If you have already felt like you are the favorite foods of mosquitoes, you should know that you are probably right. If you are one of those people who is always covered in mosquito bites while everyone around you is untouched, we are here to tell you that you can prevent the itchy bites too!
Apparently, some people are just much more attractive to mosquitoes than others, and here is why:
Mosquitoes are attracted by carbon dioxide- These pesky insects are attracted by the carbon dioxide we exhale, so whenever you are increasing the breathing rate, for instance, while exercising, you will become their target.
They attracted by sweat- The lactic acid in sweat attracts mosquitoes, and the more you sweat, the more they like you.
Alcohol use- Mosquitoes love the increased ethanol content in our sweat, so they will find you whenever you are enjoying a glass of wine or a beer outside.
Bacteria- While certain bacteria in our bodies attract these annoying insects, other ones repel them. For instance, studies have found that mosquitoes are attracted by Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria
Furthermore, a 2003 study found that people with type 0 blood attract mosquitoes the most. Whenever a mosquito bites us, it releases saliva into the wound. It contains anticoagulant that supports the proper blood circulation.
So, how can we prevent it all?
According to Nora Besansky, Ph.D., a professor in the department of biological sciences at Notre Dame: “The simplest way, albeit uncomfortable in the heat, [to avoid bites] is to place a barrier between the skin and a day-biting mosquito—that is, long sleeves and long pants. Even better protection is to apply an effective mosquito repellent to such clothing.”
Yet, most insect repellents are high in the active compound DEET, which has been linked to severe health risks, and according to EWG :
“Laboratory studies conducted since the 1998 EPA review have suggested that DEET exposure can affect the nervous systems of rats (Abdel-Rahman et al 2001, Corbel et al. 2009).
People who use DEET daily have reported suffering symptoms including rashes, dizziness, difficulty concentrating and headaches (ATSDR 2004). Studies using DEET alongside the pesticide permethrin have raised concerns that DEET could cause neurological damage and epigenetic changes (Abdel-Rahman et al 2001, Manikkam et al 2012).
Still, after reviewing the evidence, EWG has concluded that DEET is generally safer than many people assume and remains a viable option for people in areas infested with disease-carrying pests.”
Therefore, you should turn to the natural alternatives, such as:
- Mix lavender, thyme, or tea tree oil to some carrier oil and apply it on the skin
- Mix lemon eucalyptus essential oil- with a carrier oil with a 1:10 ratio and distribute onto the skin.
- Keep citronella candles burning to keep mosquitoes at bay
Here are some other steps you can take to prevent mosquitoes:
- Make sure you put on some long-sleeved shirts, socks, pants, and a hat when you are planning to spend the time outside.
- Mosquitoes breed in standing water, so you should remove all the plastic covers, open buckets, trash can lids, etc. from your yard
- Mosquitoes find it hard to land on you in a moving air, so you can turn on the fan.
- Mosquitoes do not usually bite during the day, but you should be careful in the evening or early in the morning.