The University of Washington has been investigating the biting habits of mosquitoes and researchers have uncovered some interesting information. First, they have confirmed that mosquitoes are more attracted to some people than others. This mosquito preference could be related to a person’s DNA, their own scent or the bacteria on their skin. Many people have experienced this—they are either a person who always gets bitten or a person who never seems to. Even when there is a group of people who are in the same environment with a lot of mosquitoes, the bugs always seem to be attracted to the same people over and over again. Scientists recommend washing and using strongly scented soaps and perfume. These scents are more likely to deter the pests rather than the person’s natural odor.
Another fascinating discovery by researchers is that mosquitoes seem to “learn” from a swatting behavior. If a mosquito is trying to bite you and you swat it and miss, that mosquito will leave you alone. It associates your scent with the swatting motion and will avoid you. Researchers at the University of Washington found that when mosquitoes were interrupted in their attempt at biting by swatting, they avoided that person for up to twenty-four hours. Scientists are excited about this discovery because it may mean that something can be developed that triggers a mosquito to avoid biting because of a memory or an association. Maybe in the future, damaging chemicals will not be used.
So what can you do to keep mosquitoes from biting you?
- Don’t avoid washing, but use strong scents (lotion, perfume and soap). Rub dryer sheets on exposed parts of the body for a gentle but powerful deterrent.
- Swat away! The more you swat, the more they avoid you.
- Rather than use strong chemicals or pesticides, try to take steps to avoid mosquitoes. Make sure there is no standing water around your home (flower pots, etc.), use window screens and fans, and cover up.
Contact us to learn more about mosquito control today!