How to defend yourself against mosquitos this summer

How to defend yourself against mosquitos this summer
Mosquito repellent is a must at any outdoor summer events. Credit: Canva

The warm weather we experience over the summer brings with it the arrival of a seasonal pest that many of us fall victim to: the pesky mosquito. But not all of us are eaten alive during the summer months. Why are some people attacked more often than others and how do those who are favoured by the insects protect themselves from their bites?

In reality, only female mosquitoes bite humans, because they need the proteins and other molecules that make up our blood, which is necessary for the laying of their eggs.

These mosquitoes are attracted by several bodily factors:

  • Carbon dioxide is emitted by human respiration.
  • Body heat.
  • The body odour of some people: certain smells, good or bad attract them.
  • Sweating: If you are prone to sweating more than the norm during the night, you will be more likely to fall prey to mosquitoes.
  • Blood type O: Studies have shown that mosquitoes are more aggressive toward people of this blood type.
  • Alcohol: A 2002 study also found that people who drank beer saw more bites when they woke up than others.

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It is possible to repel mosquitoes naturally to protect ourselves from their bites without resorting to chemicals. Essential oils or lemongrass candles are spoken of as the most popular, but these techniques are not miracle solutions. Their effects last only a short time.

On the other hand, lemon eucalyptus, known for its anti-inflammatory properties, is more effective. It is marketed in all organic stores and herbalists. As with all essential oils, however, be well informed by reading the leaflet before use. The usual mode of deployment is in a diffuser or soak a small handkerchief in it.

Graphic by Abby Stetina for The Brussels Times

Geranium essential oil is also effective. You can even place geraniums on your window ledges to keep mosquitoes away from your home. These little critters hate the smell of these flowers.

Finally, do not forget the basic tips: use mosquito nets, cover your arms and legs in the evening and avoid stagnant water, such as ponds but also small reservoirs under flowerpots. Empty them. It is in these places that mosquito eggs are laid.


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