Ahhh, summer! The long-awaited time of year when outdoor activities are plentiful, beckoning one and all to enjoy the beauty and wonder of nature. The lush green forests, the verdant parks and pastures, and the kaleidoscope of colors in the flower beds make summer a favorite season for many people. No one can argue that the sights are rich and abundant. But, with these pleasant gifts of nature come some less-agreeable characteristics of outdoor life.
And if you’re part of the 20% of people who suffer every year from what has become the bane of their existence, then you will have a less-than-enthusiastic attitude about those evening picnics in the park.
I’m speaking, of course, about those pesky ‘blood-suckers’ that some people like to call by their euphemistic name - mosquitoes. Growing up in the Midwest, I fell victim to dozens of those miserable bites at a time and I’d suffer for weeks as the itchiness lingered endlessly then finally subsided. Then, once I'd finally gotten some relief from the incessant itching, I'd brave it back outdoors with my friends - only to get hit once again!
From June to September, outdoor fun came at a heavy price. And to add insult to injury, I’d find out that others who were with me every step of the way came away unscathed! Now, how is that fair?
Now that I am well into adulthood and have given up trying to outsmart those vicious predators, I make sure to take refuge indoors from 5:00 pm onwards. So, many evening activities are foregone simply because of the misery that is sure to follow. No matter how fun the event promises to be, nothing can overshadow the consequences of being perpetual ‘mosquito-bait.’
Studies have been conducted to try to determine why some people seem to be bitten more often than others, and it turns out that it’s not your fault - but there's not much you can do about it, either! SORRY!!
For some unknown reason, mosquitoes seem to prefer people with type ‘O’ blood. Their least favorite type is ‘A’ and ‘B’ falls somewhere in the middle. If you don't know your blood type and are besieged with the warm-weather affliction, chances are that you are type ‘O.’
Now, scientists can be more specific in their explanation as to why ‘O’ blood is considered a delicacy for those insects with the assaulting proboscises.
According to Smithsonian Magazine, we shouldn’t be surprised. “Mosquitoes bite us to harvest proteins from our blood. Research shows that they find certain blood types more appetizing than others. One study found that in a controlled setting, mosquitoes landed on people with Type O blood nearly twice as often as those with Type A. People with Type B blood fell somewhere in the middle of this itchy spectrum.
“Additionally, based on other genes, about 85 percent of people secrete a chemical signal through their skin that indicates which blood type they have, while 15 percent do not, and mosquitoes are also more attracted to secretors than non-secretors regardless of which type they are.”
So, if you’re like me, you are likely a type ‘O’ secretor! And that comes down to our genetic makeup so there’s not a whole lot we can do about it. Lucky us!!
Fortunately, if you must go out at night, there are many sprays and other products that can help reduce your likelihood of being an evening snack for all the neighborhood mosquitoes! Good luck with that…Me?? I’m still going to hide inside the house and "enjoy" outdoor activities from afar!!
For additional insight into this pesky predicament, watch the video, below.