Discover 5 tips to become a real repellent magnet

Mosquitoes are 's real enemies. They can spoil our evenings outdoors, invade us with bites and even transmit diseases. So, if you've been chasing these little pests like crazy recently, you're not alone.

Summer is peak season for mosquitoes, and this year there's an additional cause for concern. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has just discovered the first case of locally acquired malaria in the . in 20 years. But don't worry, there are things you can do to keep these bloodsuckers away, and it starts with knowing the reasons you attract them. Discover five things that make you a .

Your clothing choices: watch out for dark colors

Your are more important than you think if you're looking to avoid mosquitoes. According to conservation scientist and naturalist Charles van Rees, mosquitoes are more attracted to dark colors and those on the red side of the spectrum. In tests on mosquito vision, it has been shown that they are less attracted to lighter shades and cooler colors such as green, blue and violet. So, the next time you choose your summer outfit, avoid black clothes or anything in a highly saturated red or orange color.

Alcohol: a mosquito magnet

Summer is also synonymous with barbecues and outdoor parties, where alcohol flows freely. However, it's important to know that alcohol can make you a veritable mosquito magnet. According to pest specialist Roger May, fermented beverages cause capillaries to expand, sending more blood to the 's surface and causing it to heat up. This increased heat produces more sweat, carbon dioxide and lactic acid, which attracts mosquitoes. To avoid this, May advises you to change your beverage preferences and opt for a non-alcoholic, sugar-free beverage when outdoors this summer.

Hygiene: beware of floral and fruity fragrances

Your can also attract mosquitoes. or fruity fragrances in your soaps, shampoos, lotions and hair products can attract these little pests. Mosquitoes have a keen sense of smell and are particularly attracted by these odors. To avoid being targeted by mosquitoes, opt for fragrance-free products when you plan to spend time outdoors. You can also use insect repellent to mask these odors and protect yourself from bites.

Heat: a key factor in attracting mosquitoes

Heat plays a major role in mosquito feeding. These parasites can detect heat signatures from a metre away using their super senses. That's why, when you exercise outdoors, you become a prime target for mosquitoes. Exercise creates many signals for mosquitoes, such as intense body heat coupled with sweat and increased CO2 due to heavy breathing. To avoid mosquito bites, it's best to exercise indoors when the sun isn't so strong. In fact, mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, so it's best to avoid going out during these times of the day.

Water sports: a paradise for mosquitoes

Water activities are very attractive in summer, but not only for humans. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water, so it makes sense that they are attracted to bodies of water. Even a small amount of stagnant water can be enough to attract mosquitoes. So, if your garden has puddles or over-watered plants, if you do activities near ponds or lakes, or if you have a bird bath or pet bowl near you, you're much more likely to encounter a mosquito. So it's advisable to avoid these areas if you don't want to be tingled.

By applying all these , you'll be able to considerably reduce your attractiveness to mosquitoes and thus fully enjoy your outdoor summer activities. Don't forget to check your garden regularly to remove any stagnant water, and use insect repellent to protect yourself from bites.

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