Professor says alcohol makes you more attractive to mosquitoes
The summer season sadly doesn’t unwrap without mosquitoes waiting to ruin your outdoor evening plans.
Gin and tonic has been previously recommended as a repellent, because of the quinine in tonic water being considered a potent deterrent.
But if sipping G&T during a hot summer evening to stave off the annoying buzzers sounds too idyllic to be true, that’s because it is, according to Professor James Logan.
Scientists have found that tonic water contains too little quinine to pose as a truly effective weapon against mosquitoes.
What’s worse, enjoying gin, or any alcohol, could actually make you more prone to bites, the Professor warned.
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Professor Logan appeared on ITV’s This Morning to share advice about mosquitoes and midges ahead of the summer season, where the show’s presenter Holly Willoughby asked him about using G&Ts as a repellent.
He said: “You can drink gin and tonic if you want, [but] it’s not going to help at all.
“In fact, the bad news is that drinking alcohol makes you slightly more attractive to mosquitoes.”
Don’t just take the Professor’s word for it as research, published in the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, also found alcohol consumption “significantly” increases mosquito attraction.
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Looking at 12 men and one woman between the ages of 20 and 58, the researchers measured alcohol content in the sweat of participants who enjoyed 350-millilitre beer.
They also looked at sweat production and the skin temperature of the volunteers before and after the alcoholic drink.
The findings showed that those who drank the beer had a higher percentage of mosquito landings.
“This study shows that persons drinking alcohol should be careful about their increased risk to mosquito bites and therefore exposure to mosquito-borne diseases,” the researchers concluded.
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While G&T doesn’t represent an effective deterrent, Professor Logan recommended other tips that could protect you from the bloodsuckers.
He said: “The best thing you can do is to use a repellent. If you buy them in a supermarket or pharmacy, there are four active ingredients to look out for.
“One is called DEET – lots of people don’t like to use DEET but it is safe. One is called PMD or lemon eucalyptus – that’s a natural one – that’s really good. There’s one called picaridin and another one is…IR3535.
“If you put that on your arm and you put your arm into a cage of mosquitoes or midges, none of them will bite you.
“But they do wear off over time so it’s good to be able to put it on like suncream.”
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