If you’re heading out of town on vacation, especially if you’re going camping or hiking, there’s a strong chance you’re going to run into a swarm of mosquitoes! These blood-sucking fiends are the worst pest, leaving itchy spots and carrying noxious diseases. Unfortunately, some people are more susceptible to getting mosquito bites than others—it’s just science: 20 percent of people receive more bits than average. But we know how to reduce your changes of getting bitten.
First, we have some bad news. Some people are predisposed to attract mosquitoes. If you have type O blood, you have a higher chance of getting bitten. But there are other things you can avoid to reduce your risk!
When mosquitoes are on the prowl they look for a variety of chemical signatures to find their prey. This includes body odor, heat, and carbon dioxide and other gasses in our breath. Skeeters home in on people who produce more carbon dioxide with a higher body temperature, including if you’re pregnant, drinking, or exercising. A subtle whiff of lactic acid in your sweat (also from exercising) will also attract a hungry swarm!
But mosquitoes don’t just sniff the air for chemical clues. They also look for their next victim. Wearing dark colors like black, red, and navy improve your silhouette and make it easier for the bugs to find you.
So, if you’re going to spend a lot of time outdoors, maybe pass on the beer. Alternately, you can set up a mosquito net or enclosed porch. If you want to spent a lot of time outdoors in bug country, try and wear light colors and pack some bug repellant!