Do Mosquitoes Prefer A Certain Blood Type?

Do Mosquitoes Prefer A Certain Blood Type

No one likes mosquitoes. From candles and nets to sprays and creams, people are willing to try just about any means of mosquito control to ward off these pervasive and persistent pests. A cloud of mosquitoes can quickly ruin a pleasant outdoor activity. Their bites can range from itchy and mildly annoying to painful and even dangerous, given that mosquitoes are known to transmit diseases.

Nearly everyone will likely experience at least a few mosquito bites at some point, though not everyone is an equal target. Some people always seem to get bitten no matter what they do, while other people seem to just naturally repel these bloodthirsty brothers. Surprisingly, it turns out that your blood type may play a role in how strongly mosquitoes are drawn to you.

What Are the Differences in Blood Types?

While there are several different systems for classifying blood type, the most common system in North America is the ABO system. This system defines your blood type based on the kind of antigens that are attached to the outer surface of your red blood cells. Antigens are protein and/or sugar molecules that essentially act as bouncers for your red blood cells. They help transport other molecules into and out of a red blood cell and help detect molecules that carry illnesses.

There are two types of antigens, creatively named Type A and Type B. Some people have only Type A antigens. These people have “Type A” blood. People who have only Type B antigens have “Type B” blood. Some people have both A and B antigens: These people have “Type AB” blood. Finally, people who do not have any antigens on the lining of their red blood cells have “Type O” blood.

How Do Mosquitoes Know Your Blood Type?

Scientists aren’t completely sure how — or if — mosquitoes actually know a person’s blood type before they take a bite. What we do know is that around 80-87% of people secrete chemicals through their skin that indicate their blood type. In these people, sometimes referred to as secretors, the same antigens that are present in their red blood cells are also present in their tears.

Which Blood Type Do Mosquitoes Prefer?

All adult mosquitoes drink plant nectar as a primary food source, but female adult mosquitoes also need the proteins found in blood to produce eggs. In a pure taste test — that is, blood served from feeders rather than from people — mosquitoes chose Type O blood over the other types, according to a 2019 study. This could be because the lack of antigens makes it easier for mosquitoes to break down the blood cells and absorb the proteins.

When feeding directly from humans, studies show that mosquitoes overwhelmingly preferred secreters — of any blood type — over non-secretors of any blood type. This indicates that mosquitoes consider your blood type to be significant.

Among secretors, mosquitoes preferred people with Type O blood over those with Type A blood, according to a 2004 study. In the same study, mosquitoes also preferred Type A blood over Type B blood.

How Can Truly Nolen Help With Mosquito Control?

When you call Truly Nolen for help with a mosquito problem, an experienced technician will come to your home and thoroughly inspect the exterior areas to check for areas that are likely to attract mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are attracted to moisture, which allows them to breed. Standing water, poorly drained gutters or planters, and moist areas that are protected from wind and weather are ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Following the inspection, your Truly Nolen technician will create a custom action plan designed to eliminate and prevent mosquitoes on your property. We provide quarterly treatments throughout the year, with monthly visits during peak season. Contact us to learn more about our mosquito treatments and other pest control services.