Magnetized Skin

By Dean L. Jones

At 4:38 PM on June 21, 2015, the summer solstice occurred officially marking the start of this year’s summer season.  Summer brings on all sorts of conditions and one not so welcomed is when mosquitoes get on the hunt for our blood.  With that have you noticed how certain people seem to attract more mosquito bites than others?

Well, a lot of it is due to how these biting insects have an acute sense of smell for certain food ingredients, and at the same time they seek out carbon dioxide.  In view of that, this means mosquitoes tend to flock to larger people, plus research reveals that mosquitoes prefer those with type O blood.  Body heat, movement or exercise, and sweat also draw them to certain bodies.

Who knew how much mosquitoes pay attention to what we eat, going after things from salty snacks, sugary sweets, and other goodies on our skin.  That is because these bloodsucking mosquitoes are extremely attracted to lactic acid.  This means that wherever there is a food fest with pies, melting ice cream cakes and/or some type of sugary candy to celebrate summer the mosquitoes are sure to follow.  As you would have it, these types of foodstuff items come with a saccharine aroma and act as a magnet for mosquitoes and other bugs.

Dairy goods and high-sodium diets increase the amount of lactic acid we produce, as a consequence, filling up on salty snacks like crispy chips, curly fries, roasted peanuts, or even that bacon on your burger; make us just that much more attractive to mosquitoes.  Unfortunately, eating potassium-rich foods increase the amount of lactic acid we give off through our skin.  Foods like bananas, potatoes, prunes, raisins, lima beans, avocadoes, and spinach are full of potassium, so snacking on these can make our skin a magnet to insects.

For those who drink alcohol, even a single beer can make you a target for mosquitoes.  This is mainly due to how most alcohol drinks come as sweet-smelling beverages, the alcohol increases your body temperature, which makes you a target for the little blood-suckers because they are drawn to people with warmer blood.

Something most people do not have to worry about is dinning on Limburger cheese which startlingly is a variety of cheese made with the same bacteria that cause feet to stink and mosquitoes love smelly feet.  Pickled veggies contain lactic acid; therefore they attract those dreaded mosquitoes.  Kimchi is another condiment that makes human blood a little sweeter to mosquitoes.

Having a higher level of cholesterol in your blood increases your appeal to mosquitoes, not to mention it being a health hazard all by itself.  Eating more fruits and veggies, and opting for lean meats can help to lower cholesterol levels.  In brief, reduce your summer mosquito bites by increasingly living more SugarAlert!
Dean Jones is an Ethics Advocate, Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), contributing his view on certain aspects of foodstuff.