to getting bit than others.

With all the fun that summer entails, there’s a nuisance too — those pesky mosquitos

But for others, they just don’t seem to be on the mosquitoes’ radar.

“My mom and I will garden in our yard and she’ll have tons of mosquito bites and I’ll have nothing,” said Bethlehem Elias.

So, why are some people more prone than others?

“One thing scientists have known for a long time is mosquitoes are attracted to the odor of used gym socks,” said Dr. Jon Oliver of Entomology at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Oliver has an unexpected explanation.

“They are being attracted to that mix of fungus and bacteria that causes foot odor, and that’s why mosquitos often bite people on their feet and ankles,” Dr. Oliver said.

Dr. Oliver says mosquitos can also be drawn to people for genetic reasons. Some people metabolize food in a certain way and emit a certain smell.

“So, it may not be that you’re unclean. It may be that your particular body odor attracts the bugs?” asked CBS reporter Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield.

“Absolutely. So, if you had two perfectly clean people next to each other that have the exact same bath regimen, one could be bitten more than the other,” Dr. Oliver said.

He agreed it’s not just in our heads that some people are more prone than others.

So, be sure to protect yourself from mosquitos. Use repellant and wear long pants and sleeves.

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