Turns out mosquitos are picky eaters

By Christel Phillips - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Spending time outdoors is a great way to relieve stress. But, it could make you a prime target for mosquitoes.

"Mosquitoes, like every other animal, tend to want to pick its victims according to their health," said Dr. John Sanders, the attending physician with Woodland Heights Hospital of Lufkin. "The healthier the victim the more likely the mosquito is going to get what it needs."

The less you stress the more likely mosquitoes will target you for their meal, and that idea bugs some East Texans.

"I always thought a person was bitten by a mosquito because they either wore perfume, or scented deodorant, or the soap they used," said Linda Colter of Lufkin.

Research shows your body's chemical odors that are related to stress are a natural repellent.

"Stress hormones release all sorts of inflammatory markers and biological markers that apparently the insects pick up on and try to avoid," said Dr. Sanders.

Mosquitoes fly through all sorts of chemicals, and they are attracted to humans by blends of common chemicals like Carbon Dioxide, or Lactic Acid, which is found in the skin.

"That doesn't surprise me, that must be why I've never been bitten because I'm always stressed!" Kim Frels of Lufkin said.

But, it doesn't matter if you are stressed out or stress free the best way to stay away for the mosquitoes is always wear your insect repellent.

"Mosquitoes breed, they bite between people that means they're a vector to carry several diseases, diseases in this include West Nile Virus and several Encephalitis viruses,"  Dr. Sanders explained.

So, keep this in mind the next time you are relaxing in the backyard.

"I'll be more observant in group settings to see who is stressed out and stress free by the mosquitoes," said Linda Colter, laughing.

Researchers shows that chemicals in insect repellent, like Deet, cloud or mask your attractive chemicals or disable mosquitoes from being able to detect them.

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