Why Do Mosquitoes Love Me So Much?

August 16, 2019

Mosquitoes aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, they're likely to get comfortable, especially if you're not taking action to deter them.

“Mosquitoes and other insects will stay active even as the temperature drops and it will continue to stay that way until we have our first freeze of the year,” said Mercy's Dr. John Brown.

With many outdoor activities still on the horizon for you and your loved ones, Dr. Brown shared a few helpful suggestions to protect your skin and hinted at a few other things people can do to avoid mosquitoes. 

Mosquitoes Care What You Wear

Color of Clothes – Warmer months usually call for brighter colored clothing, and this trend can help to save you from getting bitten by mosquitoes. Dr. Brown shared that there is some truth to the saying that darker colored clothing can attract mosquitoes. “One of the best options is to be conscious of color you're wearing. Mosquitoes are looking for darker colors because that tends to be the color of animals they’re preying on,” explained Dr. Brown.

Avoid DEET-free products – Products advertising as “DEET-free” have been hitting the shelves, and while they may protect you from some mosquitoes, it won’t protect you from every variation. Many people choose DEET-free products because traditionally, products containing DEET have a strong odor and can be oily in consistency. To cover all your bases against these pests, DEET is a great way to protect yourself.

Dusk 'til Dawn – Keep in mind when planning outdoor activities that mosquitoes are most active from dusk until dawn. Even as the temperatures cool off outside, mosquitoes will continue to be pests throughout most of the fall.

Safe Mosquito Repellent Options

Products with DEET – Products that have DEET as an ingredient stand as one of the best repellent options on the market to protect people from mosquitoes and ticks alike. This repellent is best if used on the skin and it has been deemed safe for regular usage by many medical organizations. Dr. Brown mentioned that if using DEET, be cautious of spraying it on synthetic or plastic materials because it can breakdown paint.

Permethrin – Another strong insect repellent strategy is to use permethrin spray on clothing and other outdoor materials. If you know you’ll be outdoors doing an activity like hiking or camping, spraying your clothing or equipment with permethrin can create a force field of sorts to ward off insects. Pretreating your clothes with this repellent will protect you even in after several washes.

Products with Picaridin – Products containing picaridin will help to protect you against mosquitoes, ticks, and flies. Dr. Brown shared that products containing this ingredient are safe to use on your skin, clothes, and other materials. Picaridin will give you protection like DEET, but with less of an odor. This is a strong contender for bug repellent if you’re on-the-go and looking for quick protection from insects.

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