Why are some people more prone to mosquito bites than others?

Yuma

Why are some people more prone to mosquito bites than others?

Posted:

Story by: Wendy Aguilar, Reporter

YUMA, Ariz. (13 On Your Side) – The Yuma County Abatement District has confirmed three locations in Yuma where West Nile-infected mosquitoes have been found.

Samples were collected from the Yuma East Wetlands, Paradise Cove and the backyard of a home on Avenue C.

We know mosquitoes are out there during the summer months. Experts tell us to stay in-doors at night and to avoid places where there is water.

But for some people it doesn't matter how much they protect themselves, they still can't escape mosquito bites.

So the question is, why are some people more prone to mosquito attacks than others?

Sarah Bratz worries about her kids' safety now that West Nile-infected mosquitoes have been found in Yuma.

"Since they are outside playing, they get bitten a lot," Bratz said. "They always come in and they are itching."

That's because mosquitoes are known to zero in on people who are moving.

Brian O'Green, the county's Environmental Health Manager, says people who are physically active are more prone to mosquito bites.

But some people are attacked even when they are not moving.

So, why is it that mosquitoes attack some people more than others?

O'Green says CO2 emission from our breath attracts mosquitoes.

"The mosquitoes will find you with your CO2," O'Green said. "And we give off CO2 from our breathing and our sweat and that's usually what they are attracted to."

"The clothing you wear might also be making you a target for mosquitoes. Darker clothing will also attract the blood sucking mosquitoes, too."

O'Green says the best protection for everyone is to spray mosquito repellent on your arms and legs any time you are going to spend time outside.

It is advice Micki Stacks says she already follows to keep mosquitoes away from her grandchildren.

"Take precautions and use repellants and you'll be okay," the Yuma resident said.

O'Green says they continue to treat and monitor affected areas but prevention is the most important step.

Protect your homes by dumping all your still water, bird baths, tires and other areas that store water you won't need.

West Nile Virus is spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Infected mosquitoes are typically collected from June to October. The West Nile Virus has been in Yuma since the summer of 2003.

Again, no cases have been confirmed in Yuma.

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