Why do mosquitoes bite and what can you do about it?
The most important points in brief
- In summer we just like to be outside - in the garden, in nature, in the beer garden. But not everyone can enjoy the time to the fullest.
- Some people suffer from allergies like hay fever, others are the target of mosquitoes that want to suck blood.
- Who the mosquitoes attack depends on various factors. But we can all prepare for protection.
- The question remains: What can be done effectively against mosquitoes?
Biting mosquitoes are widespread in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. About a dozen of these bloodsucker species are native to these latitudes. The fact that there are now exotic species such as the tiger mosquito, the yellow fever mosquito or the Japanese or Asian bush mosquito does not necessarily make things any better. But there are ways and means to defend yourself against the uninvited guests.
Why do mosquitoes bite at all?
Well, not all mosquitoes want our blood - it's only the females who need the red juice as food for their offspring. Often we do not notice the puncture, but the itching that sets in shortly afterwards. The itching comes from the poison that the flying bastards inject us. However, if a mosquito also carries pathogens, it often passes them on to humans when it sticks and suckles blood.
Large parts of the population persist in the belief that mosquitoes are particularly attracted to light if you turn it on in the evening on the terrace or balcony. But that's wrong. There are flying insects that are active at night or during the day - and especially many that buzz around at dusk. It is true, however, that the animals perceive human sweat and exhaled carbon dioxide and also follow these messenger substances. They also feel magically attracted to higher body temperatures.
Who do the mosquitoes bite?
More women than men? Not necessarily true, but women have two disadvantages. Their skin hair is thinner than that of men, and the female skin is not as thick as the male. But they don't look for women and take what they get. No reason for men to be happy.
That mosquitoes supposedly follow a "sweet blood" belongs to the realm of the imagination - right? Well, not quite, because blood is composed differently from person to person and is less attractive to mosquitoes for one and more attractive for another. So if the small teat has a choice in larger groups, some people are more likely to be stung than others.
Okay - but what really helps against mosquitoes?
The critters don't care what we eat, contrary to popular belief, garlic doesn't keep them at bay. There are many effective articles against mosquitoes, but in the garden and on the terrace it helps to empty and clean rain barrels and watering cans. Anyone who has a pond can use frogs against mosquito larvae or regularly skim off the larvae. Fly screens help prevent the beasts from entering the house. If there are still a few specimens inside, showering and switching on the fan will help. So the mosquitoes no longer recognize where the carbon dioxide is coming from.
When showering, avoid throughgels that are heavily perfumed, afterwards it is best to put on light-colored clothing with long sleeves and legs. Anyone who grows lavender, mint or tomatoes on the terrace will also scare off stinging visitors. Essential oils (from eucalyptus, citrus fruits or cedarwood) and coffee powder, which you ignite in a fire-proof bowl, also emit effective smells against mosquitoes.
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