If you’re one of those people who always gets attacked by mosquitos when no one else around you seems to get even a single bite, your DNA may be to blame.
CBS News reports that a new study published in the journal PLOS One found that our DNA plays an important role in whether or not mosquitos are drawn to us. Researchers studied pairs of both identical and fraternal twins and found that identical twins had an extremely similar level of attractiveness to mosquitos than did the fraternal ones. Identical twins share the same DNA, which proves that the bugs are drawn to some the undetectable odor profiles of some humans more than others.
READ MORE: Lindsay Lohan Hospitalized With Mosquito-Borne Virus She Picked Up in Bora Bora
The good news is you’re not just imagining it, and it’s not anything you’re doing or wearing that’s making you a mosquito magnet. The bad news is, there’s nothing you can do to make your DNA less attractive to the pesky bloodsuckers. But hopefully as scientists begin to better understand how our natural odor attracts mosquitos, they can create better ways to repel them. This could have huge implications for the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, like malaria, West Nile virus, and yellow fever.
“Investigating the genetic control of attractiveness to biting insects could lead to the development of novel insect repellents, and individualised strategies for avoiding insect bites could be formulated rationally if the genetic basis for variation between individuals were known,” the researchers wrote.
Until then, those of us with super-attractive genes will just have to scratch our way through buggy summer nights.
READ MORE: Bugging Out? Nine Natural Insect Repellents