Friday, August 14, 2015

Avoiding Mosquitoes in the Garden

File:Mosquito Tasmania.jpgBit or not?  What you eat matters!

I rarely get bit, but today I did, twice while at the community garden.  These were my first mosquito bites for the year and I spend a lot of time outside.  My main question was "Why?"  Why now? Why am I suddenly getting bit? 

This lament was followed by asking myself what I have been eating that I usually don’t.   I answered myself, dairy including yogurt.  Next I asked myself what I hadn't been eating much of that I usually eat lots of, and the answer was garlic and onions.  Then I did some research . . . .

First I found that mosquitoes are attracted to lactic acid; and dairy products, particularly yogurt and other fermented and aged dairy products like cheese, are high in lactic acid.  

Next I found that eating garlic and onions discourages mosquitoes.  

And then I found that apple cider vinegar also discourages them, and guess what?  I have been off my vinegar as well . . . 

I have always known that eating red meat attracts mosquitoes.  I am not much of a meat eater, which may be part of the reason they usually leave me alone.  I do eat 3-oz servings of salmon 5 times a week, and twice a month or so I usually have some other fish, sea food, or chicken--but I don't eat red meat more than once or twice a year--if even that often.  The science behind this, is that uric acid attracts mosquitoes . . . .

Turns out that people who eat a vegan diet have the highest levels of uric acid.  And it also turns out that vegetarians and people who eat fish but no meat have the lowest uric acid levels. So we can see why I rarely get bit.  I am usually avoiding foods high in lactic and uric acid which attract mosquitoes while eating the garlic, onions, and apple cider vinegar that discourage them!

Food matters!  Here's a quick recap:  Dairy, meat, and a vegan diet can help attract mosquitoes.  Fish, garlic and onions, and apple cider vinegar help repel them.   However there is more to the story, please read the links below for the whole scoop on the other foods you may be eating that may be making you especially yummy to mosquitoes.  No time to read them all?  The secret is that real food is your friend, and junk food is your enemy!  But we already knew that, didn't we?

Taste Horrible to Mosquitoes: 4 Foods to Avoid and 2 to Eat:

Why do mosquitoes like me more than anyone else?

Mosquitoes: What To Eat to Avoid Getting Bitten:

Serum uric acid concentrations in meat eaters, fish eaters, vegetarians and vegans:


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


Have tips on naturally avoiding mosquitoes in the garden?  Please leave a comment!


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1 comment:

Harvest said...
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