Did Your Mom Lie to You?

I am one of those incredibly fortunate people (insert sarcasm here) who gets eaten alive by mosquitoes any time I go outside in the spring or summer. My legs start to look like I have chicken pox and the welts get so big that they end up joining forces to create even bigger welts. It’s disgusting, really, but it’s been like that as long as I can remember and the only solace I ever got from being the one the mosquitoes picked on was my mom telling me it was because I was sweet.  And she’s pretty much a scientist (Dr. Zerda), so she must know, right? Did your mom ever tell you that?  I may have believed her back then but I’m older and wiser now so it’s time to get to the bottom of this myth and determine if my mom was lying to me…

First you should know, it’s only the female mosquitoes that bite.  They are the vampires of the mosquito world – they want your blood. They need a meal of blood in order to get the protein and  nutrients to produce eggs. But how do they select their prey? It turns out there is some element of truth to your “sweetness” being attractive, but it’s not your sweet personality that’s drawing them to you. It’s the sweet aromas they’re detecting: your sweet perfume, cologne, deodorant or shampoo.

But beyond the sweet, mosquitoes are attracted to other scents and substances, many less appealing to the human nose than the aforementioned examples.  Carbon dioxide is the primary driver to finding their prey, but mosquitoes also like sweat, lactic acid, uric acid and a chemical called octenol. They often find bigger people more attractive because they are larger targets and they produce more mosquito attractants, namely carbon dioxide and lactic acid. Active or fidgety people also produce more carbon dioxide and lactic acid so they’re also on the hit list. Beyond that, women are a more likely target than men because of the difference in hormones we produce. And apparently blondes tend to be more attractive to mosquitoes than brunettes. I thought blondes were supposed to be the ones who had more fun but I guess not in mosquito-infested areas. Despite preferring lighter hair, mosquitoes like dark clothing. And finally, smelly feet and Limburger cheese will also bring the mosquitoes around.

For me, I’m going to stick to the idea that it’s my sweet personality (or maybe my deodorant) that attracts the mosquitoes and I’m going to be thankful that there are great mosquito control solutions out there to keep my skin in tact.  If you’re finding yourself or someone in your household to be a prime target this spring or summer make sure you call Mosquito Joe to learn about the options you have to get rid of mosquitoes around your home so you can enjoy being outside again (without needing Mom’s sweet words to make up for your discomfort). Think it sounds too good to be true? Call us and give it a shot. We are so confident in our services that we offer a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, so what are you waiting for?

Sources: https://www.wisegeek.org/American Mosquito Control Association; photo

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