Mosquitoes prefer some humans over others. Learn the reasons why these blood-sucking parasites could well be attracted to you by reading all the essential facts right here. In a crowd full of people, this insect may choose to single you out. What is it about some humans that make them mosquito magnets? Let’s delve deeper into the maze of questions confronting us.
Why You Are Attractive to Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are attracted by numerous factors while seeking out blood meals. They are attracted by CO2 exhaled as well as body heat. The insect responds to the smell of blood source on the skin. Studies have suggested pregnancy, and beer ingestion can make you susceptible to mosquito bites.
Research has found up to 400 chemical compounds in the human skin, which repulse or attract mosquitoes, based on bacteria living in the body released through sweat. Genetics, diet, and physiology all play a role in impacting bacteria in the body.
Don’t Work Up that Sweat Yet!
One of the substances in sweat, called lactic acid, attracts mosquitoes like Aedes aegypti(1), which can cause a lot of diseases. The female anopheles mosquito is even drawn to germs between the toes, explaining why smelly feet are mosquito magnets. Only female mosquitos bite individuals because they seek food for their eggs.
Female of the Species Deadlier than the Males
These female parasites feed on blood to provide nutrients to eggs. Along with proboscis to penetrate human skin, female mosquitoes have palps or odor sensing organs and antennae. Every time you exhale CO2, mosquitoes come charging in.
Male mosquitoes don’t have human blood for a meal. They get their nutrition from plant nectar. It is the females that require blood, for the protein that helps eggs to develop. In fact, after a blood meal, female mosquitoes can lay up to 400 eggs!
Foul Odor and Mosquitos
Odors(2) caused by bacteria from uric, lactic acid, or ammonia in your body can also play a role in attracting these stingers. Higher body temperature means more sweat that will serve to attract mosquitoes. All areas of the body exposed to elements retain moisture and play host to larger bacterial colonies.
So, next time you work up a sweat, don’t be too surprised to see mosquitoes headed your way.
Exertion as a Mosquito Magnet
Another way to attract mosquitoes is to breathe harder. So, how does this serve to help the parasites make a beeline for you? The harder you breathe, the more CO2 is emitted. If you’ve been jogging or exercising, you can bet your sweat will attract more than a calorie burn. Yes, these insects will be headed your way, too!
The Lows of an Alcohol High
When it comes to the forces of attraction, alcohol is a key player in more ways than one. Why does drinking beer attract mosquitoes? Well, it so happens that when you drink, the skin chemistry changes and the skin secrets agents which attract these winged parasites. Although mosquitoes can be attracted to smelly feet, they generally head for the hand.
To evade a mosquito, don’t be a wallflower, because chances of being bitten are lower if you’re the life and soul of the party. Quite simply, when the mosquito smells a massive mass of carbon dioxide, it flies towards it. It becomes easier to attack individuals in the periphery, rather than those in the thick of things.
Dense Vegetation, Stagnant Water
Another big no-no if you don’t want to attract mosquitoes is to give stagnant water or dense vegetation a miss. Mosquitoes are found in thick, overgrown bushes. Darker, more humid surroundings tend to attract larger swarms. So, if your backyard is a jungle or there’s a puddle of stagnant water, expect to be bitten.
When you purchase non-DEET or zero picaridin repellents, your attractiveness quotient for mosquitoes goes up. CO2 traps and UV Bug zappers can exacerbate the problem instead of solving it.
Finally, a reason why experts say mosquitoes are attracted to expectant mothers is because their abdomen has a higher temperature and more CO2 is emitted.
But if there is a problem, there is also a solution. Let’s find out natural ways to ward off these persistent bugs next.
Natural Ways to Ward Off Mosquitoes
Rub the area affected by or exposed to mosquitoes with a banana peel. Often, a slice of onion relieves pain caused due to mosquito bites. Lavender essential oil and tea tree oil also reduce the sting. Baking soda and water or lemon slices can also help, as can applying apple cider vinegar. Since the 40s, one of the most useful natural mosquito repellants, now approved by CDC, is lemon eucalyptus oil.
Crushed flowers of the lavender plant have oil and fragrance that wards off these parasites. Sources indicate lavender oil can repel adult mosquitoes because lavender has antiseptic, antifungal, and analgesic properties. It can also soothe and calm the skin after a bite. Cinnamon is more than just a value-addition to desert or oatmeal warding off the Asian tiger mosquito.
Repelling mosquitoes is easy using thyme oil that provides protection. Thyme leaves can even be burnt to offer protection for about 60-90 minutes. Greek catnip oil is perfect for staving off winged parasites. Soybean oil is a powerful natural mosquito repellant. Lemongrass can add further to its capacity to ward off bites from different species of mosquitoes.
Citronella is a natural ingredient in mosquito repellants for this reason. Additionally, tea-tree oil has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties that ward off the insects. Finally, Neem oil may be a natural alternative to mosquito repellents.
So, this sums up how useful natural repellants can safeguard your health against blood-sucking parasitical mosquitoes. Remember that when it comes to mosquito bites, complacency does not pay. Bear in mind that if you are not alert, you could end up with a host of diseases. Malaria is the small tip of the massive iceberg. Ward off mosquitoes outdoors or indoors using these natural cures, and you’ll be able to stay safe.