COLFAX, N.C. -- Ralph Modlin grows gorgeous plants and while he spends hour after hour tending to them he's got lots of company.
"They eat me up," Modlin says. "You hear them buzzing around my ear, it's terrible because you know they're going in for the attack."
Mosquitoes just love Modlin. Maybe it's because of his blood type, maybe it's because he works around water or maybe it's what he eats. Scientists say the pesky little pests have a serious sense of smell and that they can sniff out people who eat the foods they like, such as sweets and salty foods.
Scientists say mosquitoes are also big fans of any food that has a lot of potassium, such as bananas, potatoes, spinach, avocados, prunes, lima beans and raisins.
So, how to best keep them away? Eat a lot of garlic and onion. Lemongrass soap is said to help mosquitoes stay away. Best of all may be citronella geranium plants.
"They work wonders. You have to loosen it up to help release the fragrance, but it really does work. Perfect for any time you want to eat outside, just put one on the table," said Mark Abee, of A.B. Seeds Garden Center at the Piedmont Triad Farmer's Market.