“Why me?” is a common gripe heard throughout the summer when legions of mosquitoes attack…
“Why me?” is a common gripe heard throughout the summer when legions of mosquitoes attack one person while leaving others unscathed. What is it about these ill-fated chosen few that make them a mosquito magnet? Thermacell Repellents offers some answers.
Research has shown that mosquitoes tend to be attracted to the following:
People with higher body temperatures. Body temperature is influenced by activity, age, gender, and even eating spicy food.
People who are active during exercise, including yard work and gardening, because they produce more carbon dioxide, sweat containing lactic acid, and higher body temperatures.
People with higher concentrations of steroids or cholesterol on their skin’s surface.
People with higher levels of stress. Mosquitoes appear to be able to detect and are attracted to hormones released during times of stress.
People with higher levels of a specific bacteria. People tend to have higher levels of bacteria near their ankles and feet, which may account for mosquitoes targeting those areas.
Pregnant women because they have slightly higher body temperatures and produce more CO2.
People wearing dark clothing. Reds, blacks, and blues attract more mosquitoes than lighter colors like white and yellow.
Alcohol drinkers because alcohol makes your blood vessels dilate, which increases your skin temperature. Mosquitoes are also attracted to the ethanol content in sweat.
How to Be Less Mosquito-Friendly
Short of staying inside all summer, there are some practical tips you can implement to reduce your chances of being bit:
Shower after exercise to reduce your sweat and thermal signatures.
Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
Wear light-colored clothing.
Use oscillating fans on decks and patios to increase air movement and decrease your CO2 signature.
Use an EPA-registered mosquito repellent.
You can also reduce your chances of encountering mosquitoes by reducing their population. Search your property for areas of standing water in pots, toys, ditches, or holes. A mosquito only needs a tablespoon of water to lay 50-200 eggs.
If you’re stationary in your yard, use Thermacell technology to create a 15-foot zone of protection from mosquitoes. Simultaneously using multiple units increases the protection zone beyond 15 feet. Thermacell area repellents use heat to disperse a powerful repellent, a synthetic copy of a natural repellent found in chrysanthemum plants, into the air. This zone repellent technology provides an invisible and scent-free barrier to mosquitoes.
When you’re on the go, you can prevent mosquito bites by using an EPA-approved topical repellent on your skin and clothes. If the repellent contains DEET as an active ingredient, be aware that it can damage plastics, including synthetic or treated fabrics like rayon and spandex. DEET will not damage natural fibers such as wool or cotton.
Clothes can also be treated with Permethrin, a pesticide that is sprayed on clothing to kill ticks and mosquitoes when they encounter the treated fabric.