Health Team

Are You a Mosquito Magnet?

Posted August 6, 2007

— Are you making yourself a magnet for mosquitoes? If so, the WRAL Health Team has advice on how to keep them away.

Health officials said about in one in every 10 people are mouth-watering meals for mosquitos. Expert Sandra Fisher calls them "mosquito magnets."

"Some people are more attractive to certain species of mosquitos than other people," said mosquito control expert Sandra Fisher.

About 85 percent of our mosquito magneticism comes from one's genes, but there are other reasons like breathing as to why the bloodsuckers might come after you. Some people exhale more carbon dioxide than others.

"Because animals exhale carbon dioxide as part of their respiration process, this is something that mosquitoes are attracted to because they know they're going to get a blood meal," Fisher said.

Mosquitoes also prefer bigger bodies -- biting adults more often than kids. Body heat and sweat from exercise increases your risk as well as body chemistry. Some people have higher levels of cholesterol and lactic acid on their skin, which mosquitoes like.

There are ways to protect yourself. At dusk and dawn, which are prime time for mosquitoes, try to stay inside. Drain any standing pools of water in your yard. Plus, dress in long-sleeve clothing and avoid wearing dark colors since they trap heat so stick with light colors.

"When we say light, we don't just mean lightweight. We mean light in color -- the less contrast the better," Fisher said.

Another remedy for avoiding mosquito bites is using repellent with the chemical DEET.


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  • Zel Ilano Jan 14, 2016
    user avatar

    Practical article , I learned a lot from the facts . Does someone know if my company would be able to get a template a form document to type on ?

  • Mad Baumer Aug 8, 2007

    """Instead, just flex up the closest muscle. The "'skeeter" will get stuck in the tighter skin, and not be able to stop sucking. Then he will explode, taking the poison with him"""OpenM1nd....If that really works, that is the funniest thing I have ever heard. If that doesn't work, that is still the funniest thing I have heard today. Hilarious, exploding skeeters...

  • OpenM1nd Aug 8, 2007

    Also, don't slap them if they bite -- it usually just causes a larger welt to appear, particularly if the "needle" remains.

    Instead, just flex up the closest muscle. The "'skeeter" will get stuck in the tighter skin, and not be able to stop sucking. Then he will explode, taking the poison with him, instead of leaving it in your skin to cause a welt to appear. Besides, it's fun to watch. ;-) Then wash up. It's really not that messy, but it's always good to take steps to prevent infection.

    The poison that I mentioned is really a form of anesthetic that helps them to bite with less detection.

    If you are bit in the woods and have an itch, look for a witch hazel plant if you do not already have hydrocortisone cream on your person.

    Hopefully this helps! The stuff that we learn when we're kids often makes me wonder... ;-)

  • gratefultoGOD Aug 8, 2007

    Don't eat banannas.. they put off a sweet scent in your sweat.. and they love it!

  • Steve Crisp Aug 8, 2007

    Mosquitos bite and leave. Deer flies bite, take a piece of you and leave. Ticks bite, fall off and leave. But chiggers burrow in and live under your skin.

    I hate chiggers.

  • gopanthers Aug 8, 2007

    Steve Crisp - First of all Lol on your last post and I forgot about those chiggers - I forgot all about. I used to walk around on the lawn in my bare feet and with my fair skin they must of thought I was a Buffet!. My feet got so messed up I must of scratched for two weeks. But I learned my lesson and now I where shoes when working in the yard.

  • Steve Crisp Aug 8, 2007

    The best way to keep out mosquitos, ticks, chiggers, and other nasty varmints is to completely concrete over your yard. Then install a ring of natural gas jets around the perimeter and set up a fifty foot high wall of flame.

    It also keeps out magazine subscription soliciters.

  • Rocknhorse Aug 8, 2007

    "Hopefully claudnc was joking, but if he/she wasn't, know that bathing in clorox is not fun, "

    Actually, clorox is very good for poison ivy/oak, chiggers and mosquito bites. Of course, you don't use it straight. I had to treat my son recently for a horrible case of poison ivy. 1/4 cup of clorox into a tub of water, soak and then shower off. He was fine in a day!

  • Marc Aug 7, 2007

    For bad cases: try Neem Oil based products (available vai or bothers you and healthy for the skin and more. Else, discovered this summer..all botanical 'Natrapel Plus" WalMart and WAlgreens and maybe well and safe for kids. Else, watch your diet...of sugar and procesed food.....yeah I spend more for nealthy natural viatamins and bites tonight though out grilling fresh food at 90 degress...... fel great since 'nothing out of a can or box'..well save for brew and trouble breathing today at near healthy!

  • Travised Aug 7, 2007

    There is a homeopathic that works for insect bites; keeps the swelling down. Works great when I worked at the festival or other outdoor gigs. Apis Mellifica (if I spelled the latter part correctly). Usually a 12c is all you need sometimes 30c. Ledum would be used for puncture wounds (animal bites).

    Basicly Apis keeps the swelling down after the insects, skeeters in specific, inject the toxin that cause you to itch.

    If at night, I'd still suggest wearing a long sleeve shirt. Even if it's thin. Makes it harder for them to find bare skin to attack.

    I must be more immune to the bites. If you are heading to your cabin frequently; you may seriously think about buying a fogger. Fog the area wearing a mask, keep the family inside windows shut; then go out in about 5 minutes. Reapply if they start to come out in droves in the same process. You don't want the kids inhaling the fog.