The CDC considers mosquitoes the ‘world’s deadliest animal.’ That alone paints a picture of the deadly nature of these insects. Carrying diseases such as the West Nile, yellow fever, lymphatic filariasis, dengue, and malaria, mosquitoes are responsible for millions of deaths according to WHO. Most of these deaths are because of malaria.
The National Geographic opines that more than 3000 mosquito species exist in the world with 176 in the United States. With the high number of these insects in the country and around the world, chances are high that you will get a bite at some point in your life. Because none of us wants to be part of the ugly death statistics associated with mosquitoes, it is prudent that we take all necessary measures to protect ourselves and those we love from mosquito bites.
Before we look at some tips to help you prevent mosquito bites while sleeping, let us first have a brief look at exactly what attracts mosquitos as we sleep:
Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Some People More Than Others?
What attracts mosquitoes as we sleep? Why do mosquitoes prefer some people to others? Hold up, is it true that mosquitoes prefer certain people compared to others? Yes, it is true!
Some people’s skin produces a higher amount of chemicals that mosquitoes like. Some of these chemicals such as lactic acid can attract mosquitoes. This research shows that lactic acid is one of the key chemicals that attract mosquitoes.
According to this study published in the National Library of Medicine, mosquitoes can prefer certain compounds on or released by the skin. The more than 400 chemical compounds present on the skin can play a vital role in either repulsing or attracting mosquitoes. The smelly mix that the bacteria on the skin produces and which is exuded in sweat also varies from one person to another. This can also be a contributing factor as to why mosquitoes prefer you to another person.
Another reason that attracts mosquitoes to certain groups of people has to do with blood group. Evidence from this study opines that they prefer people with blood group O more than those with other blood types (A, AB, B).
Note: Of great importance to note is that the human gene determines the chemical constitution of your skin as well as your blood type. Genetics can also dictate other factors that make you a preferred host of blood-sucking affection of mosquitoes.
Pregnancy, according to this study, is another reason mosquitoes might be attracted to you. Another study also seems to cement the claim that the tiny things prefer expectant women. The researchers opine that attractiveness can be associated with behavioral and physiological changes that pregnant women undergo.
Due to these findings, expectant women are at a higher risk of contracting malaria. It can also be a cause of early infant mortality, low birth weight, and stillbirths. If you’re expectant, the tips we have shared in this article against mosquitoes will be handy to protect both you and your child.
Beer increases your attractiveness to mosquitoes. This is according to this study. One of the reasons for this is when you drink beer, your body temperature tends to increase which in turn makes you sweat. Sweat, as we have already established, is a mosquito magnet – at least in some people.
Taking just 335 ml or 12 ounces of beer can make you attractive to mosquitoes. The more beer you drink the more ethanol content will be on your sweat and you can rest assured that your actions will lure more mosquitoes your way.
Beer as we have already learned increases your body heat. Mosquitoes find their targets in many ways, one of them being body heat. Therefore, when your body temperature increases, they sense the heat and flock towards you.
Limburger cheese attracts the malaria-carrying mosquitoes like the gambiae, this study opines. This cheese has some bacteria that give it a distinctive aroma. The smell is akin to the one present between the toes of some people. Perhaps that explains why mosquitoes are into smelly feet.
How To Prevent Mosquito Bites While Sleeping
The following are some of the most effective ways to prevent mosquito bites while sleeping:
1. Shed Some Pounds
If you have a greater body mass, chances are high that you will attract mosquitoes when sleeping and get a bite. Carbon dioxide is one of the magnets that attract mosquitoes according to this study. Now that we have already established that, it is also worth noting that fat or overweight people produce more carbon dioxide compared to their thinner counterparts, this research opines.
The carbon dioxide humans produce is affected by the average body size and metabolic rate. Therefore, the bigger you are, the more carbon dioxide you will produce. It is therefore important to shed some weight if you desire to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes as you sleep.
2. Change Your Lighting
Do mosquitoes find lights irresistible? Yes, they do! This scientific phenomenon is known as phototaxis. Through this process, insects tend to find the glowing of light desirable. IFLScience opines that bugs are attracted to some lighting because of a variety of reasons.
One theory is that lights provide a stress-free route for mosquitoes to find their way to their target. Most mosquitoes are into UV light in its cooler and bluer spectrum compared to infrared lights or any other type of longer source of wavelength light. Knowing this is highly important when purchasing your bulbs for the house or even outside.
The type of bulbs that attracts mosquitoes the most are the CFLs or compact fluorescent bulbs. These tend to emit the purple or violet wavelengths that mosquitoes like. Airborne insects are also into regular luminous bulbs. The same is true of the normal blue LEDs.
Therefore, to make sure that mosquitoes do not come into your room and disturb your sleep through constant bites, it is prudent to avoid all the type of bulbs we have highlighted herein.
So what is the most appropriate lighting or bulb? Settle for the warmer color temperature bulbs if you desire a type of bulb that isn’t attractive to mosquitoes.
You can also read this article to find more information about how certain light waves attract particular mosquito species.
3. Consider Burning Sage
Burning sage not only produces some nice scent, it also goes miles to put off many insects including mosquitoes as they consider the smell unpleasant. Some people also burn sage as some form of tradition to do away with ‘bad vibes.’ Do you know that sage can be handy as a repellent to these insects?
This research established that sage can be handy at helping you handle mosquitoes. The same is true of burning rosemary and thyme.
4. Put on Bright Pajamas (Or Clothing)
So far, you have learned that mosquitoes changes in the atmosphere, scent, and temperature as guidance or to seek sustenance. Similar to when a raging bull sees red, are there colors that mosquitoes are attracted to? Can putting on clothes of certain colors reduce the chances of getting mosquito bites when sleeping?
According to Dr. Jonathan D., an Entomologist at Florida University, in this article published on NBC News, darker shades stand out while lighter or brighter shades blend in. In his research, he utilized imitated atmospheric backdrops to simulate a clear horizon sky. He established that the difference in colors was one of the ways mosquitoes pictured an outline against the white space.
Essentially, they noticed that something (read a host) was somewhat blocking the horizon’s view. Mosquitoes were also able to effortlessly track objects through searching for dull moving things against a bright backdrop.
So what colors did Dr. Jonathan conclude attract and repel mosquitoes from his experiment?
Mosquitoes tend to be attracted to darker shades or colors while detesting brighter or lighter shades. Lighter colors go miles to decrease your appeal and repel the insects. Darker ones on the other hand increase your appeal thus attracting them to you.
Darker colors also somewhat increase your body temperature which the mosquitoes use to detect or sense heat and come flocking your way.
The following are some of the colors that repel mosquitoes:
Here are the colors that attract mosquitoes:
5. Install Fans
According to this research, a fan’s speed can be magical when it comes to deterring mosquitoes. This is because naturally, these insects are extremely weak fliers. The other reason that informs the effective nature of fans when it comes to preventing mosquitoes from biting you is the fact that when they spin around, they disperse the carbon monoxide as well as other mosquito-friendly chemicals that you produce.
Since these pesky pets tend to fly low, you need to place the fan either on the floor or on top of a table for the utmost effectiveness. Once you turn it on, mosquitoes would rather avoid flying around the fan than try to put up with the wind being produced by the speedy fan.
6. Wear Mosquito Bracelets or Wrist Bands
Mosquito creams, sprays, and lotions are a safe and efficient way of preventing yourself from mosquito bites. This is especially true if you choose and apply your liberally and wisely. Topical repellents for insects that have picaridin or DEET offer remarkable levels of protection.
It is also worth noting that formulations that have ingredients that are plant-based like tea tree oil offer protection against mosquito bites that in most instances, it is necessary to apply them frequently to enjoy positive results.
Mosquito bracelets, stickers, or wrist bands are wearable products that contain some of the ingredients in the lotions, sprays, and creams.
Therefore, rather than applying the mosquito repellant on your skin, you put on a tiny item to keep the insects away. You can wear them on your wrist. For them to be efficient, you need to put them on for a certain period. The time-frame depends on a manufacturer. Some can be worn for several days while others for weeks.
7. Put On Long PJs
Of course, mosquitoes cannot find a way to bite you when sleeping if you have covered your entire body. If you cover your entire body with long sleeping clothes, chances are high that they’ll not bite you. For this reason, once you get into your bed to sleep, always put on long socks, pants, and sleeves.
In addition to that, make sure that the pajamas are tight on the collar, wrists, and ankles. This goes miles to prevent the mosquitoes from sneaking underneath. Also, remember that the color of your pajamas is very important as we already established earlier on in this primer.
The rule of thumb is to put on lighter or brighter colored-pajamas and avoid the darker ones.
8. Plant Plant-Repelling Plants
If you have a garden in your backyard, you might have noticed that if you leave it unattended for a long duration, it might harbor plenty of mosquitoes. To ensure you do not suffer the brunt of these insects, it is prudent to always maintain a neat and clean garden. If you find this too much work, you can plant plant-repelling plants around your house.
Keen to know which are some of these plants? Well, you will momentarily. Growing these plants goes miles to starving or repelling the dangerous insects. Basil, for example, is one of the most efficient plants for fighting off mosquitoes. This is according to this research. The research found out that the plant is highly toxic to the insect’s larvae.
The following are some of the other plants that you can plant in and around your house to help combat the mosquito menace thus helping you avoid being bitten at night in your sleep:
Planting Basil near your house will prevent mosquito visits. Basil contains essential oils that repel mosquitoes. Commercially, the essential oils are extracted to manufacture mosquito repellant sprays.
When applied directly to the skin, cloves act as a mosquito repellant.
This is another herb that repels mosquitoes. You can mince, grate, or slice it. Use the grated, minced, or sliced garlic to sprinkle around the area you want to keep off mosquitoes. You can also use garlic to make a body spray using pleasant-smelling oils.
Crush the leaves and rub them on to your skin. This herb repels mosquitoes with the utmost ease. Plant them in your garden for easy reach and protection.
Mosquitoes detest the smell of citrus products. Growing this herb near your house will keep mosquitoes away.
In addition to repelling mosquitoes, you can also use this herb to alleviate itching when bitten.
On its own, rosemary repels mosquitoes. Its essential oils can be used to make a repellant body spray.
This is another member of the mint family. Crush, and then boil it to create a mosquito repellant.
This plant is highly aromatic and is a good mosquito repellant. You can use it easily to keep mosquitoes off by planting it on a window sill.
Lemon Scented geranium
The lemon scented geranium plant can be used to produce a repellant. Crush the leaves and sprinkle them around the area of protection.
One of the best attributes about this plant is the fact that it has a citrus smell that mosquitoes do not like. The oils can be used directly on the skin as a repellant.
This is an interesting plant that you can use as a repellant as well as eat its flowers. Plant it in a pot and keep it in the desired area to keep mosquitoes off.
You may blend or grind this plant to produce an active insect repellant. The juice is safe to use directly on the skin.
This plant has a citrusy smell thus repels mosquitoes. Plant it around your house to keep them away.
The pitcher plant is an insectivorous plant. It directly consumes infected mosquitoes.
Akin to being directly thrown into the fire, the mosquitoes will entirely keep off this plant. Its oils can also be used as a body spray.
This plant is naturally a mosquito repellant. However, it can irritate if used in large quantities. It is advisable to do a skin test before using it on your skin. Be sure to dilute it with lots of water before applying it on your skin.
This plant produces a very strong odor. Crush and scatter the leaves in your desired area to keep mosquitoes away.
It produces a scent that repels mosquitoes.
Its essential oils are used in the manufacture of spray repellants.
Its essential oils can be used to make a repellant for sensitive skin.
This tree is an effective mosquito repellant. However, when used in high concentrations, it can be irritating. Of great importance to note is that the tea-tree is toxic when ingested.
Citronella, the common mosquito repellant is made from lemongrass. It is toxic when ingested.