You’re packed, checking that list for your Minnesota Outdoor Vacation. Sunscreen-Check! Beach Towels-Check! Tackle Box-Check! Bug spray? Yep we aren’t going to sugar coat it. We have mosquitoes. But, here are times of the day or year that are certainly better than others. Some joke they are as big as birds, or that it’s our state bird. Uffda. And speaking of sugar did you ever think that these tiny guys think YOU taste sweeter than the person next to you at the campfire? If you are an O blood type or have high levels of lactic acid, you really ARE tastier to these unfriendly fliers.
Mosquitoes really do prefer some people to others, says Dr. Jonathan Day, a medical entomologist and mosquito expert at the University of Florida. And that time your grandmother told you your skin was just sweeter? There’s some truth to that, Day says. “Some people produce more of certain chemicals in their skin,” he explains. “And a few of those chemicals, like lactic acid, attract mosquitoes.” There’s also evidence that one blood type (O) attracts mosquitoes more than others (A or B). time.com/3311624/why-mosquitoes-bite/
And remember the rule no white after labor, it doesn’t apply anymore BUT think about wearing more of it in the summer months because these pesky biters approve of darker colors.
The clothes you choose to wear can impact whether you attract mosquitoes, too. Mosquitoes are very visual and are attracted to darker colors. Therefore, if you’re not one to follow summer trends of lighter-colored clothes, you could be setting yourself up to pull in more mosquitoes. terminix.com/blog/science-nature/do-mosquitoes-prefer-a-blood-type
So if you are type O wearing black around that campfire the mosquitoes probably do prefer you. Here are some mosquito survival suggestions we’ve found searching the net.
Are yu looking to repel mosquitoes without bug spray? One option is oil of citronella, an all-natural repellent made of distilled oils of different grasses that will repel, rather than kill, mosquitoes.
Citronella will cover scents that mosquitoes are attracted to like carbon dioxide and lactic acid, reducing the number of mosquitoes that land nearby.
Cedar oil is also effective when looking at how to keep bugs away. While the natural scent of cedar oil is pleasant to people, mosquitoes will feel otherwise. To mosquitoes, their eggs and their larvae contact with cedar oil can be deadly.
Many perfumes attract mosquitoes to you. If you seem to be eaten alive by mosquitoes, it may be your perfume.
If you feel you must wear scent, try an essential oil blend that contains the oils of plants that mosquitoes hate, such as lavender.
Here Martin Downs, MPH lays out what works. The article reports that in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002, researchers compared several types of mosquito repellents head-to-head in laboratory tests. Fifteen brave study volunteers took turns sticking an arm treated with mosquito repellent into a cage full of hungry bloodsuckers. The researchers took note of how long it took a mosquito to bite.
“OFF! Deep Woods” repellent, a product containing about 24% DEET, fared the best. Its protection lasted an average of five hours.
We hope these survival suggestions help you have a Minnesota Nice Vacation and enjoy the outdoors. Who knows you might be so worm out from enjoying one of our 10,000 lakes you won’t even make it to Mosquito happy hour.
Make your Minnesota Resort Vacation now! Already have one booked? Think about planning ahead for next summer. Click here for a list of our member owner-operated resorts.
Submitted by: Megan Johnson
Campfire Photo Credit: Crow Wing Crest Lodge