Image is from www.bbc.com
Some people just have all the charisma with vampire bugs. Mosquitoes prefer certain bloods. Approximately 10% of people are highly attractive to them. Is it how they wear their hair? Are mosquitoes like frat guys who have a particular “type”?
Well, the frat thing probably isn’t the case; the mosquitoes that bite you are female. This is because laying eggs requires blood–but not just your blood; she’ll settle for animals, too. It’s just, if she could have steak or a Slim Jim, she’s going with the steak every time. Wouldn’t you?
Unfortunately, if you’re attractive to mosquitoes, you can’t just “hide” from them. It’s in your genes, at some level. According to WebMD, only 15% of factors influencing mosquito susceptibility are in our control.
The 15% You Can Control
You can do a few things to ensure that only one out of the ten in your group bears the brunt of the mosquito assault. Things which attract mosquitoes and are controllable include:
- High levels of cholesterol remaining on the skin’s surface after it’s been processed
- Excess amounts of uric acid
- Large emissions of carbon dioxide
Mosquitoes can “smell” you from up to fifty meters. If you’re sweating profusely and exhaling profusely, you’re easier to smell. You’ll be putting off more carbon dioxide. The larger you are, the easier you are to smell, because you are putting off more carbon dioxide. When moving, your body may also begin to heat up. This likely also will produce higher quantities of uric acid through your sweat. And if you’ve used steroids to help you work out, it doesn’t matter how low your cholesterol is; the bugs will be after you. Additionally, the thing about cholesterol which attracts mosquitoes isn’t the aspect which may clog arteries in the wrong quantities. It’s rather how cholesterol is processed by your body, and the residue left on your skin after the fact. Since pregnant women are liable to produce more carbon dioxide than normal, mosquitoes love them, and will come in for a bite extremely often. This doesn’t bode well in areas where the Zika virus has been detected.
Repelling The Blighters If You Are In The 10%
Mosquito repellent with DEET will keep the bugs off you about five hours, but DEET is a chemical repellent which, though statistically minimally, has been known to cause medical issues in some. What’s becoming en vogue today are mosquito traps, which can knock mosquito populations down and help everybody; not just the guy with the tasty blood. There’s also permethrin-laced clothing, which puts the repellent chemicals on the garments rather than the body. Another means of cutting down on mosquito populations includes reducing areas of standing water. Water is where they breed–you’ve seen the little larvae jerking spasmodically around in puddles before. It does not take them long, either; and they’ll keep breeding where the water is. If they find water that isn’t in a pond, it’s to their benefit–there’s a decreased likelihood frogs will eat them.
It’s Not Just Zika
West Nile Virus, Malaria, Dengue Fever, and Zika are all diseases that result from mosquito bites. While most of those have only been seen in America among statistically minimal segments of the population, why put yourself at risk? It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re in the 10% of people more attractive to mosquitoes. The listed diseases affect all 100% of the humans who have been bitten. Granted, some will be affected worse than others, but prevention is still the best option. Eliminate standing water, dress accordingly, and use repellent. (There are organic repellent options.)