As an unusually attractive target for mosquitoes, I've heard every ridiculous theory on why I always end up with dozens of itchy bites while others around me go unscathed — usually something akin to "Maybe it's because you're so sweet!" (Note: I'm not.)
But scientists have their own ideas. And the prevention methods they prescribe? Not sweet at all.
In an interview with CBS News, mosquito scientist (that’s a thing) Grayson Brown cobbled together reasons why mozzies (Zika or not) might be attracted to some people more than others.
The worst of it: a study out of Japan that found that drinking even a single beer increases mosquito attraction, possibly due to increased body temperature and sweat — and also due to the CO2 that fizzes out of a beer bottle when it’s popped open. (Other studies have confirmed the correlation.)
Brown also cites skin bacteria, type-O blood, third-trimester pregnancy (body heat, increased CO2 emissions), using yeast to cook or clean and even wearing dark clothes as reasons why mosquitoes might like you (or me) more than other people.
His solutions? Wash with antibacterial soap. Use DEET-based bug repellents. And drink non-carbonated beverages when you're outdoors.
If you need us, we'll be inside, nursing a bottle of wine.