One thing that makes the south such a great place to be are all the outdoor activities that happen in the spring and summer. From barbecues to pool parties, there’s always something going on outside during the warm summer months. Unfortunately, the warm weather also brings out everyone’s least favorite pest, the mosquito, to ruin just about any outdoor event with it’s irritating bite and potential for deadly disease transmission.
Since the mosquito is such a common pest and has such a bad reputation, it also has developed a large following of rumors. While the news covers some of the more major information about mosquitoes, rumors spread from person to person, causing misinformation and sometimes panic depending on the severity of the rumor. In this post, we’ll discuss some of the more common rumors and shed a bit of light on the truth behind them.
Mosquitoes in the U.S. Don’t Carry Diseases
With all the news over the past few years regarding West Nile virus it’s hard to believe that people would find any truth in this myth, but it is in fact completely false. Species like the Asian tiger mosquito, which is known to carry diseases like yellow fever, West Nile and heart worms arrived in the U.S. in the early 1980’s and have spread across the country since.
Mosquitoes Are Attracted to People with Sweet Blood
One common myth about mosquitoes is that they are attracted to people with sweet blood (high blood sugar), sweet fragrances or even sweet personalities. While mosquitoes do prefer certain people over others, the sweetness of your blood and personality aren’t a factor they consider.
The truth is that mosquitoes are attracted for a variety of different reasons. People who sweat profusely or exhale more CO2 are more prone to mosquito bites than those that don’t.
Citronella Candles Are Protecting You
While citronella candles can help keep mosquitoes away at close distances, it takes an almost closed off environment for them to truly make a difference. Should a light breeze come through the area where your candle is, any effect it may have been having on the immediate area will shift to whichever direction that breeze blows. The best solution for keeping mosquitoes away from your vicinity is a protective spray.
All Mosquitoes Bite Humans
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that there are over 3,500 species of mosquitoes, and while it may seem like they’re all out to get you, that’s not entirely the case. Many species of mosquitoes feed exclusively on plants, reptiles and animals. The most common mosquitoes found in the U.S. do primarily feed on mammals however, so in most situations, people are always on the menu to at least one species of mosquito.