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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How to Get Mosquitoes to Bite Your Friends

... not that actually want mosquitoes to bite your friends, but I think you will agree you don't want to be bitten. Here's a list of things that attract mosquitoes. If you want to avoid an encounter with the vampiric swarm you can avoid doing any of these things yourself or you can encourage those around you to do them. Whatever works.

Wear Dark Clothing

Many mosquitoes use vision to locate hosts from a distance. Dark clothes and foliage are initial attractants.


You give off more carbon dioxide when you are hot or have been exercising. A burning candle or other fire is another source of carbon dioxide.

Eat Bananas and French Fries

You release more lactic acid when you have been exercising or after eating certain foods (e.g., salty foods, high-potassium foods).

Wear Perfume or Cologne

In addition to perfumes, hair products, and scented sunscreens, watch for the subtle floral or fruity fragrances from fabric softeners and dryer sheets.

Have Cold Hands

Mosquitoes are attracted by a particular temperature range. The exact temperature depends on the type of mosquito. Many mosquitoes are attracted to the slightly cooler temperatures of the extremities.

Perspire, Swim, or Play in the Sprinkler

Mosquitoes are attracted by perspiration because of the chemicals it contains and also because it increases the humidity around your body. Even small amounts of water (e.g., moist plants or mud puddles) will draw mosquitoes. Standing water also allows mosquitoes to reproduce.

I am a veritable mosquito magnet. I wear a lot of black, favor Coppertone™ when outdoors (bloodsuckers seem to love the subtle jasmine scent of that sunscreen), and can be found near the beach or poking at the barbeque, sipping a sports drink or fruity drink. Don't be like me! Or if you are, try one of these natural mosquito repellents.

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