Mosquitoes are one of humanities greatest plagues. And in some regions, they are an even bigger problem due to the transmission of various diseases such as malaria, Dengue fever, and the Zika Virus. Are you that person who is eaten alive by mosquitoes anytime you brave the great outdoors (or even your backyard) while your friends and family seem entirely unaffected? This preferential treatment from the despised insects isn’t in your head and could have to do with more than just your irresistible blood. In fact, research suggests that something as simple as your alcohol consumption or clothing type could be calling the mosquitoes to feast.
Why you’re a mosquito magnet
One Japanese study found that the “percent [of] mosquito [s] landing on volunteers significantly increased after beer ingestion compared with before ingestion, showing clearly that drinking alcohol stimulates mosquito attraction” Though this study looked specifically at beer as the alcohol transmission device, other forms of alcohol would produce the same results due to ethanol ingestion. The volunteers, after they drank beer, had increased sweat production and raised skin temperature, which made them more attractive to mosquitoes. If you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors or camping in the wilderness, it may be a good idea to skip on the alcohol or be sure to wear long sleeves and pants to protect your skin.
Unfortunately, this is entirely out of your control since it is impossible to change your blood type. However, it could be an explanation as to why those blood-sucking fiends find you so delicious. Studies have shown that people with type O blood are 83 percent more likely to be bitten by mosquitoes than people with type B, A, or AB blood.
Women who are pregnant during mosquito season may need to take extra precautions when getting out and enjoying that fresh air. Researchers believe, due to increased body temperatures and carbon dioxide output that pregnant women could be almost 50 percent more likely to attract mosquitoes than non-pregnant women. Pregnant women are also at an increased risk for the Zika virus since it can cause severe complications during pregnancy, such as miscarriage and birth defects.
Mosquitoes love to attack warm, moist flesh flushed after a good workout. If you live in a humid, mosquito-heavy area, you are more likely to remain in such a state even just walking outdoors, which makes your skin a perfect target for disease-ridden insects. Try to retain a moderate temperature during your exercise and dry off sweaty skin with a towel or jump in the shower immediately after.
A warmer core body temperature will also make your blood more attractive for mosquitoes and could cause you to stand out to their thermal sensory abilities.
Obviously, providing a banquet of bare flesh is practically begging for mosquitoes to come enjoy your blood. Everyone knows that it is essential to stay covered up in mosquito-laden areas as they will generally bite any exposed skin. However, another critical factor is the color of your clothes. The nasty insects are particularly attracted to dark clothing and will usually look you over if you are covered in lighter-colored fabric.
Other things that attract mosquitoes
There are many reasons why a mosquito may be targeting you personally, but why do they love to hang around your yard or patio? Here are a few ways you could inadvertently be attracting mosquitoes to your backyard cookout.
Tall grass, weeds, and bushes
Mosquitoes need places to hide out from the hot afternoon sun, and that overgrown foliage in your yard gives them the perfect place. Be sure to keep your grass short and cut down any other mosquito friendly hiding spots.
Pools, birdbaths, puddles, rain gutters. Any type of standing, stagnant water in your yard is a breeding ground for unsavory insects. Rinse out any bird baths and fill them with fresh water daily and keep rain gutters clear. Go around your yard after a heavy rain and identify any spots that are slow to drain, add gravel, or find another way to prevent puddles by encouraging proper drainage.
Are you a mosquito magnet? What ways do you avoid these irritating insects? Let us know in the comments below!
-The Alternative Daily