Summertime typically means warm weather, bathing suits, splashing around in the pool, and spending time outdoors with your family. Along with all that’s listed above, it also means an increased mosquito presence and, if you’re unfortunate enough to be bit a few times, red and itchy spots on your body.
However, have you noticed that the largest concentration of mosquito bites tends to be on your feet and ankles? This isn’t a coincidence. In this blog, our experts at Hopper Termite & Pest will explain the reasons why mosquitoes are attracted to feet and ankles and possible ways to prevent their bites.
What Makes Mosquitoes Attracted to You?
A mosquito has tons of receptors in its antennae that enable it to detect various chemicals our bodies produce. As we breathe, we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. As mosquitoes fly around our yards and homes, they search for the plumes of carbon dioxide we release.
However, if a mosquito flies close to your mouth, you have a better chance of swatting it away. Therefore, these crafty critters have evolved such that they know to avoid flying directly into your mouth. Instead, they use carbon dioxide to detect who to bite and from there use body odors to select the perfect location to get their blood meal.
Stinky Feet? A Mosquito’s Treat!
If you think about it, the two areas on your body that are most commonly stinky are your feet and your armpits. However, mosquitoes tend to ignore armpits in favor of feet and ankles. You may be thinking to yourself, “Why is this?”
Well, expert entomologists and pest control technicians believe this is due to a number of reasons, including:
- Your armpits are often more covered up than your feet and ankles
- Mosquitoes have evolved to know which parts of our bodies we’re more likely to leave exposed and ignore, making them able to develop the ability to sniff out these specific spots
By targeting your feet and ankles, it gives mosquitoes more of a chance of survival while they feast because you’re less likely to notice them and swat them away or kill them.
The Unfortunate Truth About Perfume & Deodorant
While perfume and deodorant may work to mask your body odor while you’re around other people, this unfortunately will not work against mosquitoes. Their receptors are highly sensitive to smells, and they’re often able to sniff right through any perfume or deodorant.
So, while they may help a tiny bit, your best protection is to use DEET. The chemicals in this spray disable a mosquito’s receptors, which makes it difficult for them to smell and bite you. We also recommend wearing longer socks and sleeves.
If you’re still dealing with a mosquito infestation, feel free to give our team at Hopper Termite & Pest a call at (479) 332-3745 or contact us online. Our Springdale mosquito control experts will thoroughly inspect your property and come up with a customized treatment plan.