You come inside after a backyard party to find your legs and arms riddled with itchy, red welts. And yet your friend, who was sitting right beside you, escaped scot free?
It's not your imagination - mozzies do exhibit preferences for certain people say the experts, with up to 20 percent of us especially delicious to the mosquito population.
Amid recent warnings of an increase in mosquito-borne diseases such as Ross River fever and Barmah Forest virus in Australia, how can we prevent – and soothe – insect bites, particularly leading into summer?
'Increasingly, people prefer to avoid chemical-based repellents with ingredients like DEET," said Tegan Abbott, essential oils guru and author of Eucalyptus Oil – Australia's Natural Wonder.
'They're don't want to take risks with their health, or their family's health, turning to plant-based natural alternatives and essential oils instead."
Tegan's own recipe for a DIY personal insect repellent uses 50mL of Canola oil, 2mL of citronella and 2mL of eucalyptus oil. 'Of all the essential oils, eucalyptus appears to be the most effective deterrent and provides the longest-lasting protection," she said.
Despite our best efforts, most of us will still get bitten – so what can we slather on to help?
Tegan has a surprising tip. 'Euky Bearub. It's a children's vapour chest rub based on natural ingredients which, believe it or not, is absolutely amazing for mozzie bites. It includes eucalyptus oil in a gentle ointment base so it's practically made for the job."
Natural compounds in the essential oils help soothe irritated bite areas, she said, while the antiseptic action of eucalyptus helps prevent infection. 'Dab a little on bites and repeat as necessary – I always take this away on family holidays, just throw the tube in your bag."
Mozzies may be the biggest barbecue pest since Uncle Terry with six beers under his belt, but they've been here for 170 million years, so it's safe to say they're probably here to stay.
If you're a tasty target for the summertime blood-suckers, make sure you eliminate areas of still, pooled water in the garden which provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes – including clogged gutters, children's plastic toys, garbage cans and bird baths. You can also try mozzie coils and citronella candles.
'And when all else fails, don't forget the Euky Bearub," recommended Tegan.
Euky Bearub is available at chemists, RRP $8.95 and Coles supermarkets.
Visit www.fgb.com.au. Always read the label and use only as directed. See your doctor if symptoms persist.
You're especially alluring to Mozzies if you're:
Larger – mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, and higher levels are breathed out
by bigger people. This is why adults also tend to get bitten more than children.
Pregnant – Studies have shown mums-to-be get bitten about twice as often as women who
Wearing dark colours – mozzies are highly visual and attracted to darker colours like black
Drinking beer – just one beer can make you more attractive to insects, a study found.
Exercising – Heat and movement also attract, as does lactic acid, which is produced when we
sweat and the extra carbon dioxide we breathe out (so running away won't help you!)
Have stinky feet – Smelly feet emit a chemical mosquitos love!
Are blood type O - Mozzies' favourite blood type, followed by B.
Just genetically unlucky – 85% of attractiveness to mosquitos comes down to genetics,
More fun facts
Eating bananas does not attract mozzies, nor does taking B12 repel them – these are old wives tales
Some mosquito species are leg and ankle biters, attracted to the chemicals in your feet.
Other species prefer the head and neck area, closer to the carbon dioxide you exhale.
Only female mosquitos bite – and it's not for food (mosquitos eat nectar), it's for the protein your blood supplies that helps them hatch their eggs.
Notice how some people have barely any reaction to a mosquito bite while others come up in huge red welts? It's to do with your immune reaction to the mosquito's saliva, and everyone's is different. You can become immune to insect bites from a certain species of mosquito if you get bitten enough.
Bad news? There are over 3000 species of mosquitos!