What You Can Do to Repel Mosquitoes (And Why They Bite Some of Us More Than Others)
What You Can Do to Repel Mosquitoes (And Why They Bite Some of Us More Than Others) by Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper
Ah, summer. The days of puffy red bumps dotting your arms and legs. The cardiovascular campfire exercises also known as swatting mosquitoes. The pink calamine lotion designs splotched onto itchy kids everywhere.
The more outdoorsy you are, the more likely you are to suffer this summer malady. However, some folks get bitten more often than others, no matter what they do to repel mosquitoes. Everyone has a favorite remedy for this. Personally, I’ve been a fan of Avon Skin So Soft bath oil for years for our family’s outdoorsy pursuits, but with the uptick in mosquito-borne illnesses, we should all be a bit more vigilant.
Here’s the research on who is the most vulnerable to getting bitten and what you can do to protect yourself.
Have you ever wondered why certain people are just mosquito magnets?
There are several reasons.
The first ones are genetic, and you can’t do anything about them.
- Bacteria: We all have a different cocktail of bacteria on our skin and some of these mixes are more appealing to mosquitoes than others. The smellier the bacteria, the happier the mosquito. This may explain why mosquitoes are so drawn to places like your feet and ankles. Mosquitoes find bacteria like Staphylococcus and Variovorax quite delicious. Pseudomonas, Delftia, and Actinobacteria make a person less enticing.
- Blood Type: Just like humans and ice cream, mosquitoes have favorite flavors, too. Experiments have shown that they greatly prefer Type O blood but don’t really care for Type A blood. What’s more, 85% of people secrete a chemical that signals to the little flying vampires what blood type they are. The other 15% who do not secrete that chemical are less likely to be bitten.
- Carbon Dioxide: The more you exhale, the more mosquitoes are drawn to you. This means that if you’ve been exerting yourself, if you are overweight, or if you are pregnant, you may be getting more than your fair share of bites.
- Sweat: Sweat is the byproduct of exertion, so if you are outdoors exercising or working, mosquitoes may want to come and help you along. The delightful aromas of lactic acid, uric acid, and ammonia, all present in perspiration, draw them like humans to fresh baked cookies.
- Warmth: Some people run a little hotter than others. Mosquitoes tend to be drawn to the warmth. This makes pregnant women, people with a high metabolism, and heavier people tend to be more attractive.
There are a couple of mosquito-luring qualities you can do something about.
- Beer: Mosquitoes love beer. Drinking just one 12-ounce bottle of brew makes humans more enticing to mosquitoes. (source) This is not true of other types of alcohol consumption – just beer drinkers.