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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Liberty Vittert: What’s your actual chance of getting a mosquito bite? A statistician crunches the numbers | Editor's Picks - Fox News

Photo: Liberty Vittert
It’s time for my annual public service announcement and this year it's on mosquitoes, according to Liberty Vittert, professor of the Practice of Data Science at the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis and an ambassador for the Royal Statistical Society.

Hot and humid weather brings out those pesky mosquitoes
Now while I’m sure there is some ecosystem reason for their existence, if I could kill every single mosquito within a square mile of myself at any given time, I would.

My mother always used to try to make me feel better by saying, “My blood is sweet” as I was crying and manically itching the swollen, red, itchy as all get-up bites that magically appeared all over my body after a warm summer’s night spent outside.

Since mosquitoes come out in the spring and summer, a lot of scientists predicted that a very cold winter would significantly decrease the mosquito’s population but it might actually seriously increase this summer since mosquitoes are more resilient than their natural predators, such as bats and birds, to the cold.

So let’s look at the numbers to get ready.

First off, what are your actual chances of getting mosquito bites?...

There are statistically significantly more mosquitoes found at an increasing height from 3-12 feet so if you’re tall, maybe slouch a little? Research shows that mosquitoes demonstrate a preference for women with a larger BMI. The hypothesis was that larger women provide a more substantial visual target as well as greater amounts of heat, moisture, and carbon dioxide. I’m not sure if the statistics really hold up to that one, but maybe my momma was wrong and my own blood isn’t sweet but really I just need to lose a couple of lbs.
Read more... 

Source: Fox News