Mosquitoes are the worst. On the bright side, they make me feel loved and delicious. Here in South Carolina, we are having a late summer resurgence of these pesky little bugs with a big bite, at least for some of us. Why are some people immune, while the rest of us turn into an all you can eat mosquito buffet? We've all heard the rumors. Are any of them true? Can what you eat make you a target or — even better — provide you with an invisibility cloak?
Eat bananas and they'll stay away. Eat bananas and they'll love you more. B-1 will take care of them. B-1 is useless! Eat as much garlic as you can, then rub raw cloves all over your body. (You know who else will stay away? Everyone you know.) Citronella scent repels mosquitoes, so why not eat loads of lemons and season everything you eat with lemon balm? Onions! Eat lots of onions! They stink, so mosquitoes must hate them, too.
There isn't much point in providing links, because if you search the internet, you will find conflicting opinions all over the place, at least a few from credible sources. Other than slathering myself with DEET — which isn't an option for someone who holds babies and toddlers, because whatever is on your skin and clothes inevitabley gets into their mouths — the best way I've found to deal with mosquitoes is keeping a tube of SssstingStop with me at all times. Seriously, this natural gel works better than anything else I've used.
So why do some people enjoy outdoor picnics and hikes through the forest with nary a sting, while the rest of us attract all the mosquitoes? One researcher, Dr. Leslie Vosshall, is trying to find some definitive answers.
According to Dr. Vosshall, some people are more attractive to mosquitoes.
You could be a 40, she says, on an attractiveness scale of 1 to 100, but everyone else in your family is a 10, so mosquitoes go to you. But if you start hanging out with a bunch of 80s, you’ll be safe. “It could be a Craigslist thing,” she says. “Hey, we’re having a picnic, we’ll pay you $100 to come attract all the mosquitoes.”
I feel like this could be lucrative. At the very least, I would get invited to a lot of picnics!
Do mosquitoes love you? Do they really love you? (If so, do come join me on the porch for a glass of something cool and refreshing.) Have you eaten or sprayed anything that made you feel less susceptible to those mean little bugs?
(Images: Anne Postic)