SPOKANE, Wash. - When summer hits a lot of people want to spend their time by the lake or another body of water, but they'll also be spending their time with some pesky mosquitoes. And there's a lot of myths out there about what makes you so attractive to those annoying skeeters.
For instance, have you ever heard that certain foods and drinks -- like bananas, beer or garlic -- will either attract or repel mosquitoes? Well, that may not be the case.
According to Joseph Conlon, an adviser to the American Mosquito Control Association, nothing you eat will affect mosquitoes very much.
You may have also heard that wearing dark colored clothing can draw mosquitoes to you, but that's not true either.
And Conlon says recent studies refute the idea that mosquitoes are attracted to people with Type O Blood.
But if none of these are true, what is it about you that attracts the bugs?
According to Harry Savage, an insect expert with the CDC, carbon dioxide and heat are the biggest draws for mosquitoes.
Savage also says that scent plays a big role. Ingredients in your sweat and other secretions, which are genetically determined, can make you smell better to mosquitoes than others.
And for mosquitoes, size matters. Experts say evidence suggests mosquitoes tend to prefer men over women, adults over children and larger people over smaller people. Conlon says larger people likely produce more heat, more carbon dioxide and have a larger body mass to bite.
Experts also say if you're looking to repel mosquitoes, don't reach for a natural product claiming it can keep them away. Conlon says you need to find an EPA registered repellent, usually a product containing DEET.
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