With the coming of warmer weather in the southern hemisphere many of us spend much of our days spent outdoors tending our gardens or enjoying local parks and nature reserves. For me, nothing quite beats a coffee after an early morning walk along the coastline with friends or that crisp, cold glass of wine at cocktail hour out on the back patio watching the sun go down.

Unfortunately, it also heralds the arrival of Enemy Number 1 : The Mosquito!!

Sorry, I'm just not a fan. If we have a family lunch gathered around the backyard barbeque I'm always the one bitten by the blighters. When we go to the beach or out fishing for the day I'm the only one ever bitten. 

Last week I spent a delightful day repotting pot plants and you guessed it - by night time I was running to the medicine cabinet in search of soothing balms to prevent myself from scratching to death.

Is their anything worse than waking up to finding streaks of blood on white sheets from where you've scratched your bites during the night? 
Does anyone even still use white sheets? I've been reading up on mosquitoes and this week this is what I've learned. 

We all know that they can spread diseases through their bites by transferring infections between animals and humans. Not only do they suck your blood when they bite but they secrete saliva and this is what infects the bloodstream.

And for an image that would equal any in a horror movie mosquitoes are "sippers". What's that? A sip feeder doesn't just suck all of the blood it needs from one source — it takes multiple meals from multiple sources, ultimately exposing more people to infection.

Did you know that whilst male mosquitoes only eat flower nectar, it is the females that ruin my summers as they require the protein from blood for reproductive purposes? So much for the sisterhood!
Dermatologist, Lindsey Zubritsky, explains why some humans are more desirable than others to mosquitoes. Reasons include :
1 . Perspiration. "Mosquitoes are attracted to sweat and people who have a higher temperature. They are particularly attracted to things like ammonia, uric acid, lactic acid, and so people who exercise quite a bit are more likely to get bit by mosquitoes"
2 .Beer Drinking.  A study found that just drinking one 12-ounce (350ml) can of beer can make you more attractive to mosquitoes.
3 . And in another image for the horror movie enthusiast, Zubritsky states “The type and the number of bacteria that live on our skin can make us more or less attractive to mosquitoes. 
That also explains why we are more likely to get bit on the ankles because there are more robust bacterial colonies in those areas." Read that again: "robust bacterial colonies." Ewwww.
Other high risk factors that encourage mozzies include:
• Wearing dark-colored clothing.
• Wearing perfume.
• Blood type. Yes, mosquitoes are suckers for "0" type blood. Pardon the pun.
• Visiting a region with active mosquito-transmitted diseases.
• Spending time near stagnant water.
Well, I'll just slip out my blood group and try another one on this season, shall I?
What's your best Tip to beat the mozzie onslaught this summer?

For more information about the dreaded mosquito go here :
Permanent reminder of a camping trip 20 years ago.

© 2023 - May Green
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