First of all – why do mosquitos bite us?
The females suck your blood to get a protein needed to develop their eggs- yuck!
What makes some of us more appealing to mosquitos?
Bacteria on our skin- Some mosquito species are leg and ankle biters; they cue into the stinky smell of bacteria on your feet. Other species prefer the head, neck and arms perhaps because of the warmth, smells emitted by your skin, and closeness to carbon dioxide released by your mouth.
What’s the deal with Carbon Dioxide?
One of the key ways mosquitoes locate their targets is by smelling the carbon dioxide emitted in their breath – The larger the person, the more CO2 they produce…. Which is why kids generally get bit less than adults AND…
Mosquitoes are more attracted to people after they drink a 12-ounce beer, possibly because they are warmer after the beer and exhale more CO2
Being pregnant makes us more appealing- skin temp is a bit higher and they emit more CO2
Being Blood Type O – secrete certain chemicals that mosquitos like
Why do some people get bigger welts from mosquitos than others?
The size of a mosquito bite welt has nothing to do with the amount of blood taken and everything to do with how your immune system responds to the saliva introduced by the mosquito into your skin.
Therefore if you are highly reactive to these bites, it might mean you have higher levels of histamine in your body… which can also be linked to allergies and other immune responses.
The more times you get bitten by a particular species of mosquito, the less you will react to that species over time but unfortunately there are more than 3,000 species worldwide.
What to do?
Most obvious and most scientifically proven strategy to prevent bites is to use a bug repellant with DEET in it…
The next important health strategy next to avoiding beer – because saying “avoid beer” won’t make me popular with all the beer drinkers out there! – is to stabilize the histamine response in our bodies in the following ways:
- Increase vitamin C and bioflavonoids like Quercitin – this can make you less reactive to histamine and less likely to be so reactive if a mosquito bites you
- Eat more colourful fruits and veggies to increase the bioflavonoids and support your immune system
- Anecdotal evidence states that taking B vitamins causes an odour that mosquitos don’t like, and may trigger certain metabolic changes that make us less appealing to mosquitos.
Bottom line- increase your antioxidants, cover up, and decrease your beer (: This might also lower your body mass which causes you to breathe out less carbon dioxide.
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