Summer is fast approaching and before you know it, mosquitoes will be out in force. More than a backyard nuisance, these biting pests are capable of spreading West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses to residents of New Jersey. Plus, they’re just plain annoying and the mosquito bites… don’t even get us started on those! If you’re not sure what attracts mosquitoes, either to your person or your property, we’re going to tell you why you might be a mosquito magnet while others are not and what conditions on your property might lure these insects in.
What attracts mosquitoes to people?
If it seems like mosquitoes enjoy making a meal out of your blood more than they do others around you, there’s an explanation. In fact, there are a few to consider. In addition to wearing dark clothing that stands out against the green lawn and blue sky, here are 6 reasons why people attract mosquitoes:
Perfumes, soaps, and scented lotions attract these pesky insects as do weird smells such as smelly feet, stinky sweat, and Limburger cheese (which, oddly enough, smells like stinky feet).
And speaking of sweat, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the smell of human sweat, which includes lactic acid odor, attracts mosquitoes. If you work out a lot or just have a tendency to sweat, you are likely to attract mosquitoes then repel them.
Every time you exhale, you’re releasing carbon dioxide. You’re not alone, we all do it. We also produce more carbon dioxide the more we move which allows mosquitoes to identify and zero in on a potential blood meal host.
Drinking beer and other alcohol
When you consume beer and other alcoholic beverages, a chemical change occurs on your skin AND your body heat increases – both of which attract mosquitoes.
In a 2004 study published on the National Library of Medicine, researchers concluded that people with blood type O are more likely to attract Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquitoes) than those with type A.
Like those who consume adult beverages, pregnant women also tend to breath more (as expected when you’re carrying extra weight) and run hotter overall. As previously mentioned, both factors will attract these summer pests.
What attracts mosquitoes to yards
If you’re wondering why your yard has so many mosquitoes, it’s probably because you’ve got conditions that these insects favor like the ones listed below.
In order to reproduce, female mosquitoes need water and it doesn’t have to be a pond or even a wheelbarrow full amount. Any small amount of standing or stagnant water will suffice. Discarded tires, flower pots, trashcan lids, children’s toys, outdoor pet bowls, buckets, and birdbaths are just a few examples of where mosquitoes may lay their eggs.
Overgrown vegetation & other yard debris
Asian tiger mosquitoes seek respite from the hot sun during the middle of the day so if your property provides safe shelter, you will have a mosquito problem. Overgrown vegetation, tall grasses, grass clippings, leaves, compost piles, and twigs and branches are just a few of the places that mosquitoes will turn into hiding spots.
The answer to why mosquitoes love clogged gutters is because they are a combination of the previous conditions discussed- there’s standing water and debris. If not regularly cleaned or properly maintained, gutters become a catchall for leaves, twigs, and other debris that the wind carries. The congested material results in clogs which creates standing water which results in a super attractive spot for mosquitoes.
How to keep mosquitoes away
Not that you know why they are attracted to you and/or your property, let’s discuss how you can keep mosquitoes away, starting with personal repellent.
Obviously, you cannot stop breathing, change your blood type, nor should you refrain from wearing what you like or eating and drinking what you enjoy. Rather than modify your behavior, you may consider the following options:
- Avoid spending time outdoors when mosquito activity is highest -typically dawn and dusk.
- Use EPA-registered insect repellents
- Dress in clothes that cover your arms and legs when spending time outdoors
- Cover your child’s stroller with mosquito netting
To make your property less appealing to mosquitoes, we recommend:
- Eliminating standing water
- Removing items that collect water
- Refreshing water in bird baths and kiddie pools regularly
- Clearing debris from your property
- Cutting down overgrowth
- Mowing the lawn regularly
- Planting mosquito-repellant plants
Consider professional mosquito control
While all the prevention tips highlighted above will help alleviate mosquitoes to some extent, it won’t stop them completely. In order to protect your family from mosquito bites and the accompanying heath concerns, consider professional mosquito control.
Available in Park Ridge, West Caldwell, and throughout Arrow’s multi-county service area, we offer our Bite Back! Program to stop mosquitoes AND ticks from driving your indoors when the weather is ideal.
This seasonal mosquito and tick treatment program includes:
- Two granular tick treatments – one in April and a final one in October
- Monthly misting treatments May through September targeting areas where mosquitoes and ticks breed and rest
- Services backed by The Arrow Promise – If, for any reason, weather or any other factors interfere with your service efficacy, Arrow will re-do your treatment FREE of charge.
Why put up with biting mosquitoes and ticks when there’s a solution that provides season-wide coverage? At Arrow Pest Control, we’ve been protecting people and property for close to 50 years and our locally owned and family-operated company is ready to help you bite back against these pests!