We all love spending the pleasant summer nights outward but most often the annoying mosquitoes ruin the perfect evenings. Interestingly, these insects have preferences when it comes to people. While some people are covered in mosquito bites, others were left untouched.
It is estimated that about 20% of people are magnets for mosquitoes.
This can be explained scientifically. Namely, numerous factors, most of which are invariable, have an impact on the mosquitoes’ choice. Here are some of them:
Carbon Dioxide and Heavy Breath
Mosquitoes find carbon dioxide very appealing. They can detect this gas even from 164 feet away. So, people who have increased breathing rate, usually after exercising, are very delicious for mosquitoes.
Unfortunately, there are also people who struggle with some health conditions which trigger heavy breathing, such as asthma, obesity and even pregnancy.
The Ingredients in Our Sweat
Our sweat contains specific ingredients, including lactic acid, ammonia and uric acid which are very attractive for mosquitoes. Therefore, people who sweat a lot and have higher body temperature are most often victims to mosquito bites.
The amount of uric acid in the sweat is genetically predetermined, which explains why some people are easily detected by these annoying insects. Also, according to some research, older sweat attracts more mosquitoes than the fresh sweat.
According to a study done in 2002, increased amount of ethanol in your breath and sweat as well as the higher body temperature attracts more mosquitoes.
Our bodies are normally covered with bacterial cultures which provide protection. Considering everyone’s microflora is different, some types of bacteria repel mosquitoes, while other types are incredibly appealing due to the odor they release. A study done in 2011 showed that if you have more bacteria on your skin than average you will be more prone to mosquito bites.
Apart from scent, mosquitoes also use their vision to locate humans. So, when you wear colors like dark blue, red or black they can easily find you.
Some studies have shown that mosquitoes prefer people with type O blood and type A. It is still a mystery why mosquitoes have such preferences, but it is assumed that 85% of all people produce a chemical signal through the skin, which determines their blood type, while the other 15% do not secrete this signal.
Accordingly, mosquitoes find secretors more appetizing than non-secretors regardless of their blood type.
Tips on how to repel mosquitoes
Many people believe that bug sprays are a perfect solution for repelling mosquitoes. However, their active compound
– DEET is linked to some health problems.
Namely, some laboratory studies suggested that the exposure to DEET affected the nervous system in the tested rats.
Even people who have used bug sprays have reported suffering from symptoms like dizziness, rashes, headaches and lack of concentration.
However, after reviewing the evidence, it was concluded that this compound is generally safer if it is used in low concentrations and it is still a viable option, especially for those who live in regions which are infested with disease-carrying pests.
Apart from DEET you can prepare a mosquito repellent on your own. The natural alternatives are safer and even more effective than the commercial ones:
- Prepare a mixture of eucalyptus essential oil and carrier oil in a 1:10 ratio and apply it to your skin. Note that you mustn’t be exposed to sunlight after applying this mixture.
- Apply mixture of carrier oil and lavender essential oil to your skin.
- You can throw thyme leaves into your campfire or apply a mixture of carrier oil and thyme oil.
- Mix tea tree oil with carrier oil and apply it topically.
- Keep burning citronella candles under constant supervision.
You should also know that itching caused by mosquito bites is a result of your reaction to their saliva. For example, if your body didn’t show any reaction to mosquito bite, it doesn’t mean you weren’t bitten.
The allergic reaction to mosquito bites varies from person to person, so some people may not be covered in mosquitoes bites even though they were bitten as much as the other people.