Why do mosquitoes find pregnant women so tasty?

This could be a classic case for Mythbusters.

If the rumours are to be believed, mosquitoes find pregnant women more attractive. But if this is true, we have just one question. Why?

The research is pretty thin on the ground. Although pregnant women are often described as glowing, this may not be the reason mosquitoes will gravitate towards them. 

According to Joseph Conlon, a medical entomologist and technical advisor to the American Mosquito Control Association, because pregnant women are carrying around additional weight, they may be breathing heavier and exhaling more carbon dioxide than usual. Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide.

Is this the reason?

Mr Conlon adds, the increased body temperature pregnant women experience will be an added attraction to mosquitoes. 

While mosquito bites don't present any additional dangers to pregnant women, you obviously don't want to end up with a mosquito-borne disease when pregnant (or at any other time for that matter). There are some simple precautions you can take to reduce the risk of a mosquito bite:

  1. Wear light-coloured clothing - mosquitoes that bite during the day favour dark-colored clothing
  2. Wear long sleeves and long pants if possible
  3. Wear loose-fitting clothing - mosquitoes can bite through tight clothing. If you must wear tight clothing, make sure it's a very tight weave.
  4. Use a repellent that's been tested and registered with the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA). Products with DEET should be effective and safe for pregnant women in reasonable amounts. DEET should not be used on infants less than 2 months of age and only at a concentration after that period of less than 10% - talk to your doctor before using any repellent on your baby.
  5. If you're in home, or overnight while asleep a UV mosquito lamp can be effective in attracting and killing mosquitoes. Check the MozzieGo USB mosquito killer lamp for an eco-friendly, safe, efficient method of removing the threat of mosquitoes.

For a full range of safe mosquito repellents and protection, discover the latest at the MozzieGo online store.

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