Mosquito Myths: What Attracts Them And Keeps Them Away - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Mosquito Myths: What Attracts Them And Keeps Them Away

Amarillo, TX - With the increase in mosquitoes, many are looking for ways to fight the bite, but are some of these remedies true?

We all know about the dangerous diseases mosquitoes carry, but what about the best ways to prevent the itch and maintain your health?

Ed Bynum, Entomologist at Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, saidresearch has shown that humans put off over 100 different volatile chemicals, which mosquitoes may be attracted to.

According to Bynum, we do know mosquitoes are attracted to those with a larger body mass, or in other words, those who give off more carbon dioxide.

"And so we have an indication that children are less attractive than adults are until you get older age and then the attractant is not as good either, so there's something about our metabolism in our body that makes us to be more attractive," Bynum said.

So are pregnant women more at risk of being bitten?

That answer isn't exactly clear, but there are indications pregnant women give off more heat and CO2, which experts say attracts mosquitoes.

Questions of how to repel these insects are being raised, and experts said there are some unusual ways to keep mosquitoes away, such as wearing fabric softener sheets under your clothes.

"There is some truth to that, the dryer sheets do have a certain level of repellent to it, but again it doesn't last as long as some of the sprays you can spray," Bynum said.

And applying catnip spray to your body is being questioned as well.

Bynum said it does provide a little bit of protection, but again, it's not going to last very long.

He also said another misconception is that mosquitoes are attracted to certain types of blood, which is false.

Alcohol doesn't have any effect on mosquitoes either.

No studies have shown B1 patches help to repel the insects as well.

There is only one proper way to protect against mosquitoes, and that is using deet before going outside.

Bynum said it's hard to tell exactly why a mosquito may be attracted to a certain person, but even if you feel you are not as prone to being bitten, wearing a protective spray will lower your chances of getting a disease.
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