Mosquitoes are a natural part of summer. If you have ever been outside with a group of people, you may have noticed that mosquitoes are not equal opportunity biters. Some people seem to be constantly pestered by mosquitoes while others are not.
Understanding what attracts mosquitoes can be as important in your effort to avoid mosquitoes as the best insect repellant. There are certain things that you can do that will make your body more attractive to mosquitoes and, consequentially, lower the effectiveness of any insect repellant you might be using. Below is an explanation of what things will attract mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes use their vision to locate potential targets from a distance. Because most of their targets will be found in the shade or foliage, they are naturally attracted to dark colors. This means that they will be more attracted to people wearing dark clothing than people wearing light clothing.
Floral and fruity fragrances are known to attract mosquitoes. Avoiding perfume and cologne is not enough. You must also avoid perfumed shampoos, hand creams, soaps, fabric softeners, detergent, etc. Switch to as many unscented products as you can during the summer.
Mosquitoes tend to be more attracted to areas of the body that are slightly cooler, such as your arms and legs, than to the torso. However, this can be a matter of “taste” depending on the variety.
Because mosquitoes need water to reproduce, they are naturally attracted to areas with higher humidity levels. This includes people who are sweating. Sweat also contains certain chemicals that have been known to attract chemicals. So, if you are sweating, expect to be more attractive to mosquitoes. Perspiration will also dilute any mosquito repellents that you might have applied; making you even more attractive to mosquitoes.
If you thought perverts are attracted to heavy breathing, you would be wrong. Mosquitoes are attracted by areas that are higher in carbon dioxide. This is why citronella candles tend to be effective. It is not because mosquitoes hate the smell but because a burning candle gives off carbon dioxide and attracts mosquitoes away from people. Of course, if you are standing next to that candle, or next to a bonfire, you will make yourself more of a target for mosquitoes.
Lactic acid is produced by our bodies after we exercise or after we eat certain food. Foods high in salt or potassium can cause our bodies to produce more lactic acid. Someone who is sitting outside eating pretzels and a banana will be more attractive to mosquitoes than someone who is sitting outside eating watermelon.
After exercising, your body does three things that make it more attractive to mosquitoes. You are breathing harder, meaning you are exhaling more carbon dioxide; you are sweating, which increases the humidity around your body; and you are releasing more lactic acid. Put on some perfume and dark-colored clothing and you might as be wearing a neon sign asking all mosquitoes to bite you.
You don’t have to avoid the outdoors in order to avoid mosquitoes. You do need to be smart about what you might be doing that will attract mosquitoes if you want to keep them away from you. With the growing risks that can result from a mosquito bite, this is not only for your comfort but also for your health.