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The Buzz (Slap!) on Mosquitoes

The Buzz (Slap!) on Mosquitoes

Can’t a person (slap!)… go for an evening jog (ouch! whack!)… without being devoured by mosquitoes during the warmer months? (slap! gotcha.) If your outdoor workout plan has become a chore because of the blood-hungry little critters, don’t take it personally. It’s not you they're after, but all those delicious smells you’re emitting.

According to Susan Paskewitz, an entomology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, three signals appeal to the little buggers: Body temperature, carbon dioxide from your breath and certain skin chemicals, like lactic acid. During and after a workout, you just happen to have all three in spades—making you and your sweaty self an easy-to-find target.

Whatever you do, don’t go running in dark clothing laden with cologne or perfume after a couple of drinks. That obvious advice aside, even though it's hot you can protect your skin by wearing moisture-wicking long pants or long sleeves to keep bugs at bay. You can also start using a repellant containing DEET, which appears to be the most effective combatant. If chemicals concern you, try a more natural one that contains eucalyptus, soybean oil or citronella and reapply frequently. If all else fails, work out indoors till the mosquitoes head wherever they go for the winter. No need to let some pesky little flyers keep you from getting in shape!

Posted: 8/18/08
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