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Why Mosquitoes Bite Some People But Not Others
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About one person in five is especially attractive to the annoying insects. This is how your skin seduces them.

About 1 out of every 5 people is a target. Mosquitoes want your blood, but not for the reason you might think. Male mosquitoes actually aren't interested in your vital fluids at all, but females are very interested. They need human blood to develop fertile eggs.

It turns out it's all about what's on your skin. And they can hone in on you from about 50 yards away.

Scientists are still trying to unpack it all but there’s a few things they know make you a target. One of them is bacteria. About a trillion microbes live on your skin and create your body odour. But most people only have 10% of their microbes in common, which means we’re not all the same. So some of us have a collection of microbes that are particularly tasty for mosquitoes.

Then, there’s CO2. Mosquitoes love carbon dioxyde, so the more a person emits, the more attractive they are. Larger people give up more CO2 than smaller people, which is why mosquitoes bite adults more than kids, and the bigger the adult, the juicier the target.

Mosquitoes are also drawn to movement and heat, so if you’re out in the park playing soccer, mosquitoes can sense your movement and increased temperature and zip towards you. And if you’ve run around so much that you’re out of breath, it’s like the perfect storm. To a mosquito, you’re like a juicy steak waiting for its plate.

So defend yourself. There are only two proven things that work:
- Insect repelent with DEET
- and OTC (over the counter) antihistamines

1 OUT OF EVERY 5= The usual way to express fractions or percentages:
1/4= one out of every four (also: one in four) = 25%
5/10= five out of every ten = five in every ten = 50%

MIGHT= Probably.

ACTUALLY= In fact.

VITAL= Necessary for living.

FLUIDS= Liquids (especially the ones inside a living creature).

AT ALL= An expression that emphasizes a negative sentence or a question:
- I don’t like it at all = I absolutely don’t like it
- Are you listening at all? = Are you really listening?

BLOOD= /blʌd/ The red liquid inside our body.

DEVELOP= To gradually expand, grow, refine.

FERTILE= Capable of initiating, sustaining, or supporting reproduction.

IT TURNS OUT= Results, ends up; it’s foujd to be.

IT’S ALL ABOUT= The important thing is…

HONE IN ON YOU= Move towards you; focus on you.

YARDS= 1 yard is 0.9144 meters

TRYING TO UNPACK IT ALL= Trying to understand and explain by analyzing its parts.

TARGET= A target is something (or someone) desired for some reson; an aim, a goal.

BACTERIA= Plural of bacterium. Bacteria are microscopic animals that get inside our body and may cause illness (similar to viruses).

TRILLION= In America and the UK it is a million million. In most other countries it is a million million million.

MICROBES= Microscopic animals.

BODY ODOUR= The smell from your body.

TASTY= Delicious.

CO2= Carbon dioxyde. When we breathe, we take oxygen in and expell CO2.

EMITS= Sends out.

GIVE UP= Emit, send.

WHICH IS WHY…= And that is the reason why…

JUICIER= Something juicy is tasty, delicious.

DRAWN TO= Attracted to.

SOCCER= European football (as opposed to American football). Outside the USA, soccer is simply called “football”.

SENSE= Feel, notice.

ZIP TOWARDS YOU= Move very quickly to you.

OUT OF BREATH= If you are out of breath, you have been doing a lot of exercise and you need so much air that you feel almost like you can’t have enough, so you breathe very fast and still is not enough.

STEAK= /steɪk/ A slice of meat (see picture)

PLATE= Dish.

PROVEN (AmE) = Proved (BrE)
AmE: prove-proved-proven / BrE: prove-proved-proved

DEET= (Chemistry) diethyl(meta)toluamide; an insect repellent.

OTC= Over The Counter drugs are medicine which can be sold without a medical prescription.

ANTIHISTAMINES= (Pharmacology) any drug that neutralizes the effects of histamine, used esp in the treatment of allergies.

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