Sangeetha Pulapaka

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, there are about 3,500 species of mosquitoes. Some feed on plant nectar, some on reptiles, some on birds and others on mammals. Of the species that do bite humans, it is only the females that go for blood -- the protein aids in egg production. Experts agree that size matters when it comes to being bitten. Evidence suggests mosquitoes tend to prefer men over women, adults over children and larger people over smaller ones. The larger figures likely produce more heat, more carbon dioxide and have more body mass to bite.

Human bodies produce around 500 different volatile chemicals that waft off our skins into the air. Many of these can be detected by mosquitoes using a pair of tiny feathery antennae on their heads. Studies have shown the insects are attracted to sweat, lactic acid, uric acid and octenol. Octenol is found in sweat and breath - so if you’re sweaty or breathing heavily, you’ll produce more, attracting mozzies.

Blood type can also influence how likely you are to get bitten, research has shown  Some people naturally release more of these chemicals than others. If you exercise outside you tend to produce more lactic acid. Mosquitoes also seem to like higher body temperatures, and body temperature goes up when we exercise - another reason why you may be more prone to bites after a work-out. One more reason for me not to work out!

Here are some interesting facts about mosquitoes.