Surprising things that attract mosquitoes and how to protect yourself

(James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via AP, File)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — If the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases have you concerned about your family’s safety, you should know about four surprising scenarios that could attract mosquitoes. We’ve also found some things that you may not know about when it comes to protecting yourself against mosquitoes.

Protect Yourself Against Mosquitoes

Bug Spray- Use an EPA registered insect repellent with one of these ingredients: DEET, Picaridin or oil of eucalyptus.

Clothing Protection- According to Consumer Reports, treating your clothing is more effective than buying mosquito repellent clothing. Spray your clothing with permethrin, which kills mosquitoes on contact without harmful side effects. Treat shirts, pants and socks at least 24 hours before wearing outdoors. Permethrin is a medicine and chemical used as an insect repellent and is sold at drug stores.

Yellow Bug Light- The American Mosquito Association says that a yellow outdoor light will not attract mosquitoes like incandescent lights do.

Disinfectant Wipes- Keep a package of wet disinfectant wipes handy in case you sweat while active outside. Your body produces lactic acid as you exercise and mosquitoes cannot resist it. You should clean your skin off before reapplying bug spray will help detour bugs.

What Can Make You a Magnet for Mosquitoes

Baby on Board- A study published in the British Medical Journal found that women who are pregnant exhale more carbon monoxide, which attracts mosquitoes.

Breaking a Sweat- Mosquitoes find lactic acid irresistible. Your body produces lactic acid anytime you break a sweat. Athletes can reduce lactic acid by washing with soap and thoroughly drying their skin after exercising.

Blood Type- People with type “O” blood are 83 percent more likely to be bitten by a mosquito, according to a study in the Journal of Medical Entomology. People with type “A” blood are at the lowest risk for mosquito bites.

Beer- Drinking a cold beer on a balmy afternoon could make you a hot target for mosquitoes. Research published by the Journal of American Mosquito Control Association suggest alcohol could raise your body temperature, making you more appealing to mosquitoes.

Some information in this report was provided by physicians with American Family Care urgent care facilities.

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