About a month or so ago I was thinking to myself how nice it was that we didn't seem to have very many mosquitoes this year in Montana. "This is great", I thought, as I cracked a cold beer on my patio one evening, "finally a summer with minimal bug bites." When the Miller moths began showing up everywhere a couple of weeks ago, I told my kids "at least they don't bite, like mosquitos." Alas, it appears that I spoke too soon regarding the pesky, biting bugs because they're out now and they're getting pretty bad.

Photo by Nick Berger on Unsplash
Photo by Nick Berger on Unsplash
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Why do some people get bitten worse than others?

I was at my parents' house near Gallatin Gateway over the weekend, and let me tell you... the mosquitoes are far worse in the Bozeman area than what I've seen at my house in Yellowstone County. At dusk, my mom invited me and the kids to help her do something with her chickens in the backyard. Within moments, I was slapping myself like a wildman as the mosquitoes started biting my arms, legs, back, and neck. Meanwhile, my dad was standing in the yard cool as a cucumber and said "I haven't even gotten a bite."

Smithsonian Magazine wrote an article that helps explain why some people get eaten alive by mosquitoes, while others seem to hardly ever get a bite. Mosquitoes are mainly attracted by carbon dioxide, emitted while we breathe. The other contributors that can result in more mosquito bites include:

  • blood type
  • skin bacteria
  • clothing color
  • genetics
  • pregnancy
  • drinking beer outdoors
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Photo by Ronald Langeveld on Unsplash
Photo by Ronald Langeveld on Unsplash
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Lots of choices for mosquito control.

You can fight mosquitoes from a couple of different angles. One is to limit their existence in the first place. Visit your neighborhood hardware store for suggestions. You'll find various products you can pour into any standing water on your property to kill mosquito larvae. There are multiple spray products available for your lawn to help curb mosquitoes. All promise amazing results with proper application. An internet search for more natural remedies provides plenty of other options if you're not comfortable dousing your lawn with bug killer.

Credit: Amazon/Thermacell
Credit: Amazon/Thermacell
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Electronic gadgets and burners.

There are tons of various electronic gadgets available nowadays, like the one pictured above by Thermacell, that promise to provide mosquito protection within a certain area. My family has used these little clip-on, battery-powered fan devices (with mediocre success). Citronella candles, burners, or tiki torches provide another option, but I've found they only work well if there is zero wind and if you're sitting immediately next to them. Of course, there is always repellent. The most effective repellents contain DEET, a chemical developed by the US government in 1946 and first released to the public in 1957.

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