Help! I’m a Mosquito Magnet

It’s inescapable. In weather like this; warm, often cloudy, humid and wet, the mosquitos declare open hunting season. And I happen to be one of the 1 in 10 people who are particularly attractive to the little beasties.

“mosquito” by John Tann used under a Creative Commons Attribution license

According to WebMD “Mosquitoes do exhibit blood-sucking preferences.” They’re not completely sure what all the elements are, but it appears that genetics account for 85% of the susceptibility to mosquito bites as well as certain body chemistry factors like higher concentrations of steroids or cholesterol on the skin surface. Carbon Dioxide is also very attractive to mosquitos, even over long distances… like up to 50 meters!

It’s gotten so bad, I can’t even take our dog out in the morning without coating myself with DEET or risking a mass of new bites. I know there are some gentler repellents out there, like Avon’s Skin-So-Soft and tea tree oil but wouldn’t you know, I’m allergic to both of them.

According to the WebMD article, studies have found that oil of eucalyptus may offer the longest lasting protection, similar to low concentrations of DEET. Lemon eucalyptus is safe for children older than 3 years. Now, that’s worth looking into.

But in the meantime, I plug my nose, spray myself with Deep Woods OFF and spend as little time outside as possible. 🙁

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