Does Exercise Invite Mosquito Bites?

24 July 2018

Are you like me? Do you seem to always get bitten on holidays or whenever the weather is hot?

I am literally “live” bait, yet some people don’t seem to have that problem do they?

My husband for example never gets bitten, perhaps for some reason I’m more appealing to insects?

When I’m  going on a trip I always fret about bugs especially mosquito’s. I pack a repellent, and wear those wrist bands, I avoid strong perfumes etc etc, thinking I’ll be prepared and ready for them. All good

On a recent trip to Turkey we were on the bus to the hotel, I hadn’t applied any repellent, I have however covered myself in various perfumes at the duty free from the airport! Wearing no repellent, I was attacked. The bite became infected and was so painful. My lovely waxed leg was an abnormal size, I wanted to cover up, smother it in cream, then in the morning it blistered. A local pharmacist popped the blister, but it came back, so I stuck a plaster over it, and now there’s a red mark.

So why is it that some get attacked and others don’t?

I’ve recently read that mosquito’s like some people taste better than others. Chances are these people are emitting signals that attract mosquito’s. Apparently it’s how you smell and how hot you are.

Body temperature, carbon dioxide in the breath and certain skin chemicals like lactic acid all help mosquitoes orient and find their next feast. As exercise boosts the levels of all three signals, this makes people more vulnerable to bites during or after exercise.

Wearing dark colours also attracts them and avoiding floral scents can help too. Oh and there’s also evidence that drinking alchol appears to make you more attractive to mosquito’s!

So what repels them?

Home remedies like eating more garlick or taking vitamin B does not work.

Skin repellents using the chemical DEET are effective, and there’s plant repellents that contain eucalyptus, soyabean oil or citronella work well.

So if you are like me, a hot sweaty exercising, wine drinking sweet smelling mosquito main course here’s 4 common Mosquito mistakes to take note of for a bite free summer.

  1. You are buying whatever is on offer – The active ingredients will vary depending on which insect they are designed to repel, read the instructions, sometimes it’s better to buy a local brand when abroad as one purchased in the UK probably won’t be effective in the jungle!
  2. Insect repellent should be applied AFTER you apply sun cream. Make sure the sun cream has dried before applying, then ensure the insect repellent dries before you put on your clothes.
  3. Read the instructions, they are all different in terms of when and how to apply to be most effective.
  4. Don’t make the mistake of over applying, apparently that does not provide better protection, you just want to cover all areas of exposed skin.

So don’t drop the exercise, most certainly not! If anything being fitter will help you to out run a bug (J)

This summer I’m using Skin So Soft from Avon, which so far works really well and investing in bug room plug ins, I guess it will be trial and error, but I’m on it.

Good luck!