It's a fool's folly to bet the house on long-range North Dakota weather models. But, after a blizzard-filled spring, it's a safe bet to say we're off to a pretty wet start.  The grass is green and will soon be abuzz with hungry blood-sucking skeeters.

Here are some tips on how to best coexist with these famished females.

That's right, that mosquito that's putting the bite on you is most certainly a female. It's not because the males are lazy or watching "the game", it's because females need blood to produce fertile eggs.  So just consider that your arm is helping create a whole nother generation of skeeters. Good for you!

You may be genetically doomed to be mosquito bait.

According to WebMD, genetics make up 85% of our susceptibility to skeeter bites. It's all about your skin surface. If you're more prone to secreting cholesterol, uric acid, or steroids, you may find yourself the "bite" of the party. Mosquitos may even be able to smell you from 50 meters away!  One story I read said that people with type O blood are over 80% more likely to attract mosquitoes.

What all hungry skeeters really love is carbon dioxide.

If you're exerting yourself outdoors, the smell of your panting is attracting mosquitos. Bigger bodies generally put off more CO2. Pregnant women also exhale more carbon dioxide than average folks which makes them more of a target.

So what can you do to avoid the bite?

Short of staying inside or wearing long sleeves and pants, you'll want to turn to my personal favorite repellent- anything containing DEET.  Them skeeters hate it and if you use a product containing just 10% the American Academy of Pediatrics says it's safe to use on infants over 2 months. Or how about we all get one of these?

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Remember, Do not make your home a mosquito motel.

Clear your property of any standing water.  It doesn't have to be a pond or even a puddle. Mosquitos lay their eggs anywhere in icky water.  Get rid of any stagnant water in birdbaths, flowerpots, trash can lids, old buckets- whatever! Make them go next door to lay their eggs and eat your neighbors.  Clean out your gutters and clean up yard waste.  Send a message that you don't approve of skeeters on your property!

Finally, I'm going to end this on a somber note.

Whoops, I meant a "sober" note. Some experts believe that drinking alcohol makes your skin produce a chemical that attracts mosquitoes. It also increases your body temperature which the little biters also love.  We could all do without mosquitoes but I'll put up with the pricks because it's way better than a drought


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