When the summer heat hits North Carolina, so do the mosquitoes. These persistent pests can turn a pleasant outdoor experience into a run for cover when the bites start. But have you ever wondered why some people seem to be mosquito magnets while others remain untouched? Researchers have been studying this phenomenon, and we’ve gathered some insights to help shed light on the matter.
The Science of Scents
A groundbreaking study conducted in Zambia, where mosquitoes carrying malaria pose a significant threat, has provided valuable information about the relationship between human scents and mosquito behavior. In this experiment, researchers set up a semi-field flight cage filled with mosquitoes and introduced the scents of six sleeping individuals nearby. Certain chemicals found on people’s skin were found to be attractive to mosquitoes, while others carried scents that repelled these pesky insects.
Interestingly, the study revealed that carbon dioxide and body heat alone are not sufficient to attract mosquitoes while people are sleeping. Mosquitoes show a preference for individuals with oily skin, as well as high levels of carboxylic acids, a chemical compound that entices mosquitoes. On the other hand, people with scents rich in eucalyptols, commonly found in plants, tend to be less appealing to mosquitoes, reducing their chances of getting bitten.
Effective Mosquito Repellents
Thankfully, there are measures you can take to protect yourself from mosquito bites if you happen to be one of their preferred targets. When spending time in mosquito-prone areas or during peak mosquito activity times, using repellent products can be highly effective. Look for sprays containing DEET or picaridin. DEET is a reliable option for preventing bites, while picaridin has the added benefit of keeping mosquitoes from landing on your body altogether. Natural repellents can also offer some relief. Lemon eucalyptus oil, thyme oil, cinnamon oil, and lavender have shown promising results in deterring mosquitoes.
Treating Mosquito Bites
If you find yourself with mosquito bites despite your best efforts, there are ways to alleviate the discomfort. The CDC recommends:
- Washing the bite area thoroughly with soap and water.
- Applying an ice pack for at least 10 minutes to help reduce swelling.
- Additionally, creating a paste with baking soda and water and applying it to the affected area can minimize itchiness.
- Using over-the-counter creams to help alleviate the itching, such as anti-itch or antihistamine creams.
Be aware of complications from infected mosquito bites or the transfer of a mosquito-borne disease. If the bite mark appears red, feels warm, or you start to feel ill, see a healthcare professional.
The Benefits of Professional Mosquito Control
For a long-term and effective solution to mosquito problems, Bug Out is your local mosquito control experts. Our specialists possess the necessary equipment and knowledge to eradicate mosquitoes from your yard and eliminate infestations. Our mosquito extermination process starts with:
- A thorough inspection of your property to identify the area of infestation.
- Application of mosquito control products to target the active infestation.
- Apply exclusion efforts to keep mosquitoes from breeding.
- Ongoing mosquito control and after-care tips to prevent further infestations.
In North Carolina, Bug Out is your trusted resource for controlling and eliminating mosquito issues on your property. Contact us today for a free quote and comprehensive treatment plan, allowing you to enjoy a mosquito-free summer.