Why You Attract Mosquitoes More Than Other People
Do you feel like you attract mosquitoes more than other people? Ever wondered why? Turns out there are several factors involved in whether a mosquito finds you enticing or not! It’s a real concern with the chikungunya virus and now the Zika virus too. You maybe nervous about going outside, especially with the torrential downpours plaguing the earth lately. What’s a human to do?
Nobody likes hearing that familiar high-pitched buzzing in the ear that alerts you to a mosquito trying to make YOU its next meal. You swat violently to catch them in the act but then more mosquitoes appear out of nowhere. At that point, your best bet is to get back inside where it’s much safer!
However, it’s not exactly the bites that should make you leery; it’s the diseases that some mosquitoes carry and transmit that’s most alarming and for good reason. Millions of deaths worldwide are caused by mosquito-borne diseases each year!
Mosquitoes are Avid Breeders
Mosquitoes love standing water because it’s where they breed and lay their eggs. Appropriately, female mosquitoes are the only trouble makers because they are equipped with the right stuff! They have proboscis,(miniscule tubules), that they use to stab your skin and draw blood. One tube injects an enzyme that inhibits blood clotting, while the other tube is injected to draw your blood for nourishment. It’s your blood protein that females use to nourish their eggs that will attract mosquitoes to you.
Types of Mosquitoes and Diseases They Carry
Mosquitoes transmit diseases in various ways. To transmit malaria for example, parasites attach themselves to the gut of a female and enter the host as she extracts blood. On the other hand, yellow fever and dengue are transmitted as the mosquito feeds on an infected human and is transmitted from the mosquitoes saliva to the host.
The Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes mosquitoes) carries dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya, heartworm in dogs, encephalitis, and the West Nile virus.
Anopheles mosquitoes carry malaria, filariasis, and encephalitis.
Culex mosquitoes carry encephalitis, filariasis, and the West Nile virus.
No matter where you go, blood suckers are bound to find you; that is, as long as tourism and travel remain. As long as people visit other countries and return back home, the human species will be at risk. Some of the nastiest illnesses are only a plane ticket away…
However, there is some good news if you feel like a mosquito magnet, as long as you have other insects and animals hanging around your house. Bats, birds, frogs, and dragonflies can make a meal out of mosquitoes. Plus, it’s actually horses, cattle, and other large critters that attract mosquitoes the most. Humans are actually lower on the mosquito food chain! Whew!
Why You Attract Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes love carbon dioxide. Period! Since humans inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, you will always be a target!
If you sweat a lot or have a strong body odor, you will attract mosquitoes.
A higher body temperature and high blood pressure is most tempting to these pests!
If you move a lot or exercise outside, mosquitoes are bound to find you… In addition to exhaling more carbon dioxide, athletes generally have higher levels of uric acid, lactic acid, ammonia and other substances excreted in their sweat. Therefore, if you don’t shower you are a mosquito magnet but if you do shower and use deodorant that has a strong odor, you are equally as attractive. Sometimes you just can’t win!
It has been said that mosquitoes are mostly drawn to men, especially those with Type O blood.
Genetic makeup (blame your parents) and high cholesterol levels may single you out as prey.
Pregnant women may attract mosquitoes more. Why? Because pregnant women exhale 21 percent more carbon dioxide and they’re 1.25 degrees warmer than others. Both heat and carbon dioxide attract mosquitoes.
It only makes sense that larger people would be more desirable. Why? Because there’s more of you to love, and because larger people generally have a higher body temperature.
Adults attract mosquitoes more than children.
Another mysterious finding is that beer lovers are more inviting targets than others. This may go back to the ingredients used in beer. A single can of beer generally contains 1.6 grams of protein. Maybe that’s what gets these pests interested?
And finally, any time you move, mosquitoes are bound to find you!
How to Repel Mosquitoes
Most people know about using N,Ndiethyl-m-toluamide, commonly called DEET. And although it works well, it’s a man made chemical that’s truly not safe for long term use! Plus you can’t use it on your face or on the hands of small children, which we all know are fair game for any mosquito on the prowl!
If you are overweight, you could take off some of the excesses but that’s not always feasible in the short term.
You could try wearing a mosquito net when you go outside but lets be honest. Most people aren’t going to bother doing this! You could also try working outside during mid day. Problem is, that’s the absolute hottest time of the day. If you can stand it though, it might just work because mosquitoes are more active at dusk and dawn. However, the best advice I could find was to use Neem oil. Although some people find neem oil to be quite stinky, you can mix it with other oils to tame down the smell.
Neem oil is a natural vegetable oil. The compounds offer a natural, safe and effective mosquito repellant, according to researchers at the Malaria Institute, Johns Hopkins. Neem has been found to repel bites (from mosquitoes, flies, sand fleas and ticks) for up to twelve hours. Although neem may not always prevent an insect from landing on your skin, it will prevent bites. Here’s the recipe:
Neem Oil Mosquito Repellant
Mix 2 percent neem oil in coconut oil. You’ll need to test the amounts needed for your own personal protection but I would assume, you probably won’t need more than a few drops for it to be effective.
Pretty easy, right?
The mixture was found to give 96-100 percent protection from anophelines, 85 percent from Aedes, 37.5 percent from Armigeres, and 61-94 percent against the Culex species.
*Note: I have just ordered some Neem oil myself to see if it really works! I'll let ya know! We've had torrents of rain here on the east coast of NC since the beginning of the summer! Mosquitoes are a REAL problem here and I don't want to get sick!
No matter what you do or where you go, humans will always attract mosquitoes! Remember too, that it's not always your yard that breeds these buggers! Kindly remind your neighbors to eliminate their standing water too! They may not be as astute about cleaning up the yard as you are!
Always consult your physician before using natural remedies, especially for anyone with preexisting conditions or anyone currently taking prescription medications. Although many efforts are made to ensure that the advice given on this site is professionally sound, the advice is not intended to replace a mutual relationship with a medical provider.
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