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If you're one of those people who attracts mosquitoes in droves, help is at hand. Finally science has uncovered what it is that attracts mosquitoes to some people and not others.
Here are four things that will have mosquitoes winging their way to you faster than you can say “No more mozzies!”
According to a recent study , high on the mozzie’s appetizer list is bacteria. Our skin is crawling with all sorts of bacteria and apparently some people have bacteria that emits a smell which mosquitoes just cannot resist.
Number two on the list is carbon dioxide. A little bit like Hansel and Gretel, mosquitoes use a trail to track their victim, only the trail they follow is the breath you exhale (carbon dioxide) rather than bread crumbs. Bad news for all those heavy breathers out there!
On par with carbon dioxide is sweat, heat and lactic acid, all bi-products of exercise. Exercise also forces your blood to flow closer to the surface of your skin. Just like humans, mosquitoes are partial to a bit of fast food so, if your blood's easier to access than the next person, you're dinner. Not looking good for all those exercise junkies out there, is it?
But before you throw away the runners and crack open a beer instead, consider this: another small study has found that people who drink beer are also high on the menu of choice for mosquitoes, although scientists are yet to figure out exactly why.
And lastly, according to the University of Florida Entomology Laboratory, other mosquito attractants come from various chemicals that we exhale, one of which is a derivative of oestrogen. (Sorry ladies!)
So, aside from giving up exercise and beer, what can you do to deter the pesky little things?
First up, don't wear dark clothing. Mosquitoes rely on sight as well as smell to track their victims and it is thought that dark clothing makes you stand out against the horizon.
Secondly, cover up as much as possible. Bare skin is like a smorgasbord to a mosquito.
And last but not least, change your smell. Really. It's that simple! If you use a mosquito repellent, the areas of your body that are covered in repellent become unattractive to mosquitoes.
Now, we don't advocate using a repellent with chemicals in it. There are other, safer repellents made from essential oils on the market. The rosemary herb is widely known for its ability to repel mosquitoes.
Food for thought (pardon the pun).
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