Your blood type could determine if you'll get more mosquito bites

The blood type, bug bite connection

CINCINNATI - Have you ever wondered why it seems like mosquitoes come after just you? Does it seem like your spouse gets attacked while you go unscathed? A new study is out to help explain why.

It's no secret that the weather has been prime for an increased mosquito population this year. We have had a lot of rain this summer and just in the last week, some sweltering temperatures. In cooler weather, new mosquitoes arrive every two weeks, but with the heat, it only takes 8 days, bringing more mosquitoes than what we typically see.

Now, a new study says that your blood type could determine if you will get bitten.

"About 20 percent of the people are actually 'tastier' to mosquitoes, or tend to attract them more readily than others and it may be tied to blood type," said Dr. Gene Kritsky, Professor of Biology at The College of Mount St. Joseph. "Studies have indicated that Type O blood may be more attractive or beneficial to mosquitoes than the other blood types, and about 85 percent of us actually secrete chemicals in our sweat that tells the mosquito what our blood type is."

Most of the Tri-State has Type O blood, but not everyone secretes those chemicals. So just because you're Type O, that doesn't necessarily mean that you'll get more bites.

"It's well known in Africa that individuals of certain blood types are either resistant or susceptible to malaria and that's been known for a long time. So, the fact that a study was done where it was shown that an individual of group 'O' are more susceptible to mosquito bites, is not surprising," said Dr. Ronald Sacher, Director of Hoxworth Blood Center at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Even with the new study, anyone can get bitten, but there are some things that you can do to prevent it. Wear long sleeves and pants, use products with deet or mosquito fogger.  

Here's a link to the blood type/mosquito bite study:


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