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Daily Dose

Make yourself less tasty to mosquitoes

A recent blog post on Smithsonian magazine’s website provides some surprising factors that can make you tastier to mosquitoes. Research suggests mosquitoes land nearly twice as often on those with Type O blood compared to those with Type A.

Pregnant women are also twice as likely to get bitten, probably because they exhale more carbon dioxide and have slightly warmer body temperatures — which also attracts the insects. These are the same reasons mosquitoes tend to bite those who exercise outdoors. Sweat also contains substances that mosquitoes are drawn to by smell.

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If you’re having an evening barbecue, you may want to skip the beer. One study suggests that consuming a single bottle is akin to wearing a “bite me” sign for insects, though scientists haven’t determined a reason why. Wearing certain colors — such as black, navy, or red — may also draw mosquitoes to your skin. Dark colors radiate heat more effectively, and mosquitoes are attracted to this body heat.

Of course, the best thing you can do to avoid mosquitoes is to cover up with long pants and long sleeves in the evening or to spray on insect repellent. If you’re having an outdoor party or barbecue on your deck, try setting up a fan to create a breeze. Mosquitoes are weak fliers and don’t like flying in winds, so this will keep them away.

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