I was annoyed the other day by the swarm of mosquitoes that buzzed in front of me as I took a walk in the neighborhood around Kroll's Diner and Our Redeemer's Lutheran Church.
Strangely enough, though, the mosquitoes didn't bite me even though I wasn't wearing mosquito repellent.
It could have been because I was wearing a long-sleeved shirt and blue jeans and shoes with socks, though I still had some exposed skin they could have landed on. Maybe it was because it was fairly breezy. But, though I've had my share of mosquito bites in my life, I've never been quite the mosquito magnet that other people have been. I count it as one of my two summertime blessings, the other being fair skin that still tans easily and only burns on a particularly hot, windy day with long exposure to the elements. Certain members of my family aren't so lucky and resemble overbroiled lobsters after a few minutes of sun exposure.
Andrea Johnson is a staff writer for The Minot Daily News.
It seems there are scientific explanations for both of the above.
Mosquitoes don't like people with my particular blood type as well as they like others. It seems that mosquitoes are particularly fond of people who have type-O blood. I have Type-B blood, which I learned when I gave blood years ago, and I must not taste as good as Type-O people.
The mosquitoes also like "secretors," meaning they broadcast their blood type through a chemical marker in their skin. About 85 percent of the population are "secretors," as I have learned through years of watching crime dramas on television. If mosquitoes like secretors, that's probably why most of us get bit once in awhile. The skeeters also really like pregnant women.
Dermatologists use the Fitzpatrick Classification scale to determine what kind of skin you have and how likely you are to burn in the sun. Some of my relatives have skin type 1 or 2, meaning it is very fair, sometimes freckled, and always burns and rarely tans. According to this scale, I have skin type 3, with fair skin that rarely burns and gradually tans. The scale goes all the way up to skin type 6, which never burns and always tans.
Most articles note that everyone, even those who never burn, should wear sun block in the summer.
That's as easy to forget as mosquito repellent when you aren't a mosquito magnet and don't turn into a lobster in the sunlight.