Longer days and warm summer nights make us feel the need to be sipping something cool by the pool. Unfortunately for us, mosquitoes are also feeling the need to enjoy the warm temperatures, lingering by the water, and sipping something tasty.
Have no fear! Read on to find out what mosquitoes are looking for and how to prevent this summer’s mosquito madness.
1) You are not going crazy; these mosquitoes are bigger than normal.
While June may mean swimsuit shopping and days by the pool to some, for many people across the country it also means hurricane season. Sometimes we forget that the danger doesn’t pass after the storm does. The flooding that remains is the perfect breeding ground for bigger and scarier mosquitoes that tend to appear after a hurricane. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, so pools and flooded areas become the perfect hatching ground. Make sure to drain any stagnant water around your house, clear your rain gutters and change the water in your birdbaths weekly.
2) Not all bloodsuckers are out to get you.
Mosquitoes get a bad reputation because they are the deadliest animals on Earth. Something about their small size, ability to spread life-threatening diseases (like Zika, yellow fever, and malaria), and irritating ability to choose the most annoying place to bite (like your feet), makes them more terrifying than any other pest. But not all mosquitoes are to blame. Some mosquitoes prefer flower nectar over some ripe red blood cells. In fact, male mosquitoes will never bite you, and they actually pollinate flowers! Female mosquitoes are the ones to watch out for, because they’re the ones that bite people and animals.
3) Exercising is great, until…
There you are, glistening with sweat from your morning run, breathing heavy with exertion and wearing all black to hide the stains. Firstly, good for you! Secondly, beware. Mosquitoes scout out carbon dioxide, lactic acid, dark clothing colors and high heat signatures, so basically, you’ve become the perfect meal combo. Pregnant women should also be wary because their increased metabolic rate makes them more attractive to mosquitoes. Alcohol consumption also makes you even more tempting as it raises your body temperature and makes you breath heavier!
4) Like everything else, you can blame it on genetics.
You can add mosquito attraction to the list of qualities to blame on your parents. While dimples and curly hair have not been proven to attract mosquitoes, blood type has. If you have Type O blood, you are twice as likely to attract mosquitoes than people with A or B blood. Also, some people are more genetically inclined to be a mosquito munchie because they have high metabolic rates, meaning they have a higher body temperature and expel more carbon dioxide.
5) Florida does have flaws.
While it is hard to find fault with the state of sunny beaches and care-free, flip-flop wearing people, there is one drawback: It’s the number one hang-out for mosquito madness. Because of its high humidity, warm temperatures, and high amounts of standing water, Florida has more of the cold-blooded bug than any other state.
6) The key is prevention and protection.
Mosquitoes can smell you from up to 50 feet away. Luckily, there are many natural scents to repel mosquitoes. It’s widely known that mosquitoes don’t like the smell of citronella, but plants like Rosemary, Geranium, Marigolds, Basil, Lavender, Peppermint and Garlic are also all offensive to their sense of smell and will keep them away. Consider mounting a bat box in your yard–one bat eats around 500 mosquitoes every night! And set up a box fan while lounging outside. It will not only keep you cool, but the wind will throw the mosquitoes off your trail.
And of course, finding the right repellent for you takes more thought than just grabbing the closest can of bug spray. You need to be sure the pesticides you use are, in fact, safe for your family. If you are pregnant, have small children, or pets, you probably have even more concerns, and may want to give a product like EarthKind’s Stay Away Mosquitoes a try. It’s 100% effective, guaranteed, and made with Picaridin, which is CDC recommended and bio-identical to a black pepper plant. It’s free of harmful chemicals, safe for pregnant women and children, unscented, skin-friendly and water-resistant. When used as directed, Stay Away Mosquitoes provides EPA-registered protection from mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies and chiggers, and the diseases they may carry such as ZIKA, West Nile and Lyme Disease, for up to 14 hours.
Mosquito Madness is coming, so don’t get caught unprepared!
Note: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and contributor(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher and editors of WholeFoods Magazine.