From the illustration series “Giant insects are destroying the city”. (Getty)
- Mosquitoes are found by the carbon dioxide you exhale and are attracted to the way your skin smells.
- If you can’t stop breathing and can’t change your smell, you’re out of luck.
- Wearing lighter clothes helps, and keeping a fan going is also a good idea, says an SA malaria control expert.
- More stories can be found at www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Mosquitos are likely to find you unless you learn some unlikely skills, such as: B. not breathe.
But there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of not getting bitten. In other words, to improve the likelihood that someone else will be bitten instead.
Mosquitoes find their targets by detecting carbon dioxide, says Taneshka Kruger, project manager at the Institute for Sustainable Malaria Control at the University of Pretoria. The types of mosquitoes that humans love to snack on are attracted to skin odor, which depends on the microbes that live on your skin. Scientists are currently investigating how this can be used to repel mosquitoes. Until then, however, you should try to overcome the “secondary cues” that are used for target acquisition.
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“Avoid wearing dark colors as this will attract mosquitos,” says Kruger, as the insects “see” their targets as silhouettes and make darker colors stand out more. “
It should also be noted that mosquitos have a tendency to stay near the ground – so you may not want to – and “avoid even the slightest breeze” so keeping a fan running is helpful.
Observe: Why mosquitoes are more attracted to some people than others
The age-old advice to wear long sleeves, socks, and chemicals can be your friend.
“Anti-mosquito sprays or insecticide dispensers are useful, and it’s a good idea to burn mosquito coils at night,” says Kruger.