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MOSQUITOES Noisy, buzzing, blood-sucking bugs of summer

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opinion Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Smaller than a bird, noisier than a Minneapolis freeway at rush hour and consider the official, unofficial state bird of Minnesota. The mosquito is having a heyday this summer.

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There are several reasons for the bumper crop of mosquitoes this summer. A wet spring and early summer has been ideal for an enormous hatch. As we drive around the Brainerd lakes area we see ditches full of water that had been dry for several summers.

One other reason some may find themselves the target of the small insect is the beverage they consume: Beer. A comment in the Smithsonian Magazine notes: “Just a single 12-ounce bottle of beer can make you more attractive to the insects, one study found. But even though researchers had suspected this was because drinking increases the amount of ethanol excreted in sweat, or because it increases body temperature, neither of these factors were found to correlate with mosquito landings, making their affinity for drinkers something of a mystery.”

Wait a minute, beer? Apparently mosquitoes can smell lactic acid and other elements in sweat and tend to go for higher body temperatures.

Before mosquitoes are declared alcoholics and sent to North Dakota for treatment, there are other factors that attract the pesky insects, such as one’s blood type, metabolism, pregnancy status and carbon dioxide emitted by individuals.

For example, they prefer Type O more than Type A (by twice as much).

Oh, get this — the bigger (obese) one is, the more they are going to present themselves as a big bull’s-eye to these micro bombing bugs.

Here’s an eerie finding: Mosquitoes use their eyesight to scan their victims. For example, they are attracted to victims wearing dark clothing rather than light colors. Therefore, lighten up and avoid being a target.

Keith Hansen

Mosquitoes

He said that two of them could whip a dog, and that four of them could hold a man down; and except help come, they would kill him–”butcher him,” as he expressed it.

Mark Twain

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