Heat plus rain equals mosquitoes. Everybody knows using some bug spray and wearing long sleeves will keep them away. But, what attracts them? There are some things you can do to cut down on those itchy mosquito bites.
We did a little digging and found out what some of those things are.
They are sneaky little pests, and if you're not paying attention, they will get you. But why?
"The female mosquito is simply looking for a good blood meal, so she's going to land on the most opportunistic person out there," said Brenda Elrod.
Brenda Elrod knows mosquitoes. Working with the North East Texas Health District makes the critters part of her job.
"Pregnant ladies may be more at risk because they exhale more air," Brenda revealed.
It's no mystery that mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide.
"People that are exercising; playing volleyball, that type of thing. They're giving off more because they're breathing heavier and harder," Brenda said.
But, if you just chill in the shade you can be a target too. They live in shady areas during the heat of the day.
"If you're parked next to that area and they smell you, because they can smell a long distance, then they'll come out and they'll bite you," Brenda said.
If you're hanging out in a group out in the sunshine mosquitoes are less likely to bite, but if you take it up a notch and play volleyball the extra carbon dioxide from exertion could attract them.
"They secrete a little juice when they bite you that actually numbs the skin a bit and allows them to penetrate the skin. So thinner-skinned people would probably be more at risk," Brenda pointed out.
"You are making me itch," I said to Brenda.
"I know. Don't scratch, don't scratch. It makes it worse," she advised.
I have to remember that.
Brenda also says treating your yard with bug spray is a fine line. If you spray too much pesticide you can kill things like butterflies and honey bees.
She also says mosquito eggs from last year may have survived, and can hatch if they warm up in standing water.
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