Runners Beware: Mosquitoes Love You!
For those of you that like to run, you might want to take extra note of this article. Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, and as you run, you of course produce more of this, making you the perfect target for these disease spreading pests. So if you’ve not been reaching for that repellent before your run, then you might want to start making it a priority.
If you have a higher metabolic rate, you release more carbon dioxide than someone with a lower metabolic rate. Because runners artificially increase their metabolic rate during runs, they’re not only producing a lot more carbon dioxide than they normally would while resting—probably three to four times as much—but they’re also producing a lot of other attractants, such as lactic acid and an increased surface body temperature.
A good run may be great for the health of our hearts, but at the same time, we need to ensure the rest of our health isn’t at risk.
It’s not just the carbon dioxide that mosquitoes are attracted to, some human odors can be just as enticing. Even orchids impersonate human odor to attract them.
Orchids are masters of deception. To lure potential pollinators, some resemble nectar-laden flowers, yet offer no sweet reward. Others smell like rotting meat. Still others look and smell like female insects. Now, sensory biologists have discovered orchids that emit an odor just like the human body. Their target: tiger mosquitoes. Although mosquitoes are considered poor pollinators, Platanthera obtusata, a bog orchid common in the United States, seems to rely on the blood-sucking insects for reproduction.
Next time you put on your training shoes and hit the road, remember that there are swarms of mosquitoes out there, ready to feast on your flesh. Do yourself a favor and protect yourself with repellents, or head on outside when it’s not dusk or dawn, as that’s the time of day that these pests love best!