Do You Attract Mosquitoes Like a Magnet?
If you attract mosquitoes like a magnet, then it’s no longer a mystery, and you can blame your parents, and their parents for it. That’s right, one in ten people are highly attractive to mosquitoes and scientists have discovered that a massive 85% of susceptibility to mosquito bites is genetics. They’ve also identified certain elements in our body chemistry that make mosquitoes swarm closer.
Mosquitoes with gourmet tendencies
Blood seeking female mosquitoes are drawn to their human targets by a combination of odors from the skin and breath (C02). Mosquitoes with gourmet tendencies! They can smell their dinner – that’s you – from an impressive distance of up to 50 meters which isn’t good news for people who tend to give off higher amounts of carbon dioxide; larger people and pregnant women for instance!
Mosquitoes can also detect heat and movement and are strongly attracted to human sweat. Armpit sweat is more attractive to mosquitoes than sweat from other parts of the body. So if you don’t want to become a mosquito attractant and invite an onslaught of mosquito bites, best advice, become a lounge lizard or offer them up an alternative target.
Because once they do start to bite, a feeding frenzy occurs as the biting mosquitoes apparently release volatile pheromones that attract yet more mosquitoes (M.W.Service, Mosquito Ecology Field Sampling Methods, 1993).
Amongst mosquitoes, it’s only the female that bites. And she will continue to bite and draw blood until her abdomen is full. If she is interrupted before she is full, she will just fly to the next available person. After filling up, she will rest for two or three days before laying her eggs, which can be as many as 300 at a time. Then she’s ready to repeat the cycle; up to 10 times during her lifetime – that’s 3000 potential offspring!
Mosquitoes like the Coast
Where you live is also another factor to consider – some of the worst mosquito populations occur along coastal areas.
“Florida would be uninhabitable without mosquito control,” according to mosquito guru, Joseph Conlon, technical advisor for the AMCA (American Mosquito Control Association) a New Jersey based non profit group. However being several miles inland does not guarantee safety either. They’ll fly 40 miles for a meal according to Conlon (WebMD, July 7, 2009). In fact there is only one area in the world guaranteed mosquito free, and that’s Antarctica. However, relocating there may be considered extreme especially when there are alternatives.
Traps – provide an alternative target
One of the best ways to help keep a yard clear of those shrewd summertime pests is to use a mosquito trap. When placed strategically near breeding spots, “they have knocked [mosquito] populations down,” Conlon told WebMD.
Mosquito traps that take advantage of mosquitoes’ sensory abilities by tricking them with features that mimic the smells and visual stimuli associated with people are the most effective. Mega-Catch™ mosquito traps are among the highest rated and most trusted brand of trap on the market. In independent testing Mega-Catch™ traps have been shown to capture thousands of mosquitoes in a single night. (To view the original independent report click on Comparison of Mosquito Species and Numbers Caught in 8 Commercial Mosquito Traps to go to the Public Health Entomology Research & Education Center (PHEREC) of Florida A & M University website.
When Mega-Catch™ field tested their Ultra trap in Cairns, QLD. Australia, the researchers concluded that the trap’s appearance might also have contributed to its success – a dark, well-defined object of similar size to a small human, calf or dog. Because at least some mosquito species use visual cues to locate targets the researchers concluded that it was possible that the physical design of the trap acted as a further mosquito attractant.
“It was noticed on many occasions that mosquitoes would land on the trap prior to it being switched on.” Dr Scott A. Ritchie, PhD (University of Florida). Read more @ http://www.megacatch.com/testresults_ScottRitchie_ultra.html
There’s nothing you can do (yet) about being one of those genetically susceptible individuals who attract mosquitoes like a magnet. But you can do something about where you live and your environment. If you don’t want to move to Antarctica, try using a mosquito trap to help you get rid of mosquitoes from your yard. When set up properly, just one or two of these ingenious devices has the potential to kill thousands of mosquitoes, reducing the risk of West Nile virus or any other mosquito-borne diseases.
Mosquitoes have been around for 170 million years. So if you want to outsmart them think traps!
T Traps used daily will interrupt breeding cycles & dramatically reduce mosquito numbers
R Repellents like DEET and Picaridin provide excellent personal protection
A Avoid the outdoors during periods of peak mosquito activity – typically dawn and dusk
P Protective clothing like light colored, long-sleeved shirts & pants give added defense
S Standing, stagnant water are potential mosquito nurseries and should be eliminated