Mosquitoes, the vampires of the midge world, actually prefer a certain blood type over others, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
In a study, researchers found that mosquitoes consume Type O blood twice as often as those with Type A. People with Type B fell somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. Scientists aren't sure why mosquitoes favor Type O over other blood types.
How do mosquitoes know what blood type they're hunting? It turns out 85 percent of people secrete a chemical signal through their skin which identifies the type of blood -- which makes them even more likely to get bitten.
Here are seven other factors that contribute to itchy bites:
- Carbon dioxide: Mosquitoes can actually smell your breath -- and the carbon dioxide in it -- to target you.
- Exercise and metabolism: Sweat, basically, attracts mosquitoes. The bugs can smell lactic acid, uric acid and ammonia, which are all found in sweat.
- Skin bacteria: Certain bacteria that is naturally found around ankles and feet is attractive to mosquitoes. That's why many people have bites around those areas.
- Beer: Just one beer can make someone more appetizing.
- Pregnancy: Women who are carrying a child exhale 21 percent more carbon dioxide (See No. 1) and their body temperatures are warmer.
- Clothing color: Mosquitoes can locate humans with colors that stand out like black, dark blue and red.
- Genetics: WebMD says people with high concentrations of steroids or cholesterol on their skin attract mosquitoes.
Fun fact: Female mosquitoes are the only ones that bite. Females need the blood to produce eggs. Male mosquitoes feed off of nectar.