Summer is in full swing, which means vacation, beach days, and camping, depending on what you’re into. But it also means that mosquito season has peaked. Keep in mind that mosquitoes will be around until temperatures are consistently below 50 degrees, so they’ll be around year round in some places around the world. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mosquitoes aren’t just pesky, they’re dangerous, especially if you’re traveling overseas. Mosquitoes spread diseases like malaria, West Nile virus, Zika, dengue, and chikungunya. But mosquito bites aren’t just contracted overseas. You can get them just about anywhere you go. The good news is that a lot of research has been put into when and why mosquitoes bite. Have you ever felt like you get bitten more than your friends and family? Well, that’s because mosquitoes are attracted to certain types of people. Learn about these types and how to avoid getting bitten below.Some people are bitten by mosquitoes more often than others, and if you’re one of these victims, you know how irritating it is to deal with those itchy, red bumps.
Before we get into types, keep in mind that mosquitoes flutter about at dawn and desk because that’s when winds are low and humidity rises, medical entomologist Dr. Jonathan Day tells TIME. So, try to enjoy the great outdoors during some other pockets of time if possible.
We can’t choose the bodies we’re born into, and this includes our blood type. Unfortunately, mosquitoes are more likely to bite Type O blood types than any other type. Research suggests that Type Os are 83% more likely to get bitten while Type A folks are the least likely to get bitten. Doctors are divided by this ‘factoid,’ but keep on the lookout for updated research as it comes.
Cruel, isn’t it? It’s all about the amount of carbon dioxide you exhale. In fact, CO2 is the first thing that mosquitoes look for in identifying their victims and pregnant women exhale more of it. As aforementioned, mosquitoes spread Zika, which can lead to serious birth defects, so do your research about where and when you should travel and be extra careful if you’re carrying.
Also because of the amount of CO2 emitted, people with larger bodies are more likely to be bitten than those with smaller bodies. That’s why children aren’t bitten as often as adults.
Gesturing and moving around helps mosquitoes easily identify you and your location, so try to be more weary of your actions.
This is because mosquitoes are on the lookout for warm bodies. A few cocktails in and suddenly, you’re irresistible.
When wind is present, mosquitoes fly near the ground. From there, they identify their targets by examining your silhouette. Light shades tend to blend in while dark and bold colors such as navy, black, and red serve as invitations.
When you exercise, you produce lactic acid, another thing that they’re attracted to.
We’ve already noted that mosquitoes are especially active at dusk and dawn. If you must be outdoors during these times, continue reading for some more helpful tips.
If you’re going to engage in outdoor activities, protect yourself with a trustworthy repellent. Day recommends one with 15% DEET while the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 30%. Here are a few popular brands, according to WebMD: -Off Deep Woods Sportsmen II -Cutter Backwoods Unscented -Off FamilyCare Smooth & Dry -3M Ultrathon Insect Repellant -Repel Plant Based Lemon Eucalyptus -Natrapel 8-Hour With Picaridin
You don’t have to dress in winter wear to protect yourself from being bitten. There are plenty of lightweight tightly woven fabrics made especially for summer use.
Mosquitoes may be good biters but they’re not good at flying. Use what you can to prevent them from hovering around you.
Resist the urge to scratch, no matter how good it feels, because scratching leads to scarring and possible infection. After washing your bite with soap and water, apply anti-itch cream, calamine lotion, or another sort of antihistamine to the affected area. You can also curb swelling with an ice pack.
The next time you go camping or if you decide to travel, make sure to pack all the necessities. If you’re going somewhere with plenty of mosquitoes, chances are they are fully stocked with everything you need at a local drugstore.