You are not the only one. The process due to which mosquitoes are attracted to their victims is called chemotaxis. It is a biological process of motor reaction of microorganisms on chemical irritants. The biting insects are attracted by people’s biochemistry regardless of any physical features.
The two chemicals that are most attractive to mosquitoes is cholesterol and uric acid. If one or both of these chemicals are excreted via your skin, you become much more attractive to mosquitoes than any other person in the neighbourhood. In this aspect Northern Europeans are the most attractive ethnic group for mosquitoes. If you come to an area where mosquitoes are swarming or there are a lot of them, most likely you will be bitten despite the level of your attractiveness, as insect will look for any possible opportunity to get some food.
Fortunately, there are a few ways of how to minimize your attractiveness to mosquitoes and get much fewer bites than you usually get.
The first thing you should do is to assume measures of freeing your home from mosquitoes. Get rid of standing water sources, even if they are small ones. A small puddle of water on your floor can be enough for mosquitoes to ovipost there. If there are some community pools of standing water near your house, talk to officials in order to solve this problem correctly.
The second preventive measure is avoiding walking outside in the periods of a day when mosquitoes are maximally active. These are dawn and evening time. If you go outside, wear clothes that maximally cover your skin.
Third, try to use some repellents. The most of them contain DEET, picaridin or lemon eucalyptus oil. First two are chemicals, the third one is natural repelling matter. Repellents are available in the form of sprays or lotions. The repellent for non-skin use (applying on tent surfaces, hats, etc.) is permethrin.
There are a few rules of using repellents that you should follow:
- Always read all the details of instructions before using the repellent, never overdose it.
- Use repellents only on open skin areas.
- Do not imply repellents on inflamed or impaired skin.
- Don’t apply repellents directly on your face: at first put it on your hand and then rub on your face skin.
- After returning indoors clean off the rests of repellent from your skin using soap and water. If repellent was applied on your clothes, wash it before wearing again.
- If you are using repellent for your child, make sure it is labelled as a safe product for children. Minimize using repellents on children by encouraging them to wear long-sleeve clothes, socks and shoes. Remember that repellents based on lemon eucalyptus oil are allowed to be used on children over three years old. Repellents are not recommended to be used on children under one year old.
- In case of reaction to a repellent, whether it is itching or rash, you should immediately clean it off your skin with the help of soap and water, and contact your poison control center.