Tuesday, February 22, 2011

They Are Attracted to Me: Mosquitos

In the office, yesterday, and from as far back as I can remember (I think high school), I've been favored by mosquitoes more than anyone else staying in the same room as I am.  I've read once before, that mosquitoes are more attracted to the smell of perfume and to people who use lotion, than those who don't.  I'm a regular (daily) lotion user, I always have a mini lotion container in my bag, and I use perfume too.  I also read that they are attracted to body heat (well, nothing we can do about that).  I figured, it's time to update my "mosquito" knowledge based on the principle of "know thine enemy".

Here are some mosquito facts I've gathered from the internet and ways to stay clear of them:

1)  Only female mosquitoes bite for blood, but why?  Female mosquitoes require a "blood meal" for egg development.

2)  People are not their primary blood hosts.  In some areas they prefer the smell of herbivorous animals and birds.

3)  Mosquitoes locate their blood host by CO2 emissions (like when we exhale - we release a good concentration of CO2 in the air), by the lactic acid in our sweat, body heat, floral perfume scents and lotion (moist).

4)  Diet can affect mosquito magnetism, and some say people who have high potassium diet (yes, those banana dieters), tend to attract mosquitoes more than other people.

5)  Dark colored clothes tend to attract mosquitoes.  Stay away from trees with dark colored leaves as well.

6)  Aedes aegypti, the mosquito culprit for most diseases, tend to be more active in the day (9am-5pm) and they fly low (children are most often their victims).

7)  Female mosquitoes can lay 100-300 eggs at a time, or 1,000-3,000 eggs in her lifetime (females live 3-100 days).  They breed in stagnant water (yes, DOH always reminds people to make sure there's no stagnant water near where you leave or cover them up at least so that mosquitoes can't breed there.)

8)  Citronella oil when used with a diffuser can help repel mosquitoes but you have to stay near the diffuser for it to be effective.

Will knowing these facts help?  Yes, maybe, sometimes...  Well, at least the ones about "perfume", "lotion", "sweat", "stagnant water" and "dark clothes" can contribute to a mosquito free afternoon.  The other ones are just fun to know.  ^_^

Stay mosquito-bite-free and protect you and your family!  -  from Anne in Red.



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