My Ode to the Mosquito

I am a mosquito magnet.

Photo: howstuffworks.com

 

FINALLY, my beliefs of being a mosquito magnet have been confirmed with this article. This is truly life-changing. I’ve been suffering itchy welps and bumps from these pesky blood-suckers my entire life.

I can now blame my parents for producing a perfectly attractable mosquito-magnet. Afterall, they provided my genetic make-up, right? Of course it’s their fault.

According to this article, mosquitoes are most attracted by their sight and smell. One in five (that’s 20 percent) persons are “high attractors” to mosquitos. I’ll give you one guess as to which side of the fence you think I sit.

I knew mosquitos were active and more likely to strike in their afternoons and early evening, but I didn’t realize the blood-suckers preferred dark-colored clothing. No more dark clothes for me.

OK, so maybe the color of clothing I wear is not my parent’s fault. I will accept responsibility on this one. But my mosquito attractability goes MUCH deeper…let’s continue.

Photo: totalmosquitocontrol.com

The other main attractor is the level of carbon dioxide released when a person exhales. People with high metabolic rates release lots of carbon dioxide, as do larger people and women who are pregnant. Larger people? What is considered large? Are you talking about height or weight or both? 

The article also mentions that body temperature is a big contributor to increased mosquito interest. Interestingly, pregnant women are more likely to get their blood sucked by mosquitos as they have higher-than-normal body temps. People – I’m not pregnant, I’m just hot all the time!

Metabolic rates reference a person’s BMR, or basal metabolic rate. Basically, in idiot’s terms, BMR is the number of calories you burn while at rest, for example, sleeping. Personally, my BMR is 1,950, which means I use this many calories to operate my vital organs and continue being on this Earth – and providing all my blog readers with useless information regarding mosquitos. I’ll admit here too that I consume more than 1,950 calories per day. I know, that was a big surprise for you.

OK, let me get this straight. Mosquitos are attracted to my darker clothing, fat cells, and high body temperature? YIPPEEE!!!!!!

I’m not pregnant. Obviously. Unfortunately, I cannot qualify for that justification. 

I could, however, be considered “large” as I stand nearly 5-12 (inside joke) and tend to sweat, (ahem!) GLOW, when temps dip below 70 degrees. Southern women don’t sweat, we glow. And don’t y’all forget it.

 

So, what have I learned?

  • I need to eat fewer daily calories. That sounds like no fun, whatsoever.
  • Find a way to sweat less and lower my body temperature. Not easy to do when the school’s a/c unit is broken most days.
  • Lower my carbon dioxide exhaust. What? How am I supposed to do this? Stop breathing?

 

Bet you didn’t know this…

  1. Only female mosquitos bite.
  2. Mosquitos don’t bite for food (they actually feed off of plant nectar), but they use proteins in blood to develop their eggs – to produce even more of their annoying offspring. Oh joy!
  3. Skeeters tend to be more attracted to people after they’ve been drinking beer. Bring on the brewskies!
  4. Some mosquitos prefer the smell (and taste?) of ankles, while other tend to stay close to the head, neck, and arms.
  5. The size of the welp left after you’ve been bitten has nothing to do with the amount of blood the skeeter sucked, but rather your immune system’s reaction to their spit. Yes, mosquitos suck your blood and then, so lady-like, spit into your wound. How nice of them. 
  6. Humans tend to become immune to species of mosquitos that bite them more frequently – yay! – unfortunately, there’s more than 3,000 species of mosquitos. Booooo!

 

Did you learn anything today?

 

 

Advertisements

Comments

  1. Unfortunately, I am also a mosquito magnet! So I have learned that I have to eat less, sweat less – and stop breathing!
    Great post on the sneaky little blood suckers Nicole; very informative.

    • I’m thinking I might need to “invent” a Skeeter Shed…..equipped with lots of snacks, a big ol’ A/C unit with HEPA filter, and wireless internet. That should suffice for a good long while! haha

  2. I would never have guessed you were so full of valuable knowledge. Actually a very interesting post.. I am so proud of you and your endeavors. Keep it up and I will be as smart as you.

    • awwww thanks, Aunt Sharon! Love you. P.S. I’m craving Feed Mill like crazy, I’ve got to come home soon.

      One more thing – be sure to enter the GIVEAWAY and re-post so others will know about it. If there are more than 100 comments, I’m throwing in an extra “surprise” gift. GOOD TIMES! 🙂

  3. I think it was hooey, but supposedly they thin our blood. Huh.

  4. Dang ole Mosquitos! I hate them! We have been prisoners in our home this year due to them. With all the rain we had earlier in the month there is a spot up the road that has had standing water since May 1st. Needless to say our neighborhood has been over run by them. It’s ridiculous.
    I absolutely learned something! Mental notes have been made!

    • Fortunately, North Texas has had some rain but it’s also been VERY windy – so all the moisture has gone. And, as my husband so eloquently pointed out to me the other night, skeeters can navigate well in 40+ mph winds. (light bulb moment there) However, my parents in Western Kentucky have been dealing with terrible floods and excessive rains, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be an Itch-Fest this summer when I head up to play in the dirt and drink homemade wine. I’ll be sure to take an extra CASE of bug repellent.

      Hey, don’t forget to sign up for the GIVEAWAY on my blog. Have an awesome Tuesday, my friend
      ~nicole

  5. Darling post! I just laughed! And I learned a lot, Teach!
    Although I thought the buggers spit first and then sucked–the saliva being the method of thinning blood to fit through the proboscus, or whatEVER that snout is called and howEVER it is spelled.
    You’ll probably collect a mountain of mosquito tales (“The One that Got Away”, etc.)but let me be first, please.
    We also live in the Deep South, and one night we could not sleep for the familiar ringing in the ears that is NOT tinitus. I got up to deal with the situation and with a flyswatter, half asleep, I killed 80. Amazing, isn’t it! My neighbor had a similar experience the same night.
    If only we’d known, we could have put on the coffeepot and had a good time. 🙂
    Well, thanks for the laugh and HAPPY SLAPPING!

    • Ohhh the irritation of these blood-sucking creatures!!! I lived in Beaumont, TX for a year when I attended Lamar University and I was convinced “everything’s bigger in Texas” when I saw the size of the skeeters near the TX/LA border. Sweet Baby Jesus those things are huge down there! Regardless, my love/hate relationship with mosquitos remains the same: I love to hate them!

      Thanks for visiting and commenting, I hope you’ll come back soon. Also, check out the GIVEAWAY that’s running right now, the wonderful and talented Margaret Feinberg is giving away her recent book. Leave a comment, promote the giveaway, and invite your friends – the more the merrier!

      Blessings on your Tuesday,
      Nicole

I appreciate all comments and read every single one. (To avoid the spam garbage, I approve them.) Go ahead, share your thoughts - it makes me smile when you do that!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: