Many of us have experienced the familiar and aggravating buzzing of a mosquito in our ears. Did you know that this buzzing is actually caused by the mosquito beating its wings up to 1,000 times per second? Despite this interesting “buzzing” ability, it can be agreed that mosquitoes are dangers we’d rather avoid. Mosquitoes are a creature that lives off the blood of other living things. There are a lot of misconceptions about mosquitoes. If we can correct these and spread the facts, we will be better able to deal with them.
Myth #1 – If you aren’t near a swamp, you are safe from mosquito bites?
In reality, draining swamps would be ineffective in reducing mosquito populations. While the warm weather and moist soil of swamp areas is ideal for mosquitoes to lay their eggs, they are not necessary for them to survive and thrive. Many species don’t need these conditions to reproduce. Some prefer human habitats (easy access to blood) or salt marshes along oceans. Just because you aren’t near a swamp does not mean you are free from mosquitoes.
Myth #2 – We should drive mosquitoes into extinction?
While mosquitoes can cause death and sickness by carrying malaria, Zika virus and other dangerous diseases, it would be futile to try and get rid of them all. After all, only about 200 of around 3,500 species of mosquitoes actually bite us. If we were to get rid of mosquitoes, we would be cutting off a major food source for certain animals, specifically in the Arctic. The mass use of pesticide would also cause damage to the environment as well as people and animals. It is better to protect ourselves from them than to try to eradicate them.
Myth #3 – Both male and female mosquitoes bite?
Surprisingly, only female mosquitoes bite humans. They need the nutrients in our blood to be able to produce eggs. The males only eat plant matter!
Myth #4 – Citronella candles are completely effective from mosquitoes?
Citronella helps mask the chemicals humans give off that attract mosquitoes. Even if the candle is burning around you, a mosquito can still sense the chemicals on your skin if they are close enough to it. So, you should still wear bug spray.
Myth #5 – Mosquitoes die after they bite you?
False! Mosquitoes are not like bees and can bite you many times.
Myth #6 – Chemical mosquito repellents that contain DEET are dangerous to humans?
Most commercial repellents have DEET as their main ingredient. There are concentration limits of DEET in these repellent products, so those approved by the FDA are safe.
Myth #7 – Bats eat mosquitoes and can help decrease populations?
If you’re thinking of adopting some pet bats to reduce your local mosquito population, think again. Mosquitoes are too small to be interesting prey for bats, and they only represent a small portion of their diet.
Myth #8 – The more blood a mosquito sucks, the bigger your welt is?
Actually, the way your immune system reacts to the mosquito’s saliva determines the size of the mark.