Getting bit by a mosquito is an unpleasant experience. In addition to rendering a red bump and itchy skin, some species of mosquitoes transmit diseases to you and your family. From the Zika virus in Miami, Florida, to the West Nile virus and dengue fever, mosquitoes pose serious health risks. Yet numerous myths surround these intriguing insects. Read the following list of myths to gain a better understanding of mosquitoes:
1. Myth: Mosquitoes do not select specific people to bite. They indiscriminately attack everyone and anyone in sight.
Fact: According to researchers, specific mosquito species favor particular people. Rather than the taste of blood, these mosquitoes rely on their sense of smell when selecting individuals to bite. Female mosquitoes are attracted to people harboring definite odors. If you sweat more than the average individual, you may discover that you are the victim of frequent mosquito attacks. In addition, your body may happen to emit an abundance of enticing carbon dioxide. Mosquitoes are more apt to bite you if you have been drinking beer. However, scientists do not know why mosquitoes target bodies emitting recognizable odors.
2. Myth: Avoid mosquito bites by staying away from swamps.
Fact: Although mosquitoes love warmer temperatures and moisture, you can still get bite if you are far away from a swamp. In fact, some species prefer breeding in planters and flowerpots. Any item containing a little dampness provides the perfect habitat for a female mosquito to lay her eggs. Avoid a mosquito infestation by washing and drying all containers in your house and backyard.
3. Myth: You can repel mosquitoes with Listerine, lemon liquid dish soap and citronella candles.
Fact: Research has demonstrated that the most successful way to repel mosquitoes is to spray the body with repellents. Products that work include DEET and Picaridin. Plant-based formulas are not as effective because they require frequent applications. Consequently, experts do not recommend using essential oils, such as peppermint oil or lavender oil, to repel mosquitoes. Plus, you need to use a strong repellent during daylight and evening hours.
4. Myth: Mosquitoes live on human blood.
Fact: Even though it is true that mosquitoes enjoy feeding on human blood, they also drink the nectar from flowers and suck on fruits. Plus, mosquitoes feed on the blood of various animals. Furthermore, male mosquitoes do not bite anyone. Female mosquitoes feast on blood because the bodily fluid provides them with nutrients that assist them in laying their eggs.
5. Myth: Mosquitoes sting with stingers.
Fact: Mosquitoes bite your skin but do not sting. Unlike some varieties of bees, mosquitoes do not perish after they bite your flesh.
For more information about how to combat mosquitoes, contact Kline Pest Control.