Hey, it’s not all popsicles and bikinis this season, so you have to prepare. If you’re wondering what scents attract bugs the most, I’m about to fill you in. Here are the five fragrances you should avoid this summer. Summer is hot and sexy, but can also be sweaty and bug-infested.
From perfumes to deodorants, lotions, and laundry detergent, you’re probably carrying more scents than you realize. But it’s not just what’s on the outside that makes you detectable to insects — it’s also what’s on the inside. What you drink and eat (and subsequently sweat out) can attract mosquitos and other annoying bugs.
“Scientists have known for a long time that mosquitoes smell people; that they do not see us, but instead they smell us,” said Dr. Fredros Okumu, according to ABC. “It is the things that we produce in our breath and sweat of skin that [mosquitoes] use as a signal to find us. So if you are wearing socks, these skin-derived chemicals remain on the sock fabric and can still be detected by mosquitoes — even after you have removed your socks.”
But it’s not just scents that bugs pay attention to. Fairer complexions are more likely to avoid getting ravaged at a picnic, while lighter colored clothing can also help keep bugs away. What does that mean? If you’re wearing a darker floral pattern (think black or blue) while rocking a glorious tan, you are making yourself a prime target for those mosquitoes.
Now that you know what colors not to wear, here’s what scents you should also avoid this summer.
1. Floral Scents
Surprise! You don’t want to smell like roses in the hot summer sun because you may attract certain species of mosquitoes. No matter how yummy that rosewater spray is, leave it at home and save it for another time.
2. Stinky Shoes
Mosquitoes are attracted to body heat, body odor, and sweat. All three tend to accumulate in shoes, so opt for some breezy sandals.
Bugs love the type of bacteria that grows in moist, smelly socks. The dirtier, the better, so if you needed permission to skip the socks-and-heels trend, here it is.
Yes, avoid men this summer (kidding!). Mosquitoes are more attracted to men because they are typically larger, therefore produce more heat and sweat. If you want to avoid getting bit, sit next to the ladies — or just avoid hot and sweaty gatherings.
Some studies show that those who drink a few adult beverages are more likely to get eaten up by mosquitoes and other insects. Beer is a powerful attractant, and so are other sugary drinks like soda and lemonade (sorry, ‘Yonce). Opt for water.
If beer and sweat are inevitable, you can also opt for scents like citronella, peppermint, and eucalyptus to repel bugs. You’ve been warned!