Summer is in full swing and some people are figuring out how to combat a pesky bug. About 20 percent of the population sees an above-average incidence of mosquito bites. Been bitten is generally not life threatening, but highly annoying and the more bites, the worse the next few days. Smoke is a deterrent against them, but what about mosquitos and marijuana? And what about those itchy bites?
Not everyone is a mosquito target. Only the females bite humans so they can use blood to produce their eggs. To help locate their prey, females use their antennae and palps, the organs between their antennae, to detect carbon dioxide and odor. That means people who have a high metabolic rate and emit more carbon dioxide tend to be a draw. This includes those who are pregnant, working out, or drinking alcohol. Perfumes and colognes are filled with the stuff mosquitoes love, and their acute sense of smell locks in on anyone wearing it, especially if it is a floral scent. It really drives them wild when you’re trying to mask B.O. (something mosquitoes like) with perfume or cologne (something mosquitoes love). Both types of smells will attract the pests to you, and perfume can actually make that draw worse.
More research has to be done regarding them being attracted to a certain blood type.
Smoke is a good bug repellent; the strong, distinct odor is unpleasant and uncomfortable for bugs including mosquitoes, so they will try and avoid both the smell and the heat. Whether it is smoke from a citronella candle, firepit or mosquito coil.
There is anecdotal evidence that smoke is an effective insect repellent, and the practice of ‘smoking’ rooms to prevent the nuisance of biting mosquitoes is widespread. Mosquitoes have an issue with nicotine and tobacco and cigarette butts are a bit turn off for them. But who wants to keep full ashtrays around?
Cannabis is one of the few plants that repel mosquitoes when they’re growing fresh in the ground. But like tobacco smoke, there isn’t enough evidence regarding them turning off flying pests. And insects don’t have an endogenous cannabinoid receptors, so they don’t even enjoy being around the smoke.
The itching from a bite occurs due to an inflammation which is caused intentionally by our immune systems. When we are bitten by a mosquito an inflammation occurs in our bodies which appears as red, swollen, and itchy skin. Cannabinoids have a strong anti-inflammatory effect and are therefore effective in reducing, or stopping, the itching which occurs after a mosquito bite. So a good topical can help take the string out and hopefully let you have a pleasant time and a good sleep rather than scratching.
Now you know about marijuana and mosquitos, and may you have a bite free rest of the summer.