Summer is on the way. Although there will be limits with social distancing and mask-wearing, it is typically a fun-filled time for most. A walk or drive to the beach, backyard barbecues, hiking through the woods is some of the things we anticipate. However, everything we do will likely include the buzzing of mosquitoes.
Have you ever wondered why the pesky insects prefer your blood over that of all your friends?
Mosquitoes share your love for beer
CO2 forms during the fermentation process in beer making. When you pour a glass of beer, CO2 causes tiny bubbles that form the foamy head.
Mosquito specialist Grayson Brown, PhD., at the Department of Entomology at the University of Kentucky, says CO2 attracts mosquitoes. Without being aware of it, our bodies produce CO2 all day long. We breathe oxygen in, and we exhale carbon dioxide. So, when you open your beer, CO2 comes bubbling out, making it a double whammy. It’s like using a megaphone to call the mosquitoes to join you.
You can keep mosquitoes out
You might want to drink that beer inside. Properly fitted screens on the doors and windows will keep mosquitoes outside. However, check the windowsills for cracks and repair screens immediately if they tear. Keep in mind that mosquitoes love hot environments. Therefore, keeping the air conditioning on could keep them out. Mosquitoes are not strong fliers, so a running fan will keep you cool and keep the blood-sucking pests away.
Mosquitoes love spandex
If you thought wearing tight leggings will cover your skin and keep you safe from these aggravating insects, think again. Any tight-fitting clothing is mosquito-friendly. They can bite right through it. Therefore, your best bet would be loose-fitting clothes. Even if a greedy mosquito tries to bite through it, it will not get to your skin.
Prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your yard
Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Don’t be mistaken; millions of them can hatch from a small puddle of water. Even a random water-filled bottle cap in your yard could be a mosquito’s chosen spot to lay her eggs. The Environmental Protection Agency urges people to scan their yards for potential breeding places. Remove, cover or turn over planters, tires, buckets, pools, toys, saucers of flowerpots, birdbaths and trash containers. A female mosquito will drink enough blood to fill her abdomen. Then she rests for two to three days and lays her eggs before looking for her next target, which could be you.
Your sweat is a delicacy for mosquitoes
Outdoor exercisers, take note! The chemicals, bacteria and lactic acid in your sweat are like choc-chip brownies for mosquitoes. This treat is on a moist, hot body, which makes you an even more attractive target. Wearing black exercise gear is not a good idea because dark-colored clothing generates more heat than light colors.
Your blood type or your perfume might make you a favorite
If you have type O blood, you will be an attractive food source to these blood-sucking pests. The Institute of Pest Control Technology determined this in a 2004 study. Other studies showed that certain ingredients in perfumes could attract mosquitoes. However, tests showed that some scents served as repellents. For example, mosquitoes hate a popular Victoria’s Secret perfume called Bombshell.
Your garden could protect you
Mosquitoes have unique sensing mechanisms. However, it often counts against them. For example, the smells and aroma of different flowers and herbs are strong enough to disguise the scent of humans’ sweat, skin, or blood. Planting marigolds, lavender, lemon balm, peppermint, basil, garlic and rosemary could send them seeking blood elsewhere. This is also the way commercial repellents work. The repellent’s smell disguises bodily smells that attract them.
Here’s the GOOD NEWS
One outdoor activity that you can enjoy without being suck dry by mosquitoes is making s’mores and sing-alongs around a campfire or fire pit. Mosquitoes hate smoke because it stifles their smell senses. They will have even more problems finding you if you throw branches of herbs like rosemary, lavender, lemon balm, mint, citronella or sage in the fire.