New Research Shows That Mosquitos Are Red Raider Fans, Too
With temperatures rising and rain slowly returning to the forecast, it should come as no surprise that mosquitos have made their way back to the South Plains. These little blood suckers can leave quite the mark and research shows that some people are more prone to getting bit than others.
Are you one of the unlucky folks who is doomed to be itchy this Summer? I sure am.
Mosquitos Love Red & Black
Look out, Red Raiders. Our city's signature colors actually attract these little flying vampires.
The University of Washington has just published research this year that "indicates that a common mosquito species — after detecting a telltale gas that we exhale — flies toward specific colors, including red, orange, black and cyan. The mosquitoes ignore other colors, such as green, purple, blue and white. The researchers believe these findings help explain how mosquitoes find hosts, since human skin, regardless of overall pigmentation, emits a strong red-orange 'signal' to their eyes."
Mosquitos Love Type-O Blood
Another factor that makes you more prone to mosquito bites is your blood type. The University of Melbourne reports that "mosquitoes land on people with type O blood almost twice as often as people with type A blood, which is the second preferred blood type."
Definitely gives a new meaning to the term "universal donor"!
Mosquitos Love Pregnant Women
Heat and sweat are other known factors that attract mosquitos. Unfortunately, this makes women who are expecting much more susceptible to getting bit.
The British Medical Journal published a study that showed "women at an advanced stage of pregnancy exhaled 21 percent greater volume than non-pregnant women. Mosquitoes are attracted to the moisture and carbon dioxide in exhaled breath. Secondly, they observed that the abdomens of pregnant women were 0.7°C hotter.” Both of these factors make it much easier for mosquitos to find their host.
How to Protect Yourself
While wearing long sleeves and pants can help, mosquitos will still get what they came for if the fabric is thin. If it's also downright hot outside, so wearing lots of layers is less than ideal. Thus, bug spray is the best solution for folks who are always on the move.
If you like to spend time outside on your patio, other alternatives include using citronella candles as well as tea tree and peppermint essential oils to help deter these pests. You can also invest in Outer's Bug Shield Blanket, which uses "invisible, odourless Insect Shield technology" to keep these bugs at bay.
Remember to remove any stagnant water that may be around your home and consider planting mosquito repelling plants. These include options like lavender, basil, mint and marigolds.
Finally, make a point to spray your yard for bugs. Wondercide is a fantastic product that is safe for pets and great at killing mosquitos, among an array of other unwanted insects.