With summer just around the corner, it’s high time you show some skin and wear those shorts and crop tops to the coolest beach and outdoor parties. However, if you want to go camping, star gazing or simply enjoy a night out with your friends without covering yourself in five layers of clothing, you are going to need the help of the best mosquito zapper on the market or at least a repellant spray to keep most bugs away.
Mosquitoes are not only annoying with their buzz but also potentially dangerous for humans as they can carry viruses and other pathogens. But, if you want to fight them once and for all, you need to take a deeper look into their behavior and learn the main factors that attract them. Removing these factors will help you prevent mosquito bites and enjoy a summer full of outdoor adventures.
Believe it or not, there are thousands of scientific studies conducted on the behavior of mosquitoes to find out exactly what attracts them to feed on human blood. Some of these concluded that one of the most important factors triggering these insects is sweat.
When we sweat, we don’t just eliminate water from our organisms but also important minerals and toxins. Mosquitoes do need a lot of water in order to reproduce, and this is why they usually prefer humid environments.
People who tend to sweat a lot are identified as easy targets for mosquitoes that will keep on attacking them.
One easy way to avoid this is to turn on your A/C during the summer time and keep it on low temperatures that regulate your body heat and prevent you from sweating. If you manage to keep your body cool and dry, there are fewer chances to get bitten by mosquitoes.
You can also opt for moisture-absorbing deodorants or even more extreme solutions like botulinum toxin injections in the armpits to neutralize sweat glands.
Mosquitoes are not only attracted to the water released by our bodies but also to substances such as potassium and lactic acid. Scientific studies conducted on thousands of people have concluded that those with a diet rich in potassium and salt are more prone to become victims of mosquitoes.
One easy way to avoid this is to simply change your diet, at least during the summer, and replace some of the foods rich in potassium with alternatives. Bananas, dried fruits, and avocados should be replaced with fresh oranges, grapefruits, and lemons.
Another thing that advertises you as a solid mosquito target is drinking alcohol. When drinking alcohol, your skin eliminates certain chemicals that seem to attract mosquitoes like a magnet.
Alcohol is also known to increase body temperature, which these insects will find even more appealing since they are thriving in hot and humid environments. So, even though a cold beer or a glass of red wine sounds great after a stressful day at work, you might want to reconsider it if you don’t want to be bitten by mosquitoes. Sure, soaking yourself in insect repellants is a good solution if you don’t mind the smell.
Increased body temperature
As we previously mentioned, mosquitoes enjoy hot and humid environments, so it comes as no surprise that they prefer those with warm bodies. The normal body temperature depends on the person, the moment of the day, age, and even a choice of activities. It is generally accepted that the average temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, although some people might be normally hotter than others.
Mosquitoes can sense the human body heat from a few yards and will typically bite people with warmer bodies. Unfortunately, there is little you can do to change that.
Scented lotions and perfumes
Wearing strong perfumes and scented lotions during the summertime will also attract mosquitoes as they are fine connoisseurs of the sweet smells. You might even consider it a compliment if you see a dozen mosquitoes swarming around you right after you applied a moisturizing body lotion all over your skin.
Unfortunately, these insects can sniff any type of perfume or scented lotion from a distance, especially if it’s floral. Perhaps using an unscented body cream after the shower will prove efficient if you want to keep mosquitoes away.
You might have heard the saying “sweet blood” which usually refers to people with a certain blood type who seem to be more appealing to insects. A scientific study conducted in 2004 revealed that people with type O blood are 83% more likely to become mosquito targets than those with other blood types.
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to change your blood type so, unless you want to become an easy target for these dangerous and deadly insects, you might want to carry a repellant with you during the summertime.
Last but not least, there is a wide series of hormonal changes in a woman’s body during the nine months of pregnancy, and some of these changes might attract insects like a magnet. Pregnant women release more pheromones which makes them more appealing to the opposite sex but also to most animals.
A study conducted in 2000 concluded that future moms have a higher body temperature than regular women and also exhale more carbon dioxide. Blood also circulates faster in their bodies and, all these factors combined create an attractive environment for mosquitoes.
Unfortunately, the immune system of pregnant women is constantly challenged both from the inside and from the outside, so you should pay extra attention to your health during these months.
One of the pregnancy symptoms most women experience is the sharp smelling sense, and this is why some may not be able to stand strong fragrances like perfumes, deodorants or cleaning substances. It is also the case of most insect repellent sprays and lotions that rely on their smell to keep mosquitoes away.
What can you do to avoid biting?
Although we cannot guarantee you’ll live an entire summer free of mosquito bites, there are some things you can do to lower the number of bites and prevent the transmission of certain dangerous diseases.
The first and most important thing you can do to protect your family is to install screens or nets on your windows and doors. These will prevent most of the insects from getting inside the house while you can still enjoy the fresh air and sleeping with your windows open when it’s hot outside.
Removing any sources of standing water near your house will also make you less attractive to these insects. This includes ponds, bird baths, rain gutters, and even the water in an old flower pot.
If you want to enjoy a late barbecue or drinking a cold beer on your porch in the summertime, make sure to apply a natural or chemical repellent. Natural ones include essential eucalyptus oils, mint or peppermint. Apply a few drops of oil on your wrists, ankles, thighs, and behind your ears to keep mosquitoes away.