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Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 05 July 2012
in Mother Nature's Big and Small

You Smell and Mosquitoes Like It

Are you one of those poor, unfortunate souls who seem to attract mosquitoes? Worse yet do you seem to be the only one that ever gets bit in your family or group after a barbecue or camping trip? While you picnic bench wallyirmiserably sit trying to resist the urge to scratch your limbs do your acquaintances say,” Well, the mosquitoes must love you because you’re so sweet!”

Mosquitoes probably don’t pick their victims because of the way a person’s skin or blood tastes. How could they know a certain person tastes better than another? The “You taste sweet” theory is further debunked when you start to think about how many mosquitoes there are in the world compared to you. How do they all know you are tasty? Unless you were featured on an episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives for Insects” the bug population doesn’t know by word of mouth that you are the best place to get a meal.

That doesn’t mean they strike randomly though and new research from the University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health says it has more to do with the way people smell. The article, written by Wiliam G. Gilroy, didn’t mention what specific smells or top/middle/base notes humans might be giving off that mosquitoes are drawn to but you smell and the mosquitoes like it.

Zainulabeuddin Syed, a mosquito biologist at the Eck Institute, has spent his time studying how different insects smell. He hopes to prevent diseases like malaria by understanding why mosquitoes bite. In Africa a person dies every 30 seconds from malaria most of these deaths are children.

Mosquitoes apparently have an “extraordinary sense of smell.”  The females are the ones that bite and they use their sense of smell to find blood meals (humans and animals to bite) so they can lay eggs and to find sugar provided by plants to keep up their strength. Mosquitoes, like bees, prefer their food sweet - just not in human form.

Another part of the research is studying which plant scents mosquitoes are attracted to for feeding. If they can make food less desirable through repellents that alter the smell of the plant they can control the mosquito population.

DEET is considered the most effective mosquito repellant on the market because it doesn’t mask tantalizing smells to mosquitoes but repels them entirely- a fun fact Syed and the research team found when studying the chemical.

DEET (chemical name, N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) is found in several over the counter spray repellants to deter mosquitoes and ticks. The EPA fact sheet for DEET says it was developed by the U.S. Army in 1946 and was registered for use by the public about ten years later.

If the spray fails and you still have a few itchy bites try these home remedies for relief: Windex spray (ammonia), rub a lemon or lime, a paste made of crushed aspirins, or stay indoors until the bugs go away.

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Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of Lake Erie in Northeast Ohio. Samina and her husband believe that sustainability starts in the home and try to live their lives as simply as possible without compromising comfort.

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1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.

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1945: Delivered to US Army.

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1950: Acquired by the US Navy on July 1, 1950 and placed in service as USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1954: The movie, Mister Roberts, was made on the USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.

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1963: Reclassified as Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX-308).

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1971: The New Bedford (IX-308) served as a Torpedo Test Firing Vessel in the Puget Sound area.

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1994: Ceremony in New Bedford.

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1995: The ship was struck from the Naval Register on April 4.

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2004: The Sea Bird's current disposition is a tuna long liner (fishing boat) out of San Diego, CA.

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2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.

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2007: The Sea Bird was drydocked for renovations.

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2008: The Sea Bird setting sail to Sea-Tac in Seattle, WA.

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2009 - 2010: The Sea Bird is currently docked at Seattle Sea-Tac.

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