Reporting Aristea Brady
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We probably don’t even have to remind you, but we are in peak mosquito season. While some seem almost immune to bites, others claim to be magnets for mosquitoes.
But are mosquitoes really more attracted to certain people? Good Question.
“It’s about as intense as it gets right now in Minnesota,” said Mike McLean with the Metropolitan Mosquito Control.
That intensity was evident during Frank Vascellaro and Chris Shaffer’s trip to the lakes. The two spent a lot of time talking about the mosquito invasion up north. In fact, not knowing he was on tape, Chris was caught twitching from all the mosquitoes while live in the town of Lakeshore, Minn., near Brainerd.
But was Chris more likely to get bit than Frank?
“There’s a lot of factors that go into what makes a person attractive to mosquitoes,” McLean said.
Scent is one of the most powerful mosquito magnets.
“Avoid hair sprays, perfumes, the kinds of flowery scent,” McLean said.
Sweet scents are their favorite, bringing truth to an old wives tale you’ve likely heard: mosquitoes are attracted to “sweet blood.”
McLean said mosquitoes are attracted to sweet things because sugar gives them energy to fly. Mosquitoes also feed off of carbon dioxide.
“When you breathe, what you exhale is attractive to species of mosquitoes,” McLean said. “They say sometimes that younger people, younger children, give off more of those gases that mosquitoes are attracted to.”
This helps to explain why kids are often bitten more than adults.
If you’ve noticed the area below your knees is particularly covered in bites, you’re not alone. There are mosquitoes out there that really don’t fly very far off the ground, McLean said.
So, what’s the best defense? Stay away from hair sprays and perfumes. In fact, mosquito repellent really helps to mask those smells.
Also, McLean advises that you think of the three L’s: long, light and loose. Wearing light colored, loose fitting clothing will make you less likely to get bit.