Last summer I went to several outdoor events that resulted in my having numerous mosquito bites, the majority of which were on my ankles – itchy!
The worst part was that Burt’s Bees discontinued the only product I’ve ever found that works on bug bites. Damn I miss this stuff… (I did find a different balm I’m going to try, fingers crossed.)
ANYHOO, each time this would happen. I’d call up the friends I was with the night before before and ask, “Man, I got eaten alive last night, did that happen to you too?” They would inevitably say the same thing – they got a couple of bites but nothing serious (some would actually say they didn’t get bitten at all.) I was perplexed. Why was I being targeted?
I started carrying along mosquito repellent whenever I knew we were going to be outdoors. Sadly though, often I would be someplace expecting to stay indoors (especially when it was horribly hot outside, I am, after all, a delicate flower) and we’d end up al fresco.
It was then that I started to wonder, is it possible that my weight had anything to do with my being bitten? After doing some research (cuz that’s what I do) I was distressed to discover the answer is yes. Well, it isn’t the sole reason the nasty little winged demons love me, but it’s one of them. Turns out that I’m a mosquito slut. (Right Mimi?) Pretty much everything I do attracts those damned skeeters.
I thought this was important information that should be shared, so here’s a comprehensive list of the things that I found which attract mosquitoes:
- Night time – this actually depends upon the species and where you live but the majority of species in the US are most active at dusk.
- Fragrances – this doesn’t just apply to actual perfume, this can be any products that have added scent like perfumed shampoo or lotion or laundry detergent/fabric softener. Mosquitoes are drawn to certain floral scents because they need nectar for survival and flowers for the females to lay their eggs. But guess what, there are actually perfumes that repel mosquitoes. And the good news is, you don’t have to smell like citronella!
- Carbon Dioxide (this relates to the weight thing, and also applies to pregnant women). Mosquitoes can smell CO2. In fact, there is such a thing as CO2 traps, which simulate humans or animals breathing. It’s lures the mosquitoes in and then traps them, thus keeping them away from real humans and animals.
- Drinking alcohol – alcohol raises the body temperature and makes a person sweat. Just a single beer can do it!
- Sweat – it has something to do with lactic acid. If you want to know more read the article that I linked to on the word ‘sweat.’
- Skin Bacteria – it turns out that the mini-vampires are particularly fond of the organisms that grow on the biggest organ of our bodies. And they particularly love stinky feet – P.U.
- Movement – one of the first things that will get on their radar is movement – so if you are a fidgeter know that you are going to make yourself more noticeable from a distance.
- Wearing dark clothing (black, blue or red) – mind you, wearing light colored clothing won’t repel mosquitoes but it’ll make it more difficult for them to find you. Also, wearing lighter colored clothing, at least in the daytime, will keep you cooler and as mentioned above, sweating is a lure.
- Having Type O Blood (and also Type B, but not as much as Type O)
- Exposed skin – Of course the problem with this is that mosquitoes come out in the summer and people are just generally going to be exposing more skin – swimsuits, tank tops, shorts, sandals – it is natural for we humans to wear less in order to keep cool. But in doing so we are helping the mosquitoes out, particularly with the sandals, no socks and shorter pants thing. It turns out that skeeters have evolved over time. I mentioned above that they are attracted to Carbon Dioxide and as they hone in on their next target they know they can’t just go all Red Baron and fly straight at it. They’ll end up being toast. Instead, they have to be covert, Ninja-like, and attack so that people don’t know they were even there until after they are gone.
- Obesity/pregnancy – people who are larger and women who are pregnant have a higher metabolic rate thus causing them to breathe harder, which means they will produce more carbon dioxide. Also, even though movement helps mosquitoes home in on a person, They also can be more still which makes it easier for the little buggers to get to them.
10 out of 11 (I have A+ blood so there’s one thing I have going for me.) Turns out I’m a wanton, shameless mosquito floozy. At least now I know what to do to make myself less appealing! (Note: needing to make oneself less appealing only applies to mosquitoes.)
Have a Happy and Safe Summer – Physically Distance – Wear a Mask