Immunity to mosquitoes and smoking

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 15:28
ThreadID: 100584 Views:2674 Replies:19 FollowUps:7
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I have recently encountered several people that say that mosquitoes never bite them. I have also noticed that they all are smokers. This has led me to ask if there is a relationship between the two things. Interested on what other people have found. If you are smoker are you less appealing to mosies?
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Reply By: Graeme M3 - Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 15:55

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 15:55
Hi
Have been a smoker all my life (67 years)
Mossies will always find me.
No relation at all
AnswerID: 504869

Reply By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 16:13

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 16:13
I have never smoked and very rarely get bitten even though mossies are buzzing around. I think you are trying to start another urban myth.
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Reply By: Members Pa & Ma. - Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 16:29

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 16:29
Hi Graham,
Both Hubby & I were smokers ,Apprx 10-15 yrs. ago. No. real difference but I always got attacked & he didn't, still the same.
10 leaches will get on me & none on Him write next to me..
Some say, especially for Midges to take vitamin B for a month before & during the trip. I'm going to try that this year. Oh The Midgies! at Derby Pier.!!!!!
There are a lot of urban Myths around as has been said.
Take care, Safe Travels. Ma.
AnswerID: 504874

Follow Up By: Cheryl & Ian- Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 20:35

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 20:35
Hi Ma,

A few years ago a number of us went trekking in NZ. One person took vit b for a few weeks before the trekk. She got bitten by the midges much more than the rest of us, and her bites were much worse, ie itchy and then becoming sores. So I guess vit b is another myth.

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Reply By: Trackerdog - Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 17:22

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 17:22
I think may explain why some are bitten and some are not.
http://scienceline.org/2007/09/ask-knight-mosquitoes/
AnswerID: 504876

Follow Up By: Member - Wamuranman - Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 21:18

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 21:18
Thats an interesting and informative link.
Thanks for sharing.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Members Pa & Ma. - Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 11:31

Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 11:31
Hi Trackerdog,
Sounds like you have a great job.
Thank you for that, the only thing is Hubby is Type O & I'm B.
May be it's the - or the +. He's Minus & I'm Plus.
He had chemo but you wouldn't know because they never bit him anyway.
He fin ished his round of Chemo ages ago but now, this year he is getting mauled at work. I'm not with him so no comparison can be made there. Another story is that people with more confidence don't get bitten.?
I wish they'd find out because Deet isn't much good for you either.
The Midge Bites I received at Derby took 8 months to heal. There are Midge Proof overalls on the market now, I might have to buy one & try that as we hope to head for the tropics for Holidays this year. I was going to try the Vitamin B.
Take care, safe travels. Ma.
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Follow Up By: Members Pa & Ma. - Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 11:40

Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 11:40
Thank You Cheryl,
Sounds like I'd better not try that, I don't need to attract any more than I already do.
I also wonder, like treatments perhaps?
What will work on one person will not work on another?
Take care, Safe Travels Ma.
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Reply By: member - mazcan - Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 18:03

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 18:03
urban myth
im strickly a non smoker and rarely get bitten and i have been on trips whee the mozzies are selective they are fussey what they suck on and dont eat sh-----t
lol
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Reply By: The Bantam - Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 18:47

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 18:47
This myth goes back to the time of Baden Powel that father of Scouting......he writes that although he was very much against smoking, during his time in India he was advised that it was effective in repelling mosquitos.

In times past when more than 70 or 80% of the population in certain areas smoked, I am sure a great many smokers died of black feever, malera and other mosquito borne diseases.

With tha nasty diseases that can be contracted from mosquitos......I don't think it is advisable to put ones faith in a pretty well debunked myth.

In mosquito and other biting insect areas cover up....long sleves, long trousers, hat and so fort and use an insect repellent with a high content of DEET.

Maleria and black feever may not be big killer in our areas, but Dengiue, Ross River, Barmah Forest, sandy blight and a sting of others are common throuot Australia and they can lay you low for a long time......recovery may take 2 years and some report being so sick they wish they where dead.

A few of my family and other I know have copped a dose......the doctors suspect I was smitten, but none of the tests showed positive......there are arbo viruses that we don't even have names or tests for.

Getting bitten by mossies in many ares is not a trivial matter.

cheers
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Reply By: muffin man - Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 19:00

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 19:00
I'm sure mozzies find the smell of cigarettes repulsive as well and go for the nice smelling non smokers.
MM
AnswerID: 504884

Reply By: Rip64 - Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 21:29

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 21:29
Never smoked and rarely if ever get bitten ?????????????
AnswerID: 504889

Reply By: Rockape - Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 21:46

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 21:46
When I smoked the store bought gigs I would always get bitten, but when I smoked the herbal types I never got bitten, that I can remember. Experimenting of course.



AnswerID: 504893

Reply By: pop2jocem - Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 22:01

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 22:01
Maybe the mozzies have trouble finding smokers through the haze (;-))

The mozzies always found me when I smoked, still found me when I stopped.

Funny thing was a mate of mine and I would quite often spend an evening walking through scrub country looking for a rabbit or two. He would quite often come back with a tick or three embedded in his lower legs. I have never had a tick in my life despite spending my youth from about 5 YO playing in the bush. Plenty of 'roos and other wildlife around.

Cheers
Pop
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Reply By: gbc - Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 22:50

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 22:50
Smokers just have crap circulation and can't feel them biting.
AnswerID: 504903

Reply By: Luckyphil wa - Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 08:01

Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 08:01
Hey Graham I really think its blood type.sand flies and mozies always bite my wife but leave me alone they will go past me to get to her.thats my theory anyway.Phil
AnswerID: 504911

Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 10:00

Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 10:00
That's one good thing about this chemo I have every four weeks. And about the only good thing about chemo. The mozzies and bugs stay off my skin since the chemo started. They will buz around me and get close but always veer off. Won a few beers with it also. Even the smell in the loo would kill them my wife says.

I smoked and the mozzies also found me.

Phil
AnswerID: 504918

Reply By: Atta Boy Luther - Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 11:54

Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 11:54
My mother has chronic emphysema and has to be on oxygen 24 hrs a day . Mosquitoes are the least of her worries .
AnswerID: 504922

Reply By: Member - Terra'Mer - Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 15:37

Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 15:37
HAHAHA!
Ciggies sound like a very expensive mossie repellent :)

I have also heard drinking beer works but i imagine if you drank enough it would repel anything including mossies ;)

Would there be a market for citronella and sandalwood ciggies :P

Okay, that's enough choking around from me

Sometimes I get bitten and sometimes I don't, I think has something to do with body heat and the smell of sweat on the skin.

I wonder if curry sweat is also an effective mossie repellent? I love curry!
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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 17:14

Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 17:14
How interesting! The article is good but still isn't definitive enough to give us a clue to how to guard against bites. My opinion is that rather than blood type, it could be to do with your blood acidity?

Did you know that at times, depending on what we eat, our blood can actually be a little more acid than alkaline? Our body will of course naturally correct this imbalance otherwise we would die. Ideally, our pH should stay on the alkaline side: between 7.35 and 7.45. It's a very fine line so our bodies are constantly working to keep this ph in balance. Keeping our acidity and alkalinity balanced means regulating the hydrogen ion concentration in our body fluids. The foods we eat affect our blood ph levels - an acid-forming food contributes hydrogen ions to the body, making it more acidic. An alkalizing food removes hydrogen ions from the body, making it more alkaline.

Most people in the population who eat a typical western diet tend to eat foods that elevate our blood acidity a little higher than what is optimum. What I'm talking about is what EFFECT that food has on your system - for example a lemon will have an alkalizing effect on your system for example, not acidic as you might expect. Common acid-forming foods include processed junk foods and those that are high in animal protein. Some common alkalizing foods are spinach, soybeans, raisins, carrots, and most citrus fruits. (Google this for more info if you are interested).

So given this, I wonder if perhaps people whose blood is more acidic (or maybe alkaline) would give off more of the insect attracting smell receptors.???? it could answer why sometimes you get bitten more than other people in the same situation. Even if you eat the same meal as the next person, it is not likely that you have identical metabolisms so your rate of hydrogen ion assimilation in the blood would never be the same.


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AnswerID: 504948

Follow Up By: graham B9 - Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 19:47

Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 19:47
This is interesting as my wife is a health food nut and eats food that make her "system", Alakline. Her research show that this reduces the chances of getting cancers. In the tropics however mosies and migies absolutely love her and when I am next to her never get attacked. I just thought it was because she was Italian.
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 12:06

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 12:06
It would be interesting to get more people together who are on aklaline diets to test this theory wouldn't it. In the meantime, who is going to call Dr Karl on ABC JJJ radio and ask him???
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 11:20

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 11:20
Some good pet theories above Graham - mine is a bit more fundamental and while we are both vegetarians my wife gets bitten a lot more than I.
(I think she sneaks chicken sandwitches when I'm not around).

My pet theory is that I get bitten less simply because of more hair on body and the little mites have less area to land on this is why dual layer/ crinkled type clothing materials work so well as again they simply have more trouble getting in close.

Chemicals and clothing aren't that nice when its hot & humid.

The little critters can't fly stabilly in moving air , so the best prevention is to take proper fans and use them.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 11:23

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 11:23
Forgot to add that my observation is that smoke - including campfire smoke - does reduce mossie presence.
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Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 11:50

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 11:50
I don't think they like the taste of Bundy Rum coming through your pores.....
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Reply By: Kyle H - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 17:46

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 17:46
My wife struggles with the mozzies so before we go away she starts taking vitamin B, this works for her.
Me, well I drink enough Vitamin B that if the mozzies bite me they start foaming from their schnorkle.
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