Do you feel like mosquitoes single you out amongst friends and family members at backyard barbeques and on hiking trails? Is it possible to have blood that’s just a little sweeter to Florida’s most dangerous pest? What can you do to fly lower on their radar? In this short read we lay out some facts and fiction about the mosquito magnets among us.
Even at their most benign, mosquito bites are not fun. They itch, swell, leave scars, and for persons allergic to their saliva, just one can trigger a severe reaction. If that mosquito is infected, things become far more dangerous, as you may now be at risk of fever, aches, pains, or one of several fatal illnesses carried by South Florida’s mosquito population. These include the West Nile Virus disease, St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE), Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), chikungunya, or dengue.
While mosquito treatments from trusted mosquito control companies can eliminate the presence of these dangerous pests in and around your home, it’s impossible to avoid them everywhere else. So, if you have an increased chance of being bitten by mosquitoes, this is something to address ASAP. Not everything that attracts mosquitoes to you is something you can change easily or at all, but understanding the process puts you in a better position to defend against these blood-sucking insects.
Myths & Misconceptions Around Mosquitos in South Florida
You might have heard that mosquitoes are more attracted to persons with sweeter blood, a certain blood type, or even a specific hair color. Before we get to the facts, let’s put some of the more common fiction to rest.
- Myth #1: Mosquitoes like persons with Type O Blood – Depending on which articles you read, this one may seem like a fact. Multiple studies have revealed that mosquitoes show a preference for Type O Blood in a controlled environment, but as Healthline states, we aren’t sure why that is. It could be that mosquitoes like Type O Blood, but it could also be that something happens primarily in Type O Blood individuals that mosquitoes are attracted to. For now, The Florida Department of Health has not taken an official stance, but regardless of blood type, no one should slack in their mosquito control and mosquito treatment measures.
- Myth #2: Your blood is sweet – If the answer doesn’t lie in your blood type, could mosquitoes find your blood a little sweeter than everyone else’s? Unlikely. Mosquitoes don’t care how sweet your blood is. Female mosquitoes bite humans to collect the protein they need for laying eggs. These eggs can survive for up to eight months, so be sure your mosquito pest control professional is on standby to do regular treatments.
- Myth #3: You’re eating something they like – From potassium-rich bananas to a glass of your favorite beer, some foods are thought to bring mosquitoes buzzing your way. Again, no conclusive evidence has been found on this, but as you’ll see below, there’s a reason a mosquito could come lurking when you’ve opened a cold one.
Why Are Mosquitoes So Attracted to Me?
If despite being blood-sucking pests, mosquitoes aren’t gravitating toward you because of your blood, what else could be the reason? Science suggests some of the major signs of life – heat, sweat, CO2, and your unique skin microflora.
- Sweat – Mosquitoes have a good sense of smell, and when we sweat, it’s one of our most distinct natural odors, and if you tend to sweat a lot, you’ll become a bigger target. Sweat also tends to go hand in hand with one of the other environmental factors that help mosquitoes find their next meal – temperature.
- Your clothing stands out – Mosquitoes don’t have the best eyesight, so it’s much easier for them to find you if you tend to dress differently from the background. Dark clothing is an issue if it stands out, but also because it tends to trap heat.
- Body Heat – If you run hot, mosquitoes are certain to take notice, as these cold-blooded insects are sensitive to fluctuations in the environment.
- Carbon Dioxide – This is a big one. Mosquitoes are sensitive to the CO2 we produce when we exhale, which tends to increase alongside heat and sweat after physical activity. Remember when we mentioned beer? It also releases trace amounts of CO2.
- Your scent – Due to the unique combination of bacteria on your skin, you may smell much better to mosquitoes than other people. It’s uncertain how additional scents like floral perfume may affect this baseline.
Tips to Keep Mosquitoes Away in South Florida
The best way to protect yourself in and around the home will always be mosquito treatments from professional mosquito control companies. But when you’re out and about, here are some mosquito control measures you can take as a mosquito magnet:
- Keep cool – Reducing the amount of heat you’re exposed to will also lessen the sweat, heat, and CO2 you produce, so it won’t be as easy for mosquitoes to single you out.
- Relax – Limiting physical activity outdoors also reduces your chances of being bitten.
- Coordinate with your surroundings – Wearing clothing that ‘camouflages’ you with your surroundings makes it harder for mosquitoes to see you, especially in a crowd.
- DEET Repellent – Used safely, mosquito repellent containing DEET is the best way to combat a mosquito’s attraction to your skin bacteria, and scent. It’s also recommended by the CDC.
- Reach out to a pest control company – If you’re having an outdoor event, a treatment beforehand is a great way to protect yourself, your family, and your guests.
Mosquito Control Services from Gregory’s Pest Control
The safest, most effective way to remove bugs, pests, and rodents from your Florida home is to get a full-service treatment from a professional pest control provider.
Gregory’s Pest Control, based out of Coral Springs, Florida, has over thirty years of experience protecting families in Broward, Palm Beach, and other South Florida areas from infestations. Our mosquito protection program includes an advanced barrier mosquito protection service in addition to our environmentally friendly In2Care mosquito traps to control breeding areas in and around your home. To keep you protected year-round will see scheduled maintenance services from one of GPC’s expert personnel returning for a checkup every 21-30 days.
Call us today at (954) 787-4823 to get a free quote or schedule a complimentary pest evaluation visit.
Owner/President of Gregory’s Pest Control
I’m a 2nd generation pest control owner who started working for my father in 1999. I was raised in South Florida and feel blessed to call it home for my entire adult life. As a long-term Florida resident, I recognize the challenges of controlling the many different pests that thrive in our subtropical climate. In particular, I understand how difficult it can be to prevent pests from invading our homes and businesses. By helping families solve their pest problems so they can live safer, more comfortable lives, I feel I am also meeting my family’s commitment to help our community. When I’m not out fighting pests, you can find me on the golf course or out on a soccer field where I have been fortunate enough to coach soccer to kids of all ages for the past 20 years.