Mara here. I interviewed a woman who thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail. She said to me, “If something brings me down, it’s going to be a bug.” I hate bugs! Ambassador Lori give us some interesting fact and useful information about mosquitoes.
First you hear that sound, that high pitched buzzing by your ear in the middle of the night. You slap at it and it comes right back and forces you to bury your head under the blankets.
You know what I’m talking about, the great and powerful mosquito.
They are more than annoying and the itch they leave behind is a constant reminder of the day they bit you or the night they kept you awake. If you have many bites they all seem to itch at the same time, making it impossible to not scratch them until they bleed or become infected. It’s one of the reasons why I dislike hiking it the warmer weather.
So why do they bite? Do they crave you because you taste sweet? Is it because you are overweight? Mosquitoes prefer people with Type O blood. Some people produce Latic Acid on their skin, which attracts mosquitoes. Mosquitoes also use CO2 as their way to detect their biting source. Your metabolic rate and the amount that is released when you burn energy is why you attract those pesky buggers. Pregnant woman, obesity and drinking alcohol can also attract the mosquitoes. So, you could make some changes to help keep them away, but your blood type is your blood type…you may never get rid of them totally.
What you may not know is female mosquitoes are the ones who bite. They lay their 100-500 eggs in still water. These eggs can lay dormant on wet soil or little water for up to one year.
So, what can you do to keep them away:
Don’t leave a water source in your yard/deck for the female to lay her eggs in. As an example: plant pots, old tires, bird baths, pet water dishes…
Wear lighter, loosing fitting clothing to help keep mosquitoes away. They prefer darker clothing. Wear long sleeves and pants if you need to go outdoors during peak mosquito biting hours.
Try using a fan to keep them away. They are weak flyers and a fan throws them off their intended course…You!
Stay indoors at dawn and dusk.
Put screens on your doors and windows.
I always joke around and say I’m going to carry a bat or dragon fly on hikes with me to keep them away. However, what you could do is have a bat box and flowers that attract dragon flies, song birds etc. to help eliminate your mosquito population.
The real issue isn’t the bite they leave behind but all the diseases they carry. Deadly diseases.
Do the best you can to take care of yourself while on the trail by wearing lighter coloured clothing and repellent. Getting bites doesn’t make hiking or walking a fun experience and nature should be something to enjoy!
Do you have any repellents you use that work in keeping mosquitos away? We’d love to hear them…because mosquitos suck!