USA Today has an interesting article about bug repellents. Good timing for camp!
Day says he is convinced it’s mostly about carbon dioxide: mosquitoes and ticks find their victims by detecting it and some of us produce more than others. That includes heavier people, pregnant women and exercisers. “The amount of carbon dioxide you produce depends on your metabolic rate,” he says.
What leads to CO2 production:
What you eat and drink may matter, Day and Bernier agree. Alcohol, in particular, seems to attract mosquitoes, they say. At least one study also suggested smokers were at higher risk – but probably because they spend so much time smoking outside, Day says.
What to use:
CDC says you want one that includes DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide), picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or a chemical called IR3535.
What to avoid:
• “Natural” repellent sprays made with plant oils, such as citronella, lemongrass, and rosemary.