A bloody smorgasbord

I RECENTLY had dinner with a friend and was reminded again of why I should always trust my better judgement when it comes to bloodsucking insects.

You see, my friend has chickens. Those chickens have mites. Those mites made their way into the house and now the house has mites.

I can’t say I wasn’t warned. My friend said it outright: “We have mites in our house. I won’t be offended if you don’t want to come over.”


How bad can mites be? I thought. “No, no, I’ll be there!” I insisted, not wanting to be rude, ignoring every red flag that was waving desperately in my imagination.

“I’m sure it will be fine.”

It wasn’t.

It really wasn’t her fault – I blame her chickens – but I should have paid attention to those red flags. Because I knew those blood-sucking vermin would love the taste of my blood. Experience told me they would…

When I moved into my first rental, it was infested with fleas – a fact we were blissfully unaware of when we signed the six-month lease.

Within a week of moving in, I was covered in bites and scratching myself constantly. For every 10 bites I had, my flatmate had one; I had swollen red lumps all over me, but he escaped the ordeal with only the occasional bite on his ankle.

Every summer, mosquitoes flock to me like I’m their only hope at survival – I’m sometimes surprised I even have any blood left.
And now, it seems those mites love me too.

I find myself melodramatically wondering “Why me?” but it turns out, there is an actual scientific reason.

Apparently, my type-O blood – according to a Japanese study, it’s the flavour of choice – makes me a tasty treat for bloodsuckers.

So when my friend cautioned me about the presence of tiny, itchy bump-makers in her home, I should have listened and run for the hills.

Instead, I told myself that this time would be different. This time, they’d leave me alone.

But it seems I’ll always be a target. After all, it’s in my blood.

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