Mosquitoes can literally sniff out human skin odor, and while some elements will repel the awful creatures, some will also increase their attraction. Short of staying indoors during peak hours, little can be done to avoid mosquitoes completely. You can, however, reduce your chances of making yourself a bigger target.
Mosquitoes are naturally attracted to people, but some of our habits can make us bigger targets than others. From making dietary changes to investing in the right insect repellent, there are a number of things we can do to help ward off the pesky and potentially dangerous insects. Read on to learn how to make yourself less desirable to mosquitoes.
Find Out What You Could Be Doing to Make Yourself a Mosquito Magnet.
Skip the Beer at Barbeques
A cold beer might sound good on that hot summer day, but it will also make you smell more enticing to the mosquitoes all around you. Researchers can’t agree on why alcohol attracts the bugs, as ethanol content in the sweat alone doesn’t seem to be a factor. They can agree, however, that mosquitoes land significantly more often on those who’ve consumed alcohol.
Avoid Exercising When Mosquitoes Are Out
Mosquitoes are attracted to lactic acid, which is produced by metabolizing energy. Higher quantities of lactic acid are produced through exercise. The higher concentration of lactic acid emitted, the more attracted mosquitoes become. Exercise also tends to force heavier breathing, which means higher amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) are being expelled. Mosquitoes are attracted to changes in CO2 levels, which also seems to increase their response to raised lactic acid levels.
Sweat tends to be produced during exercise, and mosquitoes are attracted to the smell of that as well. In one study, researchers moved a robot through an enclosure filled with mosquitoes. They clothed the robot in water-soaked clothes. When they clothed that same robot in sweaty clothes and sent it back through, it attracted far more of the hungry insects than when it wore water-soaked clothes.
In that same study, some of the water-soaked clothed robots were sent in cool, while others were warmed closer to human body temperature. The mosquitoes were far more attracted to the warm robots, indicating body temperature is also a factor. Try fooling the little buggers with cool compresses or a mister.
Using a repellant spray containing DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535 can greatly reduce mosquitoes. Cover as much skin as possible with baggy clothing. If possible, wear shoes with socks, rather than flip-flops or sandals. In areas with high mosquito populations, consider tucking pant legs into socks, wear a hat, or even use netting.
Mosquitoes might be a part of summer in many regions, but they don’t have to leave you a welted, itching mess. There’s no way to avoid mosquito bites altogether, but taking steps to make yourself less desirable to the potentially dangerous insects may help you avoid most of them.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension!
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