Mosquitoes are quite the menace and right now Nairobi seems to be under attack from those bothersome insects. Their buzzing keeps you up at night and not to mention those nasty mosquito bites. Additionally, they seem to target certain people.
Science tells us a lot about why you can’t seem to shake off mosquitoes. You know when you’re out camping or seated somewhere and you seem to be the only one being eaten alive by mosquitoes, it’s not because “your blood is sweet”. There’s a science behind it. It has a lot to do with your blood type and some chemicals secreted on the skin.
It turns out your blood really is sweet – to mosquitoes at least. They tend to prefer the O blood group over A or B blood groups. Since mosquitoes rely on the protein in your blood to produce eggs, they do have a preference. They are able to identify your blood group through certain secretions. It’s said that 85% of people produce this secretion. This is why some people attract more mosquitoes than others.
Yes, what you wear makes you susceptible to mosquito bites but not what the way you might think. Darker clothes attract mosquitoes. This is because they spot their victim using silhouettes which is why they mostly attack in the dark. Dark clothes are easy to spot thus making you a giant mosquito target. Additionally, lots of movement makes you stand out from the surroundings attracting them to you.
As you sweat, you excrete lactic acid which is like a mosquito aphrodisiac. Therefore, the more you sweat, the more likely your probability of getting a mosquito bite. If you live in a mosquito infested area, you should take a shower before bed to lessen your attraction to these biters.
There’s a reason pregnant women are highly advised to sleep under a net. This is because they are twice as likely to attract mosquitoes as non-pregnant women. The exhale more carbon dioxide dues to more blood circulating in their bodies. CO2 is another mosquito attractant thus making pregnant a target to mosquitoes.
It’s easier for mosquitoes to target the person alone in a corner as there are more chances of survival. In a crowd, most people are moving around so it’s hard for them to latch on without getting smashed.
In one study, it showed that people who drank beer became more attractive to mosquitoes. When you consume beer, your skin releases certain chemicals that attracts these biters. This explains why you get bitten when you’re at a club.
Heavier people tend to expel more carbon dioxide making them a mosquito magnet. Therefore, if you’re overweight, you’re more likely to attract mosquitoes than those who are not.
If your feet are the biggest victim of mosquito bites, it’s because of their odour. They love smelly feet and science shows that zika-carrying mosquitoes are particularly attracted to the smell. therefore, if you’re prone to foot odour, make sure to wash your feet or seek a medical solution.
FUN FACT: Only female mosquitoes bite while their male counterparts feed on nectar flower. Additionally, mosquitoes carry more than just the malaria virus. They carry yellow fever, West Nile fever and the Dengue fever.
There are some remedies to wade off mosquitoes.
- Inspect home for holes. Before trying other remedies, make sure your home doesn’t have entry points for mosquitoes. Where possible, cover up the holes.
- Sleep under a treated net. This is one of the biggest preventions of mosquito bites. Since you’re more vulnerable at night, ensure you protect yourself accordingly.
- Turn on the fan. The rapid air movement will make it hard to mosquitoes to fly in your direction as they are weak flyers.
- If you’re going outdoors, make sure you carry mosquito repellant ointment or spray. They are available in pharmacies.
- Plant trees. Once again, nature saves the day. Plants like lavender and mint repel mosquitoes since they throw off your scent.
- Clearing out your compound could solve your mosquito problem. mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. A little rain and abandoned tools in your compound provide a perfect home for them. Also, they tend to hide in some types of trees so you might need to trim some branches or get rid of some of your plants.
- Make sure your house is well-lit. Switch to LED lights as they are brighter and warmer thus repelling these annoying bugs.
- Smoke them out. Mosquitoes absolutely hate the smell of smoke. If you have a mosquito problem, light some papers and walk around the house. It works even better if you have some herb branches like mint or lavender.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes. Avoid giving mosquitoes easy access to your skin by wearing baggy clothes.
- Ditch the dark clothes. Adding more colour to your wardrobe could do more than upgrade your fashion. Light clothes blend in more with the environment making you less visible to mosquitoes.
- Use Essential Oils. Scents like Citronella, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, basil, clove, thyme, lemongrass, geranium, rosemary and lavender are natural mosquito repellants. You can effectively keep mosquitoes at bay in your home by simply diffusing these essential oils.
- Rub fresh or dried leaves of anything in the mint family all over skin to repel insects (peppermint, spearmint, catnip, pennyroyal, etc. or citronella, lemongrass, etc.). Basil is also said to repel mosquitoes. Check out this article on how to make All-Natural Homemade Bug Spray Recipes That Work!
- Here are 10 Natural Ingredients That Repel Mosquitoes