What bites but doesn’t have any teeth? I’ll give you a hint, there are more than 3,500 species with 175 different species found in the U.S. and they love to suck your blood. No, not vampires. I’m talking about those pesky mosquitoes. And as the warmer weather approaches, you can expect to see more and more of these six-legged pests biting at your skin.
Is Your Home a Mosquito Magnet?
Mosquitoes are attracted to moisture and love the heat – hence the reason you tend to get bit more during the late summer months. If you live in a humid area, you’re more prone to getting bit. If you live in a rainy, swampy area, you’ll also see an increase in mosquitoes. Standing water invites mosquitoes to inhabit and reproduce. A major reason to keep your gutters clean! Mosquitoes also congregate around tall grass. When your lawn is too high, dew takes longer to evaporate and offers more moisture for the pests to inhabit.
Are You a Mosquito Magnet?
While there isn’t one particular type of person that mosquitoes are attracted to, there are some hygienic factors that target their appetite. You’re more likely to attract mosquitoes when you are working out and overheated. The combination of carbon dioxide and being overheated is the ultimate feast for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are attracted to your body’s heat. They look for blood that is closest to the surface of your skin (forehead, wrists, shins, etc.) for the quickest source of food. So when you’re overheated, blood is closer to your skin throughout your body, making your entire body a feeding ground. Unfortunately these blood sucking pests are also attracted to carbon dioxide. So if you’re participating in an activity that requires heavy breathing, you’re more likely to get bitten than someone lounging in a recliner. Bummer!
Thankfully, there are plants that actually act as a repellent towards mosquitoes. So if you have a green thumb, you’re in luck! Marigolds, Citronella, lavender, and basil are all mosquito repellents. Any of these plants can be planted in pots and placed around doorways, windows, and sitting areas to limit the mosquitoes from moving in. Catnip is another repellent, however you might notice an increase in cats hanging around your house. So although you’ve solved the mosquito problem, you could be dealing with cats.
There are products you can buy or make yourself to keep mosquitoes away. The CDC and the EPA have listed DEET as a safe chemical that can be applied to the skin to reduce mosquito bites. When purchasing mosquito repellent, you might also notice “picaridin.” This is another safe chemical that repels mosquitoes. There are plenty of repellents you can make at home too – check out Pinterest for some ideas. You can even burn coffee grounds or add sage to your fire pit to repel mosquitoes. Whatever method you choose as your mosquito repellent, be sure to have plenty of it for this upcoming summer!