Are you the one person in your family that leaves a summer barbeque covered in mosquito bites? Although this doesn’t seem to make sense, researchers have found that we are not all created equal in the eyes of the mosquitoes. A person’s body chemistry may indeed change the likelihood of becoming a mosquito’s next blood meal.
Every person should release lactic acid and carbon dioxide when we breathe or sweat; however, the amount depends upon our body’s chemistry. For example, pregnant woman have an increased amount of lactic acid and will likely be hosts because the mosquitoes can sense this from over one hundred feet away. A person who has just exercised or worked out will be a high priority target as well because lactic acid builds up in the muscles and carbon dioxide is expelled in high concentrations through sweat. Mosquitoes also look for hot, moist areas in which to congregate and breed; let’s face it, you are the perfect combination after a workout! It is worth taking note that larger people produce a higher level of carbon dioxide, making them prime mosquito real estate.
Finally, it is important to know that mosquitoes prefer to land on dark colors such as blues and blacks and are able to bite through your tight fitting clothing. Thus it is important to opt for the more traditional bright summer colors and make your clothing protect you! Also, perfumes and some make ups contain a large amount of lactic acid. If at all possible, avoid perfumes and lotions; consider using a safe and effective mosquito repellent.