Did you know mosquitoes are the world’s most deadly animals? Capable of spreading serious diseases such as West Nile Virus, Zika, chikungunya, dengue, malaria, yellow fever and EEE, mosquitoes are not only a pesky critter, but a public health threat we all want to avoid. This week is Mosquito Control Awareness week, so if you’re curious on why you may be getting bit more than others, are interested in some DIY natural solutions, and want to know our favorite products– keep reading!
Blood Type & Carbon Dioxide
If you’re like me and feel like you’re a nonstop mosquito magnet, it could be due to your blood type. One study in the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that those with Type O blood were twice as likely to be bitten by a mosquito than those with Type A or B blood. However, this isn’t the only factor that brings mosquitoes buzzing by. Having a high metabolic rate, AKA emitting high amounts of carbon dioxide, also plays a big factor.
Mosquitoes are drawn to carbon dioxide and other aromas like lactic acid, using it to help navigate where their next meal lies. This means that activities that raise your metabolic rate (looking at you, exercise) and sweat will make you pretty appetizing to these pests. This also means that pregnant women are at a greater risk of being bit by a mosquito, as they release greater amounts of CO2.
Unfortunately drinking alcohol will also make you a target for mosquitoes. Alcohol raises your body temperature and metabolic rate, making your blood tastier to them. This study by the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association concluded that mosquito landing on participants who drank beer significantly increased after ingestion.
DIY Tips to Keep Mosquitoes Away:
1) Eliminate standing water
Standing water is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. In fact, they only need a half inch of water to lay their eggs in. Be sure to empty out rain gutters, and bird baths weekly and to repair leaky faucets.
2) Consider Getting a Bat Box:
While it may seem scary to be luring bats into your backyard, bats are actually a great form of mosquito control – just one bat eats around 500 mosquitoes per night!
3) Keep a Fan Around
Not only will keeping a box fan around while you’re lounging outdoors keep you sweat-free, but it will also deter mosquitoes from coming close. Already weak fliers, the fan will throw them off their trail and, The New York Times Reports it will “disperses the human emanations that allow female mosquitos [the gender that bites us] to zero in on us.”
4) Wear Light Colored Clothing
If you need motivation to swap your go-to black shirt in favor of your summery whites, it may help to know that mosquitoes are actually more attracted to dark clothing, as they can identify dark colors better. Consider opting for lighter color choices to help better your chances for a bug-free night.
And, of course, be sure to use a CDC-recommended repellent! Our team prefers repellents made with Picaridin, which is bio-identical to a black pepper plant and is 14-hour effective, or ones made with all-natural lemon eucalyptus oil. The EarthKind Stay Away Mosquitoes spray comes in a travel-size spray and is made with Picaridin, making it effective and easy for on the go use. And, if you do lose the battle against mosquito bites, try out the Bug Bite Thing Suction Tool, which extracts the irritants left behind by the insect, leaving you itch-free.