Have you ever felt like mosquitoes are more attracted to you than other people? It never fails for me, if there is a mosquito in the house, it will likely bite me before it even looks at anyone else. Even when I was a child, I remember playing outside with other kids, only to get covered in bites all over my legs while my friends only had a few.
So what is it about me that makes mosquitos think, “Mmmmm… that’s a tasty person right there…”? My parents used to just say, “Oh, they probably just love your blood.” Turns out, scientific research has found that mosquitos have dining preferences!
So it’s true, some people get bitten by mosquitos more than others. Now that we know there are things that make us more appealing to them, there are things we can do to keep ourselves off the menu.
- Higher Body Temperature. Your temperature can vary because of age, gender, and how much you move around. Spicy food also elevated your temperature. (That’s bad news for you if you’re eating spicy boiled crawfish at an outdoor boil!)
- Exercise. This kind of goes hand in hand with the previous one, as it raises your body temperature and makes you produce more carbon dioxide and lactic acid, which mosquitos love.
- Pregnancy. They also like pregnant women, because their temperature is higher, and they produce more CO2.
- Stress. Studies have shown mosquitos may be drawn to the hormones that come out in your sweat when you’re stressed-out.
- You haven’t showered in a while. They’re attracted to a specific type of bacteria, which we tend to have more of near our ankles and feet. You may notice you get bitten the most in those areas because of this.
- Wearing Dark clothing. Reds, blacks, and blues attract more mosquitoes than lighter colors. So if you’re into super-goth clothing, you might want to have some lighter clothes for those occasions where you will be exercising outdoors.
- Drinking Alcohol. Drinking alcohol can raise your temperature a little for a bit because it dilates the blood vessels in your skin. They’re also attracted to the ethanol that comes out in your sweat.
Mosquitoes are especially bad in the summertime in South Louisiana, and we usually spend more time outside in the summer too. Even if you have a can of mosquito repellant, doing a few things like wearing light-colored clothing, showering immediately after exercising, and managing stress can all help to fend them off further. Good Luck!