Responsible for annoying allergic reactions and sometimes vectors of deadly diseases, mosquitoes are a real plague! With the summer approaching, you're going to want to arm yourself with mosquito repellent, but before you do, there are 10 things you need to know.
1. Why do you attract mosquitoes?
Only fertilize female mosquitoes bite.
They feed on blood – human or animal – to get the protein they need to develop their eggs before laying.
They cannot see you, but thanks to their improved olfactory system, they detect the carbon dioxide you exhale as well as a variety of components present in your sweat.
2. We are not all equal in the face of mosquitoes
Are you one to leave an outside meal full of mosquito bites while your friends have nothing? There are several explanations for this.
Indeed, we are not all equal in the face of mosquito bites.
For example, mosquitoes prefer overweight people, people who sweat a lot, those who wear perfume or perfumed cosmetics, or people who wear dark clothes.
Conversely, according to a study from the University of Aberdeen (Scotland) presented at the London Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, the sweat of some people produces substances that mask the odors attractive to mosquitoes (such as acid lactic acid, uric acid or ammonia).
3. Stagnant water must be banned
Forty-eight hours after stinging, the fertilized females lay their eggs on the surface of stagnant water, which is necessary for the development of the larvae.
So remove all the places where the water stagnates.
Be careful with unused pools, vases, saucers pots, cover the water tanks, remove water from tarpaulins…
4. Repellent vs anti-mosquito solutions
A repellent repels while an anti-mosquito solution kills!
A repellent contains substances that will repel the mosquito but will not kill it. It protects for up to 4 hours because of evaporation, absorption through the skin, etc.
Its effectiveness varies according to the brands and the people.
On the other hand, mosquito killers kill, but may pose a risk to our health.
They are very effective against mosquitoes in flight, but little against those hidden behind a piece of furniture for example.
5. Watch out for traps
A report from the European Society of Parasitology has listed the next mosquito repellents to avoid:
- Insect bracelets to protect against mosquitoes;
- ultrasonic sound devices;
- vitamin B1;
- electric racquets;
- ribbons, papers and other sticky stickers without insecticide.
In addition, university studies have shown that blue light bulbs are not effective: only 0.2% of the insects trapped by these lamps are mosquitoes.
6. Lemon eucalyptus essential oil can protect you
The lemon eucalyptus essential oil masks the CO2 of the human body.
The lemon eucalyptus is not identified by the mosquito.
However, the potency of lemon eucalyptus essential oil is moderate, so it is recommended that it is used in areas where mosquito vectors of disease do not rely solely on this natural solution.
7. Plants that repel mosquitos
Some plants repel mosquitoes, so you can install them on your window sills or near doors.
Mint, lemongrass, lavender, basil, geraniums, tomato plants or the Neptune plant.
8. The mosquito net is the most harmless solution for children
One of the most effective mosquito repellent solutions inside the home is to install mosquito screens on the windows.
You can also install a mosquito net above your bed or bead curtains at the doors and windows to limit the intrusion of mosquitoes.
The installation of mosquito nets is one of the only completely harmless solutions for your baby.
9. DEET is as toxic as pesticides
DEET is the most used mosquito molecule in the world and is found in most repellents.
Discovered in 1953, the DEET acts on the olfactory perception of the mosquito that will not sting an impregnated skin.
A study from August 2014, published in the journal BioMed Central Biology showed that DEET inhibits acetylcholinesterase, a crucial enzyme in exchanges between nerve cells.
10. Drinking beer attracts mosquitoes
What we eat can make us mosquito targets!
Indeed, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, you are more likely to be stung after drinking a can of beer (+ 15%).