Mosquitoes like same things as you, except for the blood. The pesky insects buzz around campfires, water, and they definitely like your porch. Have you ever noticed that mosquitoes “attack” just one person in a crowd? Well, these tiny creatures are actually really picky.
How do they make a choice?
Mosquitoes are attracted by a few things, and we have covered some of them.
Mosquitoes track down your breath. Believe it or not, they are attracted by the carbon dioxide you exhale. In other words, mosquitoes will come after you every time you are outside working.
Your sweat and breathing rate make you a perfect snack. This will also bring mosquitoes near anyone who struggles with asthma, obesity and other conditions (pregnancy) that cause heavy breathing.
Your sweat contains a lot of ingredients, and mosquitoes are mostly attracted to lactic acid. The more you sweat, the more they like you. Evidence shows that older sweat attracts more mosquitoes than “fresh” sweat.
Are you a wine person? Beer maybe? Mosquitoes will definitely like you? According to a 2002 study, ethanol in sweat and breath attracts mosquitoes.
Our bodies are full of bacteria that actually maintain a healthy balance. Your microflora is unique, and some bacteria attract mosquitoes while other repel them.
A 2011 study confirmed that people with a lot of bacteria on their skin attract mosquitoes. It turns out that mosquitoes like Staphylococcus, and hate Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Blood type O (and A)
If your blood type is O, mosquitoes will follow you everywhere. The pesky insects don’t like B and AB.
We usually use bug sprays, but most of these products are dangerous. The active compound DEET may cause serious issues. Health Canada has limited the legal concentration of this compound in mosquito repellents.
The EWG notes that laboratory studies conducted since the 1998 EPA review have confirmed that DEET affects the nervous system in rats (Abdel-Rahman et al 2001, Corbel et al. 2009).
Regular use of DEET causes rashes, dizziness, concentration issues and headaches (ATSDR 2004). DEET and the pesticide permethrin may cause neurological damage and epigenetic changes (Abdel-Rahman et al 2001, Manikkam et al 2012).
EWG concluded that DEET is safer than we assume, and it’s still an option for people living in areas infested with pests.
We strongly recommend that you avoid DEET. Try some of the following methods, and tell us what you think.
Natural mosquito repellants
- Combine eucalyptus essential oil and carrier oil (1:10 ratio). Apply this on the skin, and avoid sun exposure.
- Plant lavender and use lavender essential oil (don’t forget to combine it with carrier oil).
- Add thyme springs to your campfire or use a combination of thyme oil and carrier oil on your skin.
- Burn citronella candles.
- You can also combine tea tree oil and carrier oil
In addition to lavender, you can also plant mint and basil. Mosquitoes hate all the scents you like. Marigolds work well too. Your garden will look pretty, and you will actually keep mosquitoes away from you. Do you know that dragonflies feed on mosquitoes? Build a pond in your backyard and plant water plants to attract these.
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