Getting Bugs To Bug Off

In 2009’s “Land of the Lost,” when a mosquito of gargantuan proportions bites Will Farrell, he seems oddly oblivious. But for 20 percent of folks with just the right blood type, metabolism or a love of beer, being bitten by mosquitoes (over and over) can cause anxiety, itching and more itching.

Mosquito Sucking Blood_set A-2What makes you mosquito bait? Skeeters favor folks with blood type O twice as much as those with type A; B is in between. And 85 percent of folks secrete a chemical signal through their skin announcing their blood type to tuned-in mosquitos!

The pests also can smell appealing (to them) lactic acid, uric acid and ammonia mixed in with sweat. They like higher body temps, too. So, these chemicals can make you a target – especially when you exercise.

Your skin’s naturally occurring bacteria also can say “bite me!” And drinking just 12 ounces of beer can make you a mosquito mMosquito Repellentagnet!

How can you keep these gals (only female mosquitoes bite) at bay without pesticides?

-One study found that rubbing 32 percent lemon eucalyptus oil on your skin offers 95 percent protection for three hours. Not for kids under 3.

-Five percent thyme oil on skin offers (lab animals) 91 percent protection. Make it with four drops per teaspoon of olive oil.

-Catnip oil on your skin is 10 times more effective than DEET, according to a University of Iowa study.

We’ve just scratched the surface of alternative skeeter repellants, but we hope you’ll bite, and give them a try.


© 2015 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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Written by Drs. Oz and Roizen

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