Mosquitoes are not only pesky but can also be carriers of diseases like malaria, dengue, and West Nile virus. Understanding their behaviour, what attracts them, and how to repel or avoid them is essential for enjoying outdoor activities while staying protected. In this blog, we’ll delve into when mosquitoes are most active, how to repel or avoid them, discuss some less common things they’re attracted to, and share a few remedies to soothe the itch from mosquito bites.
Mosquitoes are most active during warmer months, typically thriving in warm and humid climates. They are known to be more active during dawn and dusk, the prime feeding hours. However, some species might also be active during the day or night, depending on their feeding habits and environmental conditions.
- Use insect repellent containing DEET or Picaridin
- Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved clothing
- Install screens on windows and doors
- Eliminate standing water around your home
- Use mosquito-repelling plants, such as citronella and lavender
- This new study suggests coconut scented soaps may also deter mosquitoes
What Attracts Mosquitoes?
- Blood type: Mosquitoes are more attracted to individuals with Type O blood. Mosquitoes are attracted to certain chemicals in human sweat, including lactic acid, ammonia, and uric acid. People with type O blood tend to secrete more of these chemicals than those with other blood types, making them more attractive to mosquitoes.
- Pregnancy: Pregnant women tend to be more attractive to mosquitoes due to increased body heat and CO2 production
- Clothing colour: Mosquitoes are more attracted to dark-coloured clothing
- Perfumes and fragrances: Some scented products can attract mosquitoes due to their floral or fruity scents
- Alcohol consumption: Mosquitoes are more attracted to people who have recently consumed alcohol, specifically beer. The reason for this is not fully understood, but it may be due to the increase in body temperature and skin surface temperature that occurs after drinking alcohol, as well as the increase in ethanol content in sweat and breath. Additionally, people who consume beer may emit higher levels of carbon dioxide, which is a known attractant for mosquitoes.
- Banana consumption: There is limited scientific evidence to suggest that mosquitoes may be attracted to people who eat bananas. Some studies suggest that the scent of bananas may attract mosquitoes, but more research is needed to confirm this. Other factors, such as body odor and carbon dioxide emissions, are known to play a larger role in attracting mosquitoes.
- Marijuana consumption: There is limited research on the specific effects of smoking weed on mosquito attraction. However, some studies have suggested that the compounds found in cannabis may have insect-repelling properties. Other factors, such as the carbon dioxide emitted while smoking, may also play a role in attracting or repelling mosquitoes. Ultimately, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of smoking weed on mosquito attraction.
Home Remedies and Common Ointments for Soothing the Itch
- Apply a cold compress to the affected area
- Use over-the-counter anti-itch creams or ointments, such as hydrocortisone or calamine lotion
- Try aloe vera gel for a cooling effect
- Apply a paste of baking soda and water to the bite
- Take oral antihistamines for more severe reactions
- Avoid scratching to prevent infection and further irritation
Mosquitoes can be more than just a nuisance, posing health risks due to the diseases they can carry. By understanding their behaviour, employing effective repellent strategies, and being aware of less common attractants, you can minimize mosquito bites and enjoy your time outdoors. If you do get bitten, various home remedies and common ointments can help soothe the itch and reduce discomfort.
Let us know in the comments what your best mosquito repellant tactic or hacks are!