Advice on avoiding mosquitoes has been the same for a long time: avoid dawn and dusk, still water, wear long sleeves and pants, and use scents like citronella. But science can add to your list of mosquito avoiding tools—although it may only be worth it if you live in an area with high West Nile Virus rates or you’re an outdoor enthusiast.
Besides wearing long sleeves, choose colors that blend in. Standing out marks you as human (i.e., delicious, delicious mosquito food).
Do you know your blood type? If you’re the rare type O, you’re mosquitoes favorite and are at an increased risk for getting bit. You can’t change your blood type, so be extra careful about following the basic rules to avoid mosquitoes. Type A is their least favorite.
If you’re warm and smell like CO2 (and other human excretions, like sweat) you’ll help mosquitoes and other pests find you. Try to not exercise during peak mosquito times, and if you’re a bigger person (with bigger lungs for exhaling) be extra careful about wearing long sleeves. A fire might help to confuse mosquitoes, just be sure to follow proper safety, and realize that when you walk away your body temperature will be warmer and you’ll be more visible to them.
For some reason, beer makes you extra tasty. Choose something else, or wait until after dusk to crack one.
Finally, having a diverse colony of skin bacteria deters bites. You can help diversify your skin bacteria with a probiotic.
Have you been able to avoid mosquitoes this summer?