Dr Zoe explains why mosquitoes are attracted to red
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With the summer season behind the corner, mosquitoes are expected to make an unwanted appearance soon. Although you can’t avoid the insects completely, there are some interventions which could make you “less attractive” to them, including avoiding wearing a certain colour, said Dr Zoe.
Speaking on ITV’s This Morning, the doctor said: “There are some things we can all do to make us less attractive to mosquitoes.
“Mosquitoes are drawn in by the carbon dioxide in our breath, we can’t stop breathing so we can’t do anything about that.
“But once they detect that, they become more alert to different sights and smells.
“They like the colour red and they don’t particularly like black and white.
“They see the red pigment in the skin and that’s what attracts them to us.
“By wearing red, we’re drawing them in.
“By wearing plain black or white, we’re less likely to draw them in.”
So avoiding this colour when choosing your summer outfit could help.
Apart from colours, mosquitoes also react to scents. Dr Zoe said: “They like our natural scent, sometimes the perfumes and things that we wear.
“Lots of people burn citronella – bad news – they are not actually proven to be that effective.
“But citronella in incense sticks is much more potent so that can be effective.”
Although sticking to plain colours and avoiding nice perfumes could make you less attractive to the insect, Dr Zoe stressed it’s still important to wear a repellent.
She said: “The most important way to protect yourself from mosquitoes is to use DEET, so a mosquito repellent that has DEET in it.”
DEET describes the active ingredient in the product that is used to repel the biters.
The exact concentration of this ingredient will determine how long your protection will last.
“And use things like mosquito nets, especially if you’re travelling abroad,” the doctor added.
The doctor explained that while there are many theories, it’s not quite clear why some people seem to get more bitten by mosquitoes.
She said: “There are a number of reasons. It’s been said that if your blood type is 0 negative, then you’re more likely to get bitten.
“Some people potentially have it down to their natural scent. If you sweat more, we know mosquitoes are more attracted to sweat.
“But also some people don’t react, some people do, so it might be that you’re not necessarily being bitten more, you’re just more aware of it because you are reacting.”
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